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As an introvert, you likely have a LOT of ideas.  But you know that having great ideas is only half the battle. The other half is capturing those ideas before they disappear into the ether. 

Introverts naturally focus on their inner world of ideas whereas extroverts spend more time naturally focusing on the outer world around them. So, as introverts, we have a gift for thinking deeply and coming up with creative and innovative ideas and solutions. We need to give ourselves time and space to use and also enjoy our great gifts of thinking.  We also need to be ready for those great ideas when we are not expecting them and learn to capture them as they come. 

In this episode, we talk about both ways of getting ideas, both the planned and the unplanned. Learning to give yourself time to think and then be able to capture your ideas, organize, and prioritize them is a major component of productivity for introverts.  Be productive in getting your important work done and having the life that you want.

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David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

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Podcast Transcript

00;00;09;08 – 00;00;31;14
David Hall
Hello and welcome to Episode 98 of the Quite Strong podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host David Hall, and the creator of Quiet and Strong dot com. This a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced normally will air each episode on a Monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform.

00;00;31;17 – 00;00;58;22
David Hall
Leave a review. Tell a friend. Help get the word out there. I love this quote by Dr. Laurie Helga, author of Introvert Power. What we share as introverts is the love of ideas and the desire to explore them with minimal interruption. So as introverts, we naturally focus on the inner world of ideas, or extroverts spend more time naturally focusing on the outer world around them.

00;00;59;25 – 00;01;21;09
David Hall
So as introverts, we have a gift for thinking deeply and coming up with creative and innovative ideas and solutions. But in order to do that, we need to give ourselves some time and space to use and also enjoy our great gifts of thinking. And we need to be ready for those great ideas when we’re not expecting them and learn to capture them as they come.

00;01;22;10 – 00;01;47;20
David Hall
We’re going to talk about both ways of getting ideas, both the planned and the unplanned. Learning to give yourself time to think and then be able to capture ideas, organize and prioritize them is a major component of productivity for introverts. And when I say productivity, I’m not talking about being busy. I mean really getting your important work done and having that life that you want.

00;01;48;09 – 00;02;07;28
David Hall
So we need to plan some quiet time for ourselves on a regular basis. That’s one of the best ways to harness our introverted creativity is by taking some time for ourselves each day to think and come up with ideas. One of the best things I have done for myself is to block out the first 90 minutes of my workday.

00;02;08;22 – 00;02;29;26
David Hall
That quiet time is work wonders for me as I’m working and considering what needs to be done. Ideas come into my mind. I think about how to accomplish things in a strategic and innovative way. And of course, I’m not limited to those 90 minutes as I find and schedule some other times throughout the day too, and as needed.

00;02;30;27 – 00;02;52;11
David Hall
Outside of work, I often find quiet time on a Sunday morning with my family, maybe sleeping in in the house, quiet to get some quiet time and get some ideas and have some thoughts. So can you find a comfortable spot where you can be alone and free from distraction? A quiet location where you can focus. And then do you have a place ready to capture your thoughts?

00;02;52;29 – 00;03;16;29
David Hall
So I may have a Google doc open or often I use Evernote. Or maybe just having a notebook handy is very important to capture your thoughts and make a list of all the ideas that come into your mind as you’re having your solitude session. This will help you organize your thoughts and start to develop a hierarchy of ideas maybe the most important, the most urgent.

00;03;17;22 – 00;03;40;00
David Hall
And then, of course, those interesting ideas will rise to the top. You know, I do find brainstorming with others valuable as we can benefit from other ideas, differ from our own, and often we put ideas together. But as an introvert, remember that some of the best brainstorming might also come from just you when you have that needed quiet time.

00;03;40;10 – 00;04;02;25
David Hall
So both are valuable group brainstorming. But don’t discount what you can come up with or what you will come up with on your own. And sometimes we’re too close to our own gifts and we don’t realize what is unique about us. Honor the way that you come up with ideas and find what works best for you. And don’t compare yourself to somebody else.

00;04;03;25 – 00;04;29;11
David Hall
So capture those ideas as you’re having your solo brainstorming sessions. Bring all your ideas together and see what commonalities or synergies you might have among them. And keep in mind, we do have to prioritize our thoughts. I know for me, my mind’s always going. I have ideas and more ideas and more ideas. I can’t possibly execute all the ideas that I have.

00;04;30;01 – 00;04;56;10
David Hall
David Allen’s great book, Getting Things Done. I found the concept of the Someday Maybe list so helpful as I’m having great ideas, I consider what will move my most important goals forward and at the same time capture other ideas on a someday maybe list for another time. Maybe I do have this brilliant idea, but the time isn’t right.

00;04;58;01 – 00;05;26;00
David Hall
And so you create a someday maybe list of those things that you’re going to look at again later, but it’s not the right time to do them. You can review your someday maybe list from time to time as you’re reflecting on your goals. An idea that wasn’t a priority may come to the top of the list. So as important as it is to plan time for thought, we also have to be ready for the ideas that come when we’re not expecting them.

