Simple Short Summary: Crumble your idea into three elements: action steps, backburner items, and references, and then crop out the action steps, prioritize your work on significant tasks first, and involve community of dreamer, doer, incrementalist to transform your idea.
Reading Time:6 minutes
Making Ideas Happen Summary
To transform idea consider it as project and then break it down into action steps, backburner items, and references
Every idea is a project either it’s a personal birthday party or a professional product launch.
Every project requires a sequence of action steps from beginning to end to make the idea happen. Think in terms of a project instead of an idea and break down each project into three components: Action Steps, References, and Backburner Items.
Action steps move an idea forward into execution. The outcome of any idea depends on the action steps you capture then complete or delegate to someone else’s.
Reference collects project handouts, notes, sketches, manuals, and other significant documents you refer back to. Note, reference is not an actionable document but resources of an ongoing project.
At last, backburner items document ideas that perhaps actionable someday but not today.
To move an idea into execution make bold action steps. Otherwise, you encounter friction. Ambiguous action steps create resistance and cause you to skip and execute other tasks on a list.
To avoid this, start with a verb and compose action steps with few words. Verb compels you to take action and indicate a kind of activity.
Example: Update an ABC document (at first glance, you know you’ve to update document).
Every step is crucial in making ideas happen. However, action steps don’t only reveal in a meeting. It visits your mind while reading an article, taking shower, or getting ready for bed. Having a notebook or recording device enables you to capture action steps.
Action Steps split into three elements. The first element is the ‘Delegate Action Step’. In delegate action step a single person records the task, even when the tasks require the hands of other members of a team.
The second element is an ‘Ensure Action Step’. It ensures your future tasks complete properly. To track future tasks, start the action step with the verb ensure. Use digital tools to manage and track action steps and to verify the status of the project. With the search option of gadget, you instantly check the status of the future project with the word ‘ensure’.
The third and last element is the ‘Awaiting Action Step’. This method starts with the word awaiting. Suppose you send an email to a potential customer, and you’re waiting for a response. Here, you use awaiting action step because now your work depends upon the response of another person.
Making attractive action steps also help you to breed loyalty. The design of your productivity tool will define how frequently you use it. For this, focus on little details like the color of your folder or the quality of the paper to boost your productivity.
During brainstorming, or taking shower, or working on a project, you’ll catch ideas, but if you fail to capture them, you lose. Backburner items are not actionable yet but someday in the future.
To set up your backburner, set aside an area at the bottom or side of your notes or even make a separate page to capture backburner items.
Develop a ritual to glance over your backburner items once a month. Backburner keeps alive your half-back ideas until you get ready to make it happens.
Of course, putting ideas in your backburner is not enough, so make a habit to walk over your backburner items on the last Sunday of the month. Take a pen, print out your paper to examine the backburner items.
When you periodically check your backburner items, you’ll find out some of your items have become realistic, actionable goals while some become relevant.
The third and the last component is Reference. Taking notes and accumulating them on your shelf requires time. It also requires a method to arrange pages and files to access in the future. The benefit of making and storing notes is to reduce clutter. It also gives you peace of mind when you refer back to them.
To arrange your documents ask yourself, what is the chance you glance over documents in the future, and for what purpose you refer to it. Once you answer the question, label the files and folders with the project name. However, when you can’t answer this question, throw your notes out.
Suggested Reading: Essentialism Summary.
To make idea happen split your project in action steps, backburner items, and references and focus on important work instead of urgent work
Approach your work and life as a series of action steps, backburner items, and references. Prioritization compels you to take one action step and create momentum in making progress for long-term ambition. It also disciplines you for getting things done.
However, when having multiple ideas, chances are you involve in every project. Executing multiple projects demand tremendous amount of mental energy from capturing, organizing and performing ideas.
Regardless of who you’re, you’ve a short supply of energy. Your goal is to focus your energy on doing significant activities first.
1. Achieving long-term goal demand distraction-free space to work without the interruption of technology.
2. Having partners reduce stress and burden of project.
3. Making a to-do list of five action steps to review easily throughout the day. It maintains the spotlight on the priority tasks, and creates a focus area so you complete tasks before going to bed at night.
4. Organizing your action steps in two ways: first, create a list of significant tasks and the second list of urgent tasks.
Long-term goals and priorities of the day come under important tasks while urgent activities in urgent tasks.
Your goal is to complete priority work because urgent work easily consumes your day. Once you accomplish your priority work, you carry out other work.
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Community overcome the obstacles from vision to reality as you form the group of dreamer, doer, and incrementalist
You, your team, clients, customers, collaborators, family, and friends are all around you. In the beginning, your community will seldom understand your idea, but in the end, it’ll make it real. Your job is to engage your community with your idea.
Sharing ideas within your community is one step to make the idea happen. Your community will act as a fuel to refine your idea and make you accountable to execute.
Forming a community provides valuable material and emotional support, and it also helps you to gain momentum. Great ideas are plentiful, and very few people have the discipline and resources to make them happen. You can boost your focus when you share ideas publicly.
However, an idea in isolation dies because it rarely shares by others and, therefore, ultimately forget. Once you share your idea in public, you’ll see either people are engaging or not. Besides, with the level of engagement you receive, you’ll aware of the potential flaws in your idea.
When your community engages, they’ll develop opinions and result in an exchange of information. Exchange of information creates valuable feedback.
Feedback is powerful because it refines a good idea, vanishes bad one, and postpones the immature idea. Once you share your idea with your community, you’ll receive feedback and support.
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Personalities of Dreamer, Doer, and Incrementalist:
Dreamers generate new ideas and often jump from one business idea to the next but struggle to focus on one. They think of an impressive solution, but the chances are less for them to stick with it. In the life of a dreamer, the real success comes in when he collaborates with a doer.
However, doers are obsessed with execution and rarely think about generating ideas. Although the doer loves new ideas, they tend to immerse him in the execution.
Incrementalist works as a doer or dreamer. An incrementalist generates an idea, makes a plan, refines the action steps, and then pushes the ideas into action.
With the capability, an incrementalist appears attractive; however, he has his limitation. With the ability to swiftly develop new ideas and executing them, an incrementalist leads multiple projects simultaneously. Anxiety arises when the responsibilities to maintain and run multiple projects.
Hence, stop him from producing outstanding projects. On the contrary, an incrementalist flourishes when pair with a dream or doer. There is no ideal category the dreamer, doer, and incrementalism have their strength and weakness. Once you’re aware of your type, find the opposite one to collaborate with.
Example: A partnership of two dreams focuses on spending time in idea generation and less on execution. However, the doer partnership directly leads a project straight forward to execution without spending time in idea generation.
The partnership goes sour when you collaborate either with a mismatch personality or one with a similar set of skills. Therefore, form your partnership carefully.
Suggested Reading: The Miracle Morning Summary.
Favorite Quote From The Book
Constant motion is the key to execution. – Scott Belsky
Most ideas are born and lost in isolation. – Scott Belsky
Self-leadership is about awareness, tolerance, and not letting your own natural tendencies limit your potential. – Scott Belsky
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