How to Brainstorm and Plan for Effective Action - Caucasian - CycleBlaze

March 28, 2024

How to Brainstorm and Plan for Effective Action

In the last few weeks, some excellent progress was made on planning for this trip, as well as other key pre-trip goals and projects

A breakthrough in all this planning and organization came one night on some random bike ride.  What I usually do is try and process complex thoughts in my brain while riding, but the worsening Shanghai traffic and past accidents makes this no longer safe.  There is a constant need to be aware of idiots on the road and completely vigilant.  No downtime, in other words. 

So instead, I parked the bike and walked around a shopping mall.  An idea came to mind to send thoughts as voice messages to myself and I did so.  This may have seemed strange and the app provided the cover to make it look like I was using social media.  But then again, none of this is much different from sending voice messages to friends and listening to their replies.  It's a very clever way of getting your thoughts on media.  

The topic of the "discussion" is why we have so little time and energy to plan for anything meaningful around here.  Week after week, month after month, year after year, we just spin our wheels around in circles.  We look like we're busy but in fact going nowhere significant.  In that sense we're like gyroscopes, always running on survival mode and dealing with whatever the immediate problem that keeps springing up.  While this explains the rat race problem very well, what's missing is the necessary time and space to dream, discuss, and then creatively plan for future actions.  If we have the audacity to visualize a way out of the Matrix, then it shouldn't be too hard to take action on that and make our dreams come true.

The key is, somehow, to do all this intentional pre-planning correctly.  If so, it leads to laser focused, meaningful, and crisp action.  The effect is that you get ahead orders of magnitude more than everybody else.  This is not about the tortoise beating the hare, it's about running a different race.

If it were this easy, then everyone would be doing it.  They're obviously not.  While trying to brainstorm why, what often comes up is the need for uninterrupted time to concentrate on the inevitable grunt work.  This is the kind of work that yields no instant rewards and feels pointless in the moment.  Worse yet, there are constant interruptions to getting it done.  Making progress feels like gaining a bit of traction on those wheels, only for it to slip away with the next urgent task that takes away our attention.   No wonder it takes forever to get anywhere at this rate.

For all the difficulties though, this kind of work is crucial to making the magic happen.  For example, let's say you set aside hours to make a trip budget.  It's boring and tedious.  After a few minutes, either something comes up or the smartphone is right beside you and you pick it up thus derailing the task.  So it all ends up unfinished.  The hope for those of us in the 21st century is we can master the patience and discipline needed for grunt work and not outsource it to AI.  If so, we can compound the results.

After listening to all this "discussion" in my voice messages, I then realized it might actually be useful for something and came up with a method as follows:

Step 1:  Talk it out, either with conversations, voice messages, or even talking to yourself.  Make videos too if it works.  Get those thoughts into a form of media.

Step 2:  Transcribe that media into text by way of a private journal.  That way you can re-read what you and others said earlier and see the connection between the speech and writing.  This doubly reinforces it.

Step 3:  Use all that text to then visualize and make a mind-map of the project or goal that you want to achieve, and how you'll approach it. It becomes really clear and focused at this point as you see the plan start to emerge.

Step 4:  Take that mind-map and turn it into a detailed plan with tasks and sub-tasks with an app such as ToDoist or others that keep you on track with your checklist and show progress.

Step 5:  Carry out the plan resolutely and cross off your checklist.  As you do this, you'll see your thoughts literally becoming action in front of you. 

Step 6:  Use the results and feedback from the action to start over with new thoughts and repeat the entire process 

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