Recently, I read a wonderful quote by Shane Parrish,

Ideas are cheap. Execution is expensive. The ability to execute separates people, not the ability to come up with ideas.”

So ideas are vital but have no meaning till you execute them and thus the rhetoric! I couldn’t agree more and in fact, to teach the art of execution ​is my vocation anyway! But we can’t deny that idea comes first and execution doesn’t even exist if there is no idea.

So let’s ponder on how to get good ideas!

Well, a complete answer to this question could be a tome in itself. What I am writing here is a technique to recycle your wasteful time slots into useful ones, that generate ideas.

We need ideas. All the time.  We have a bunch of problems of every size to solve at any moment. Let’s check what problems I have right now. We have a problem this very moment: should we have breakfast or a brunch so that we make the best use of the day! Another one like what could be a great beginning for my talk tomorrow while addressing a bunch of financial wizards of Singapore. Also a very different kind of problem like if my daughter should do master’s in India or abroad. And so on.

We are quite busy with other ongoing stuff and couldn’t find time to “think” through these problems and come up with some ideas to try and test. Obviously, we need to get creative to find some “new” time slots.

I had found a gold mine of such slots a while back. We are going to kill two birds with one stone. On one hand, we are striving to get quiet time to think solutions to our problems and on the other hand, we are struggling to control our mind that is filled with baseless worries. How about letting one problem fix the other. This is how it works:

You start worrying about something. Mind you, it could be anything! Say, a post of yours on social media not gathering as many reactions as you had expected or you are wondering about the little headache that you have that could it be a tumor. The list is endless.

William James said this once,

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”

For every thought that you get, ask, what’s the practical use of this thought? if the answer is none, a pragmatic mindset should skip that thought immediately. I mean, yes it is possible that the sky may fall, but is it going to help me think about it? No? Then let me move on. But these things are needed to be driven out.

Now, you already have a list of unsolved problems that you want to ponder. Fill your mind with one of those useful thoughts. Ta-da! You got rid of the useless thought and you got your time slot to solve your problems! Try it out!!

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(Featured image: Photo by Tatiana from Pexels)