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Monday, July 18, 2011

Don't Wait Too Long to Use Your Ideas

“Turn every idea upside down to see
 if there is an expiration date stamped on the bottom.”

~Thomas Shepherd

While it may sound strange to check for the "expiration date" of ideas as if they were carton of milk or a loaf of bread, the timing of an idea may be vital to its success.  When you have ideas or opportunities to develop something new, check to see what the urgency is of creating it.  Ideas that fit with the needs of those around you deserve a higher priority.  You don't want to miss your window of opportunity.  Some ideas have a much longer "shelf life," however.  In fact, the current conditions might not support your pursuit of that idea.  If that is the case, write down the idea on a piece of paper and save it in a "parking lot."  Your parking lot is the place where you "park" your ideas until a) you have more time; or b) the timing is right to pursue it.  But make sure you note that "expiration date" so that you don't wait too long!

This week:  Just notice the "expiration date" on ideas you have or those others approach you with.  How does knowing that change the priority you assign it?  Is there something you need to do to make sure that you don't end up throwing out perfectly good ideas because you've waited too long to use them?  At the end of this week, make a decision about how you are going to incorporate "expiration dates" into your use of ideas.

Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a psychologist, life coach and expert at helping people achieve goals they had not thought possible using her solution focused approach.  She helps clients take the necessary action to reach goals efficiently and to overcome any mindset limitations that might be interfering with success.  For more information, go to http://www.InnerResourceCenter.com


Sue Painter said...

This post is timely for me. I've been carefully considering the work I do and what, if anything, has an "expiration date on the bottom." I'm thinking that you have to let go of the expired stuff to make room for the fresh milk, so to speak. Sometimes, scary and hard. But definitely invigorating!!

Anonymous said...

Linda, I keep a Business Journal and it has served - over the last 10 years - as a good parking lot. I sometimes allow things out of the lot too quickly and others just rust there.

That is why I really liked your statement, "Ideas that fit with the needs of those around you deserve a higher priority."

Because I'm dealing with a lot of these ideas right now, I find your statement very, very helpful.

Thank you!

Kristina said...

Great point, Linda. I often let ideas just linger, waiting until I have more time or even waiting for the "right" time to act. Putting an expiration date on the bottom makes complete sense and creates urgency that I need to get things done. Plus, it allows me to let things go without feeling guilty. Thanks for the advice.

Tiffany deSilva said...

Great advice for staying focused and following through, as well. I like the idea of an expiration date.

Mary Ellen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Ellen said...

Very good Linda. I never thought about an expiration date for our ideas before but we do all need to stay fresh and current don't we?