Creative people usually have no shortage of ideas of things they’d like to do. The greater challenge is: how do you know which ideas are worth pursuing, and which should be abandoned or just put on hold for now?
Here’s one way: consider the amount of time you spend thinking about the idea, even as you go on to other things.
I don’t just mean when you have an idea and you think about it a lot the same day. I mean when you have an idea, and you think about it for a while before putting it aside… and then it comes back to you the next day. Then a week goes by, and you realize you’ve thought about it almost every day.
The more days (weeks, months, etc.) that go by with the same idea coming to mind, the more you know that you should do something about it.
This week I published the 100th episode of Side Hustle School, a daily podcast I started on January 1. It’s been a ton of work, a lot of fun, and I’ve learned so much.
For me, this idea very much fit the scenario I described above: I had the idea last summer, and it kept nagging at me for a long time. I began to explore the world of podcasting and design a working model. I still had room to back out, but at a certain point I could feel that I was committing to it. And it felt good!
There are other ways to know which ideas to pursue and which to abandon. But this way—paying attention to how often you think about it as the days and weeks go by—can help you avoid the pattern of starting many ideas only to walk away from them too early.
Do you have an idea like that?