Are You Being Haunted by Dead Ideas?

By David Carnes | March 2014

I recently ran across this Neil Gaiman quote...

"I don't know if what you're saying is true. It may have been true once, a long time ago. But it died. And you don't know. And you're walking around being haunted by dead ideas… Look around and see where you are today."

I wrote it out and pinned it on my wall.

I love that line, "being haunted by dead ideas."

In our hyper-fast, exponentially changing industry, we need to evolve - we can't be haunted by dead ideas, old tools or dated tactics. We have to continuously learn. We must make space to recognize our dead ideas and properly bury them so we won't be haunted.

This is what works for me...

Clearing My Head (Gain Perspective To Help Release Dead Ideas)

1. Walking - I like taking frequent long walks outside, preferably in places with a lot of natural beauty. For me that means Lake of the Isles in South Minneapolis.

2. Meditation - I try to meditate daily. If meditation is not your thing, just try sitting quietly every morning for a week and see what comes up. Try 10 minutes daily to start - I guarantee that you will miss it when you stop.

3. Vacation - regular white space to decompress is a necessity.

Catching New Ideas (Dead Ideas Need To Be Buried By New Ideas)

4. Collaborate - I love working with people who are just getting started in web development, design and marketing. It is tremendously refreshing to see things through their eyes and often they will introduce you to new tools / ideas.

5. Connect with Peers - Join a peer group and engage. Find out what's happening and try the things that the group is buzzing about.

6. Read - Monitor and read what's going on in your industry. Use a good RSS reader like Feedly to keep an eye on trends. I like to schedule a little time every day to read about what's going on.

7. Learn in Person - Go to a conference or seminar - sometimes nothing beats a good old-fashioned, professional conference.

Now rinse and repeat / mix and match.

Our old approaches/tactics/tools die and haunt us without our realizing.

What exorcises the ghosts of your dead ideas?

Let me know how you stay fresh and continue to evolve as a professional in the comments below.

I'll choose a winner from the submissions and you'll receive a shout out and fabulous prize. I'll notify the winner by April 15th. Good luck!

Topics: Inside ArcStone, Business