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You Only Need These 3 Things to Come Up With Your Best Ideas | Entrepreneur

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It’s easier than ever to feel lost — lost within the workplace, lost in your personal life, even lost in your overall purpose and mission as a human being. I personally blame numerous this on social media. It’s the proper concoction for depression, anxiety and the sensation of not knowing what path is true for you.

A few hours on the Zuckerberg Express (a.k.a. Facebook) and you may be fed other people’s successes a lot you may begin to doubt your personal. A video of a fix-and-flip specialist will quickly make you think that you should stop what you are working on, buy houses and renovate them yourself. You’ve never held a hammer and you do not know what HVAC stands for, but when this 30-second video on Instagram taught you anything, it’s that the time is now…

Excuse my sarcasm, but at the same time as I’m writing, I’m reminded of the ridiculous paths I’ve gone down because of social media. That’s a story for an additional time though. Through exploring and failing on a lot of these voyages, I’ve learned a tried and true method to maintain me goal-oriented and combat as much of the social media facade as I can: whiteboarding.

Yes, you read that right. Structured and inventive time away from all other work and life needs, with only a whiteboard, a marker and your thoughts. In my nine years as a business owner, I’ve found whiteboarding to be the one strongest tool for fine-tuning my ideas, innovating and niching down. Below are the three biggest rules I exploit for effective whiteboarding.

Related: The Whiteboard Method: 5 Easy Steps to Discover Your Niche and Turn Your Passion Into a Career

1. No erasing

Before you begin, remove the eraser from the room. It’s really easy to get hyper-critical of what you are writing when you may erase it. By operating under the “no idea is a nasty idea” philosophy, I’ve been capable of discover recent revenue streams for my business, fine-tune my goals and more. Not erasing anything is an ideal method to leave thoughts up on the board for further development. Sometimes an idea I quickly jotted down — that I’d’ve erased in real time — just needed some further tweaking. That idea later became an enormous component of my business moving forward.

2. Time your whiteboarding sessions

I wish to do 20-minute sprints, but find an period of time that feels comfortable for you. Remember, this exercise is for you. If 20 minutes is simply too long, do 10. If 20 minutes is simply too short, do 30. This is your time.

Turn a timer on and switch the whole lot else off for whatever period of time you choose. I wish to get up in front of the board (sometimes even pace) and write as much as my brain and hand will let me. After the allotted 20 minutes, I sit down and spend time reading and digging into each thought. Oftentimes, that is where I’m capable of expand an easy thought into something way more developed and fleshed out. If I feel like I hit an “aha” moment, I take a photograph of the board, then erase and flesh that concept out further. If I didn’t, I spend some more time reading and digesting, then I take a photograph and get back to my work. Not each time can be one in every of those euphoric highs all of us love about entrepreneurship and finding recent ideas, but the easy act of doing this incessantly creates clarity.

Related: How Journaling Can Make You a Better Entrepreneur and Leader

3. Frequency

I personally do these whiteboard sessions once per week. I’ve found that to be frequent enough to work through things, but not so frequent to the purpose of wasting time or energy on the identical thoughts time and again. If I’m feeling extra lost that week, relatively than adding an additional session, I prefer to jot it right down to work on at my next whiteboarding session. Routines are the whole lot.

Quite a lot of people talk concerning the power of whiteboarding in groups for creative brainstorming. I find that to even be an efficient method to pull ideas out of a gaggle, however the sessions must be structured enough to not be a time suck for everybody and the groups must be small pods before opening them up to greater teams.

When my business partner Ian Rodriguez and I launched Innovo, we would spend hours behind a whiteboard taking turns workshopping every little detail and idea. Those days were extremely effective for clarifying who we were and what we wanted to perform.

Once your online business is moving you obviously cannot spend hours weekly doing those sessions though. In my opinion, one of the best go-forward strategy I’ve found here is to whiteboard solo, develop some thoughts and opinions, then bring your partner(s) and team in to take it to the following level. This allows for private clarity in addition to tapping into others’ skill sets and concepts.

Ideas are good, but clarity is great. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself through whiteboarding — it’s turn into my secret weapon in entrepreneurship.

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