When More is Too Much: how to deal with idea overwhelm

This contributor post was written by Tiffany Moore.

As Creatives, we are usually not short on ideas. We all have LOADS of ideas — the tricky part is figuring out when to say no, and not letting idea overload keep us from getting started on anything.

(I know that I’m always pushing the just start thing. It’s what I do.)

So, how do you balance all of your NEW AMAZING BRILLIANT ideas and inspirations with the need to actually get stuff done?

Here are a few tips to keep you from idea overwhelm and help you recognize where you need to spend your time:

1. What can you do right now?

Often we love the thought of something shiny and new, but have no idea how to make it happen. By focusing on things that you can do right now, today, you’ll be able to make movement on something. And any kind of movement is a good thing.

2. Where’s the low-hanging fruit?

Psychologically, it’s an amazing feeling to cross things off your list. What’s something quick and easy you can take care of right now?

3. Know that you may never get it all done and make peace with that.

It’s okay. By accepting that you’re only one person who can’t do it all (wait? what?!), you’ll be able to avoid idea overwhelm and get back into the real world.

4. But don’t give up on your ideas!

If you’re a dreamer who’s always coming up with crazy schemes or plans, write them down! Putting pen to paper and getting the ideas out of your head will make it so much easier to come back to them when you’re lacking inspiration.

Your turn: How do YOU deal with inspiration overload?


*image via MothballCharlie: More

Tiffany Moore, co-founder of Teahouse Studio is a life and business coach. She helps creatives take their business (and LIVES) to the next level with her sparkly and sassy coaching and thinks that everyone in the world is beautiful, including you.

32 comments | Click here to reply

I try to do 1) and 2) but find that 3) tends to get in the way. I think 4) helps coping with 1) 2) and 3) – especially if you make some kind of prioritized list.

4) also is a lot of fun! Writing down my ideas or just juggling them around in my head makes me happy – I imagine that it’s a bit like having lots of money in the bank: you might not use it at the moment, but knowing it’s there gives you a feeling of safety. It also gives you something to look forward to doing/ making!

Dear Demoiselle

Great tips! I teach people to write their ideas down as well. I suggest that they keep a notebook so it’s all in one place. I also encourage people to have a vision for where they’re going and goals to get there and only add in the ideas from the notebook that fit with that vision and those goals. The ones that don’t fit right now stay in the notebook. That helps to cut down on the overwhelm too.

Leanne Chesser

When More is Too Much: how to deal with idea overwhelm | papernstitch http://t.co/2z859M84

(@MeetJNewell) (@MeetJNewell)

When More is Too Much: how to deal with idea overwhelm | papernstitch http://t.co/6F6Pah99 Some great tips here!

(@FrancineClouden) (@FrancineClouden)

i always drawing and sketching my ideas in a notice book , which i caried the whole time alonge with me.
Sometimes i will noticed that it is a theme where i can work with.
it’s helping me like you are telling to get focus and work , but it ‘s helping to get the stream of idea’s in the right direction.
thank you for the post, very interesting;-D
have a happy crafting weekend;XD


@CarmelStetler interestng read! “@robenmarie: When More is Too Much: how to deal with idea overwhelm http://t.co/WXEohkOo via @sharethis”

Cathy Arenzana (@catarenz75)

When More is Too Much: how to deal with idea overwhelm http://t.co/oZOLNLSi via @sharethis

(@robenmarie) (@robenmarie)

My ideas keep me up at night so I keep pen and paper by my bed ALWAYS. I have found that the best thing for me in completing projects and handling one at a time is to have a deadline and purpose in mind. If I’m sewing myself a skirt, I tell myself that I need it for a certain outing that is coming up…if a birthday is coming up then I can go to my idea list and make something for someone. Whether it’s is writing or crafting, I have to have a deadline in mind. it’s hard to have that sweet balance of discipline and fun but oh, the joy of completing something. 🙂


Oh, and like Kristi said, how much $$$ it’s going to take me to do a project and time it will take me, is also a factor in when I can start a project (since I’m a stay at home mom).


I JUST thought about this two days ago: I’m famous for starting a big new project then do a couple pieces, then I’m ready for something new. I recently threw out a box of half done projects. I guess you have to know your strengths. I realized I wasn’t much with woodworking and so those kinds of projects got tossed. I now also don’t even start anything that involves sewing since I don’t like sewing (even though I’m tolerable at it). I found keeping a project list is good for me. I review it weekly. Add to it nearly every two days. So far it’s working, but doesn’t lessen that anxious feeling I have to dump the current project (bracelets; only 8 made of my goal of 30) to move on to earrings!!! What do I do about that? Anyone? 🙂


When More is Too Much: how to deal with idea overwhelm http://t.co/xPhqEMoL @papernstitch

Anna Delores Photo (@annadeloresLA)

DEFINITELY a list-maker myself. I also try to back away from it all to get some perspective and see what is most urgent and/or important to me. I tend to get so excited that I pull the trigger on something before it (or I) am ready for it, just to DO it, but this doesn’t always achieve the best results (surprise, surprise!). So I just try to stay organized and remind myself that it’s not a bad thing for me to wait on something just a TINY bit to ensure it’s done right! As long as I write it down somewhere and know I can come back to it, I’ll be fine.

Emily Reiter @ anna delores
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