I’m forget my ideas, or not sure what to do when they come to me

Ground Zero


The Context

Being prolific isn’t just about using your right brain. It’s about using your brain right. Because if you don’t process what you write down, you’ll never make anything happen. After all, what good is a good idea if you can’t find it? But the reality is, we live in a time of unprecedented information overload, and it’s hurling towards us faster than our constitutions can handle. Our brains require a ton of psychic energy to collect and process these large inventories of ideas; so frankly, I’m just trying to give my head a rest. David Allen, the grand master of getting things done, says that anything we allow into our psychological world, doesn’t belong there. And if things aren’t managed into trusted external systems, they take up residence in our psyche. This gives us a false sense of control, allowing us to accept some level of internal responsibility for everything that represents an open loop, or, any incomplete situation that we have some investment in. In short, the mind is a terrible office.

The Tool

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Ground Zero

GROUND ZERO -- The entry point into the creative processing workflow, the primary location for offloading raw materials into your idea factory, the central cockpit of creative control.

Think of it as creating a system for extending your mind. It’s where the scientist buddy does his best work. For you, that could mean your studio, cubicle, drawer, workstation, desktop, laptop, mobile device, sketchbook, whiteboard or a even dedicated wall in your office. All are good options. The thing to remember is, it doesn’t matter what your ground zero is, only that it’s the primary filter for everything you inhale. Because once your ideas land, a good chunk of the mental work is already done. You’ve noticed something, you’ve captured it, you’ve sent it to ground zero, and now you can process it downstream and get to the right brained work making the word flesh.

Scott's Take

Scott's Take

As a textbook right brainer, I’ve always struggled with this ability. I’m the kind of person who’d rather be swept up by my imagination than bogged down by the details. I’d rather dream in the blue sky than dig through the nuts and bolts. Carlin always managed to keep me on point, though. He used to say that every artist needs a scientist buddy. A nerdy left brainer who’s hard at work in the underground laboratory, indexing and categorizing and processing, while the goofy artist goes out in the world and puts on a show.

The Rest

There is a dualism in your creative life. Odds are, you probably have to wear both the artist and scientist hats. But tightening up your systems a bit can help you releases new levels of output and expression. Logic and order and sequence and systems can be just as sexy as the ideas themselves. You simply need a cool mantra for processing information. What's ground zero for you?

The Benefits

Process your ideas quickly and easily
Free up working memory for calm reception
Become responsive and organized
Manage creative workflow intelligently

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