How to get your best idea in 15 minutes or less.
When faced with more than one choice, just how do you know you’re making the right one?
(this post is part of the Writers: How to Be Creative resource page)
What if you make the wrong decision and end up on some wayward path filled with pitfalls and no success?
You probably have tons of ideas and not enough time to do them all. So determining which of your many great ideas are the best ones to act on right now is vital if you want to keep getting your best work out there and moving toward the success you crave.
I’m going to show you a solution that allows you to not only make a decision but to know that you’re making the right decision for YOU – the decision that speaks to your core and keeps you on track for personal success.
I call this method W.I.N.
And what’s even better, finding your W.I.N (your Write Idea Now) is easy peasy. You can boil down 5 ideas to your best idea in less than 15 minutes and you can be confident that it’s the right decision for you.
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How to Find Your W.I.N.
I am going to walk you through the W.I.N. process including a WIN Decision Table you can use (and download: WIN PDF here or WIN DOC here) so you can make the WIN Method a quick easy tool to get your best ideas rolling out the door.
WIN is solidly based on the psychological premise that we think in a number of distinct ways. These distinct ways can be identified and accessed (as you’ll see in the worksheet) so we can use our thinking about particular issues in a more productive way.
Steps to W.I.N
W.I.N. STEP 1
List 5 ideas you have right now. Quick, no need to contemplate at all, in fact it’s better if you don’t. Just bam bam bam. What are you thinking about working on?
W.I.N. STEP 2
Now. Pick 3. ANY 3. How do you do that? Well,
- Txt a friend and let them pick
- close your eyes and point
- have your mom or significant other pick
- pick which ones sound coolest or make you smile
- pick 3 that have the letter “m” in them
- pick numbers 2, 4, and 9
- You get the idea
W.I.N. STEP 3
What you are going to do now is to quickly look at your 3 ideas from a few different angles. I’ve made this easy by giving you this downloadable worksheet in either DOC or PDF formats – I’ll give you a moment to grab it now because it’ll make it easy for you to follow the steps below (like having the words for a singalong).
- The neutral angle. This is where you list 1 or 2 facts that you know about this idea, such as data or figures.
- The optimistic angle. What is the beneficial impact of this idea?
- The pessimistic angle. What is the downside to this idea? Why might it not work? What are the biggest weak points?
- The emotional angle. How does this idea make you feel? What are your hunches or gut feelings? Do you feel pumped? Excited? Scared?
- The creative angle. What alternatives can you think of for the idea? What could make it better?
- The descriptive angle. List 3 adjectives or verbs that come to mind when you think of this idea.
- Review. The big picture. This is where you scan what you’ve written in the previous steps to determine the best decision for you. And just how do you do that? Don’t worry! It’s easy.
For a visual, the worksheet box will look like this:
For the review, look over what you’ve written for each idea. Often you can eliminate an idea because it has a more obvious pitfall, or you might lean toward another idea because the upside is huge. Or maybe you just simply know more about one idea (step 1) so your research time will be cut way down. Maybe one idea makes you feel bored. Cut it. Upon doing the review if one idea is the obvious best choice, pick that one.
But what if no single idea jumps out at you? What if all 3 look good? Here’s the secret to choosing. Look back at the words you’ve written in each segment of step 3 and select the idea that has words which literally you would use to describe yourself.
For instance, if you are a conservative writer who likes to fly below the radar don’t select the idea which you described with words such as “loud” “big” or “bold” as those are not words you would use to describe yourself. Conversely, if you are a dynamic outgoing risk-taker don’t select an idea that you write about as “ordinary” or “blah,” pick the “big” and “bold” one.
Making the right choice by selecting ideas that are in harmony with you will keep you on a personally successful track that not only reaps financial rewards, but is in keeping with your personal growth.