How You Can Create 3000 New Ideas This Yearby
I was surprised how much it bothered me. How did I forget?
When I woke up that morning, I realized that I broke the streak of writing down a daily list of at least 10 ideas. I was at 59 consecutive days.
Backing up a bit, one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever had was James Altucher’s suggestion of coming up with at least 10 ideas each day.
It made a lot of sense to me to build up your idea muscle as a daily exercise so I started.
No doubt most ideas are going to be bad. But it’s a numbers thing.
But really it’s less about seeking the Big Idea. It’s more about forming the daily habit of thinking through the possibilities and opportunities that you miss during the hurries of life.
It’s about clarity. Reflection.
And it isn’t always just business ideas. Some days I jot down trends, predictions or how to improve at something. How to be a better father. How to help a friend. How to get more out of a day. Goals. Things I should do this year.
Sometimes negative lists work well. I remember the day I wrote about things I’d regret Not doing this year. Or things I’d regret not doing by Age 50.
I go back and look at that one a lot.
Sometimes I’d type them into on-line notes. Other days I’d draft an email to myself, or record a voice memo on my phone on my daily drive. Or I’d jot them down in a notebook. But over time they came in fits and spurts.
Maybe every day didn’t have to mean everyday. Just some days. Good enough.
So I made a rule to always use pen and journal, never a keyboard. Getting away from the screen worked for me. But I still didn’t always make the list.
Then I read this interesting piece about the Jerry Seinfeld strategy of “never breaking the chain.”
When asked how he’s managed to stay so successful for so long, he said it pretty much boiled down to 4 simple things:
Pin a calendar to the wall.
Write a joke that day.
Mark an X for that day on the calendar.
Don’t break the chain of X’s.
I actually didn’t use a calendar with big red X’s. I just drew a circle around the number of days in a row in my idea journal.
Somehow this simple mind trick has made the daily idea list like flossing. It has to be done before my head hits the pillow.
I haven’t broken the chain since.by