What to do, according to experts, when you have too many ideas and not enough time?


Having too many ideas can be both good and bad. It is great to have lots of creative thoughts, but it can also feel overwhelming because there is only so much time in a day. Here is a simple guide to help you handle all your ideas, so you can make the most of your creativity without feeling stressed out.

Understand the Problem: Too Many Ideas, Not Enough Time

The problem of having too many ideas is common among creative professionals, entrepreneurs, and thinkers. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, known for his work on “flow,” suggests that creativity thrives in an environment where ideas can be channeled productively. However, when these ideas are not managed well, they can lead to stress and burnout.

Prioritize Your Ideas

The Eisenhower Matrix

One effective way to prioritize is using the Eisenhower Matrix, which categorizes tasks into four quadrants:

  1. Urgent and Important: Tasks you should do immediately.
  2. Important but Not Urgent: Tasks to schedule for later.
  3. Urgent but Not Important: Tasks to delegate if possible.
  4. Not Urgent and Not Important: Tasks to eliminate.

By sorting your ideas into these categories, you can focus on what truly matters.

The Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, states that 80% of results come from 20% of efforts. Identify the 20% of your ideas that will yield the highest impact and prioritize them.

Implement Time Management Techniques

  1. Time Blocking

Time blocking is a technique where you allocate specific blocks of time to different tasks or ideas. By dedicating set times to focus on particular projects, you can ensure consistent progress.

  1. Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique involves working in 25-minute intervals followed by a short break. This method helps maintain focus and productivity while preventing burnout.

Use Tools for Idea Management

Digital Tools

  • Trello: A visual project management tool that helps in organizing tasks and ideas.
  • Evernote: Great for capturing and organizing notes, allowing you to store ideas systematically.
  • Notion: An all-in-one workspace for note-taking, project management, and collaboration.

Physical Tools

  • Bullet Journals: A flexible way to organize tasks, track progress, and capture ideas.
  • Whiteboards: Useful for visualizing and brainstorming ideas in a physical space.

Get Feedback and Collaborate

  • Peer Feedback

Getting feedback from peers can help you refine your ideas and prioritize the ones with the most potential. As creativity researcher Keith Sawyer notes in his book “Group Genius,” collaboration can significantly enhance creative output.

  • Mentorship

A mentor can provide valuable insights and help you focus on ideas that align with your long-term goals. According to management expert Peter Drucker, mentors help in “seeing the forest for the trees.”

Adopt a Minimalist Approach

  • Simplify Your Goals

Focus on a few key goals rather than spreading yourself thin. Essentialism, as advocated by Greg McKeown in his book “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” encourages eliminating non-essential tasks and focusing on what truly matters.

  • Declutter Your Workspace

A cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind. Keep your workspace organized to enhance focus and productivity.

Embrace Flexibility and Adaptability

  • Stay Open to Change

It is important to stay flexible and adaptable. Sometimes, the best ideas emerge from unexpected changes. As Charles Darwin suggested, adaptability is key to survival and success.

  • Regularly Reevaluate Your Priorities

Periodically reassess your ideas and priorities. What may seem important today might not be as important tomorrow. Keeping a dynamic list allows you to adapt to new information and opportunities.


Having too many ideas and not enough time can be overwhelming, but you can manage it with some simple strategies. Use tools like the Eisenhower Matrix and the Pareto Principle to prioritize, and techniques like time blocking and the Pomodoro Technique to stay focused. Stay flexible and adapt as needed. By following these steps, you can turn your many ideas into real achievements without feeling stressed.

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