Too Many Ideas? 3 Ways to Prioritize

How to Prioritize Your IdeasHow Can You Focus when Ideas are Overflowing?

It’s the opposite of writer’s block: you’re so excited by your prospects that ideas are everywhere. What a delightful problem to have!

Unfortunately, choosing a single path is difficult when faced with an abundance of possibilities. You’re loathe to abandon good ideas to focus on one great one. I know the feeling.

This affliction plagues entrepreneurs, marketers, bloggers, and anyone with a creative mind. Those who struggle tell you “it’s a blessing” to have so many opportunities ahead. But the harsh reality is that you can’t possibly execute them all.

So how do you choose?

Whether you’re evaluating new product ideas, innovative business models, blog topics or career choices, here are a few tips that will help you decide which ideas make the cut:

1) What Fits Your Purpose?

First and foremost, any idea that you invest in needs to align with your personal or professional purpose. Does the idea resonate with your values? Will it help you fulfill your mission?

Many wonderful ideas take us down a path that leads away from this core, eroding value rather than creating it. Examine your idea through the lens of what matters most to you or your business. You’ll see clearly if there’s a true fit.

2) Will it have lasting impact?

Some excellent ideas flash bright and burn out quickly. Does the idea you’re considering offer a lasting return on the investment required to pursue it? Will the time, money and energy you commit create a sustainable change in your life or the life cycle of your business?

Ideas that contribute significantly over the long term offer greater value than more transitory options. Worry less about speed of execution, and prioritize for sustainable change.

3) Does it make a difference for others?

Change is good for the soul, and it’s even better when it touches someone else. Particularly in business matters, value is measured in the response of others. If no one cares about what you’ve done, what’s the point?

To estimate the reception of your idea will receive, ask questions like: How will this product help buyers? Is this approach attractive to the right customers? Will prospective employees be intrigued? The answers will demonstrate whether your idea is game-changing for your stakeholders.

If you run though this quick 3-step process and still have an abundance or ideas, take the top few and do it again. Assign a 1-5 score if necessary, ranking your ideas based on these criteria. Then tackle them in order of priority.

This will keep you moving forward with focus and intention.

(I’d love to hear from you, let me know how it goes!)

Graphic background courtesy of Raja R.

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