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Making Ideas Happen

Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality

By Scott Belsky
  • Read in 15 minutes
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  • Contains 9 key ideas
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Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky

Making Ideas Happen deals with the obstacles that lie between your ideas and their implementation. It offers insight into the ways in which successful individuals and creative departments overcome these obstacles, by offering real-life examples from some of the world’s leading brands and creative minds.

Key idea 1 of 9

Every task can be broken down into action steps, references and backburner items.

Your company is gearing up to a sales pitch that will make or break it, and your boss asks you to prepare the presentation. Yet when you sit down in front of your computer . . . nothing. Your mind is blank, and you have no idea where to even begin.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? It’s a horrible feeling! Luckily, there is a simple path that anyone can follow to make sure this never happens again.

All your projects, no matter what they are, can be broken down into three main categories.

First come the action steps, the specific tasks that must be done in order to realize the project. For your vital sales presentation, the action steps might be: “Create an outline for the presentation,” or “Ask my boss which product benefits I should focus on.”

Next come references. These are pieces of related information that could prove useful for your project. For that important pitch, the references could be things like sales forecasts for your product, analysis of your market competitors or even the feedback you’ve received from previous pitches.

Finally, you have backburner items, project-related ideas or action steps that aren’t immediately relevant but may become so in the future. Reworking and beautifying the slides of your presentation, for example, is a backburner item.

Elegant slides and cool graphics are, of course, nice to have, but aren’t actually necessary. It could become an action step, but only if you have time.

It’s important to separate the aspects of your project into these categories, as failure to do so will leave you stressed and distracted. If you don’t distill the vital from the trivial, then your mind will simply be too crammed full of thoughts to concentrate effectively.

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