Thoughts to Action

“Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Everyday, I get ideas or thoughts on just about everything. Whether I am sitting around the table reading the newspaper, waiting in the airport, driving in the car or where ever something pops into my head. Too many to remember during the day, so I started carrying paper and pen with me, to help capture a thought down on paper. I was reviewing my list of stuff – and let me tell you – that list was all over the place. The only thing missing, was how to solve world hunger. While reading though this stuff – I got the idea for this post, how to you take your ideas and turn them into action? I quickly scan some of the list and found that action was missing on almost all of these thoughts. Capturing the thoughts on paper are good, but action is better.

So, what to do? Here are my initial steps and hopefully some good next steps… Asking for help on this one, what would you do?

  • Decided that the first thing was to come up with categories for those thoughts. They were pretty much scattered to all topics. Some trends came out!
    • Personal -Home
    • Work
    • Writing
    • Bigger than me
    • Volunteering in the community
    • Other bucket
  • Categories needed some more help to get focused. Hate to call them sub-categories, but what else would you do? So, I have sub-categories.
    • Impossible to do
    • Definitely would like to do
    • Must do
  • Added a review of these thoughts into my weekly planning session. Need to put them into my Most Important Tasks (MIT) – or nothing will get done.

The next steps are where I think the beginning of thoughts to action could happen. During my planning, I spend some time trying to develop an action plan for how would that idea turn into action? What are the actions? Who all is involved? This vetting details should help me bake the thought some more and develop some sort of potential strategy or next steps to action. There is no action to anything that does not get to my MIT list. Just not going to happen, I have limited time and need to central my efforts on the right important tasks.

So, what to do with the others? For those that just do not make sense – I move them to the impossible to do list (impossible today, but maybe not in the future). For those that still look good, but my time is overbooked – sometimes I share them with folks to see if those ideas can help others get some thoughts and actions of their own. No one has a shortage of thoughts, but the actions that result from those thoughts are important. My list will continue to grow, that is for sure. I will be attempting to get more thoughts into action…

Any other ideas – are more than welcome….