00;05;26;18 – 00;05;44;13
David Hall
Have you ever actually used a napkin to jot down an idea when it came to you? Maybe you didn’t have something to write on. Or maybe you wish that you had something to write with when you were in the shower. I know I’ve had some of my best ideas driving to and from work, or maybe in a meeting.

00;05;44;17 – 00;06;13;27
David Hall
Something triggers a different thought unrelated to the meeting, but is still very important. And you need to capture that. So I’ve learned to capture these ideas, to clear my mind and focus on the task at hand. Another quote from David Allen from getting things done is Your mind is for having ideas, not for holding them. So if you can capture your free-flowing ideas, your mind can be clear to focus on your current project, or in some cases, to have more ideas.

00;06;14;12 – 00;06;44;23
David Hall
Again, I have an app ready. Be sure to be there. You know, your phone or your laptop or even a notebook nearby, maybe even near the shower. When I’m driving and I have a brilliant idea, I might call myself hands-free and leave myself a message for later. There’s so many great ways to capture ideas. Whatever your method, it’s especially important for introverts to record those never-ending ideas in some form so you can get them out of your head and concentrate on whatever needs your focus at the time.

00;06;45;21 – 00;07;07;24
David Hall
You know, one of my most popular blogs of all time is titled Active Thinking versus Passive Thinking. It’s just a short article that I wrote a few years back, so I’ll read that. As introverts, perhaps we have our thinking caps turned on too high a little more than the rest of the world. Sometimes, especially when we have a problem or project we need to think through.

00;07;08;14 – 00;07;32;29
David Hall
We need to turn off our thinking, stop coercing our brains to come up with an answer for a moment. So instead of actively thinking we need to go into passive mode to give our brains a break, because I was trying to think of a concept for today’s post, I realized that instead of forcing my thoughts, I needed to stop and take a break from active thinking in order to have a fresh perspective and generate some new ideas.

00;07;33;06 – 00;07;52;29
David Hall
Passive thinking is accomplished in different ways for different people, but it entails changing your focus from the problem. Passive thinking may take place during a workout in nature, like a mystery novel or your favorite TV show. One of my favorite ways to clear my mind is just close my eyes and let my mind focus on something else for just a bit.

00;07;53;20 – 00;08;15;10
David Hall
Sometimes when I’m passively thinking it may look like I’m doing nothing or may look like I’m asleep. If I’m leaning back in my chair and have my feet up for a moment, but I’m thinking and I’m working this short brain break enables me to clear my mind and get back to the task at hand. But sometimes I may need to explain what I’m doing as people may not understand.

00;08;16;12 – 00;08;39;23
David Hall
If your brain’s not coming up with the solution, you know it’s there, but you just can’t get to it. Give yourself a brain break and do a little passive thinking. You’ll come back fresh and ready to solve the problem. So sometimes it’s a matter of trying to not force an idea. And then the best ideas may come. Often I do a combination of planned and unplanned thinking.

00;08;40;00 – 00;09;07;12
David Hall
An example would be preparing for presentation. I do prepare the content, consider the audience, make an outline, create the visuals, and then I get on to other things and I put the presentation into the back of my mind. But then, as it’s in the back of my mind and I’m doing other things, I do get new ideas. Oh, I want to be sure to tell that story, or I want to make sure to tell this point or bring up this example.

00;09;08;06 – 00;09;30;04
David Hall
I capture these ideas about the presentation as they come, as my mind continues to work on it and try and tweak the presentation and perfect the message. I’m going to capture those ideas and just be sure to have something my phone or computer or notebook handy and often I record my voice, the text. That’s really effective for me.

00;09;30;24 – 00;10;02;04
David Hall
So no matter if it’s planned, coming up with ideas or unplanned regularly review those tasks and ideas that you’ve captured and incorporate that into a weekly schedule so you can see what ideas am I going to put into action this week? What ideas? Just a good idea, but I need to save that for later. So review your ideas and thoughts regularly so you can incorporate what works now and save ideas for future implementation if it’s not part of a current project.

00;10;02;28 – 00;10;24;11
David Hall
Remember, you have a gift for thinking as an introvert. Give yourself the time and space and be ready for those unexpected ideas. That may be the brilliant thing you can do to make your life better. Make your business better, or change the world in some amazing way. Thank you so much for joining me. I hope you take the time to explore other episodes and learn from amazing guests.

00;10;24;22 – 00;10;44;12
David Hall
I’d really like to connect with you. Reach out at David at Quite and Strong dot Comm, or check out the quiet and strong dot comm website, which includes blog posts and links to social media. Send me topics or guest you like to see on the show. There’s so many great things about being an introvert and we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.

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