How to Make Your Ideas Happen, with the Help of GTD

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Although the good execution of an idea is essential for it to become a reality, the truth is that the root of all innovation — and of any creative work — is in an idea that someone had at a given moment and did not let it slip through the cracks.

Most ideas never come true. The seed of every idea is a small thought about something, brilliant and ephemeral, that comes and goes as soon as anything in your environment — an email, a call, the current task — distracts you again. Other times, the idea is followed by a period of time in which you’re really excited about it but, again, the return to routine makes the excitement go away and, with time, the idea ends up falling into oblivion.

You’ll get another great idea and, again, it’ll get buried under your daily tasks, the emails you need to answer to, and the projects you need to move forward. The sad thing is that you’ll never know if any of those ideas would have changed the world we live in a little, or at least your own life.

However, if you practice GTD and you’re true to its principles, your ideas will always end up in a place of trust where, sooner or later, you will have the chance to explore them. How can you make an idea happen?

  1. Capture it. As soon as you have an idea, write it down somewhere where you know for sure that you’re going to look again periodically, and that you’re going to act on what’s in there (an app, a notebook, etc.).

As you can see, creativity is not at odds with organization. On the contrary, it is very difficult for creativity to bear fruit when there is no good organization behind it that allows ideas to be turned into something real.

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