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How to Find Time to Pursue Your Invention Idea

idea development, how to start an invention

All human beings are inventors at their core. We create our personal lives according to our needs and desires every moment of every day. But there are people who take it a step further and develop their ideas to benefit society as a whole. It may seem that those ideators know everything about idea development, how to start an invention, and find the time to pursue it, because so many new products pop up on the market every week. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Obviously, we live in a fast paced world and multitask to keep up with it. And inventors have to navigate their busy lives as everyone else. The only difference that sets apart the accomplished inventors and the beginners is the way they manage their time. Understanding the power of time and its application comes from experience. Making mistakes and learning from them during the process of idea development allows inventors to craft much more efficient strategies to accomplish their goals.

But before we get to the time management practices, let’s revise the steps the inventors take to develop their product idea.

How to start an invention

idea development, how to start an invention

A common question among the starting inventors sounds something like “I have a product idea now what?” Sometimes entrepreneurs don’t know what to do with their idea and how to get invention started. Here are the outlined stages of the product idea development:

A) Prior art search – research of the market and existing patents for similar products.

B) Concept design – creating a design drawing and 3D CAD model to prove your idea.

C) Prototyping – building a physical model of your product depending on the prototype’s purpose. Learn about this stage and the types of prototypes in our article.

D) Filing a patent application – the best time for this step is when you have a pre-production prototype ready.

E) Fundraising.

F) Manufacturing.

G) Marketing.

All these steps come hand in hand and are equally important. That is why an efficient organization is necessary. It will enable the inventor to navigate the process and follow through with it.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works 8.8 hours on a weekday and 5.4 hours during the weekend. So then how does one find time in the busy schedule for such a process in the first place? This is where time management comes in.

Management
vs
Control

idea development, how to start an invention

First of all, it is vital to understand the difference between control and management. Control is rigid and stressful, whereas management is flexible and allows for fluid creativity. We all had times when we had our plan under control and then something unexpected happened. The “intruder” could be a tiny thing, but it caused much stress simply because it didn’t fit into the plan. For many people it means that they lost control over the situation, which brings more stress and negativity. But what they really lose is their ability for critical thinking, therefore reducing the opportunity for positive resolution.

Management, on the other hand, leaves room for unforeseen and unpredictable. Such circumstances are met as opportunities which lead to creative solutions, not stagnation. For example, during the prototyping stage of product idea development, new and innovative solutions are inspired by the design flaws. The flaw is seen as inspiration that sparks the flow of creativity. That allows for making changes and improving the design that benefits the final product. That mentality of managing situations directly translates to managing time.

Time management

Time management is a key component of creating the time for the things you want to accomplish. There are many approaches and tips for time management developed by the people’s experiences. We are going to review five commonly known time management tools that you can apply not only for the invention idea development, but in every area of your life. As Mother Teresa said: “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

Time management tools

1. Time block system.

This tool suggests finding your most effective hours during the day. After identifying those hours, you add all the activities that require the most of your energy in one block. Every day you can do one of the tasks during your high energy hours. It’s a very effective tool, but there is a twist you need to be aware of.

For a long time scientists used to divide people into night owls and early risers. This means that their effective hours will vary. But many authors advised waking up early to increase productivity bringing examples of famous successful people.

However, the study done by a sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus identified four types of people instead of two: lions – the early ones; bears – the middle ones; wolves – the late evening people; and dolphins – the insomniacs. According to him, 50 to 55% of people are bears and only around 15% are lions, i.e. morning people. Which means that for most of those trying to create a new habit of waking up early, the endeavor won’t be successful. It won’t bring more active energy, but instead may cause health issues.

Our suggestion is to learn your effective hours by keeping your personal energy log. Write down what time of the day you’re more active, creative, or when you feel like relaxing and reading a book about how to start an invention, for instance. Week 1of the logging will provide necessary information that you can use as the initial foundation for your schedule.

2. To-do list.

William Lipovsky, founder of the First Quarter Finance says that “All goals and projects are made up of smaller parts that need to be accomplished in order to achieve the goal, or complete the project. Create to-do lists for each goal and project, listing all the measurable steps that need to be accomplished.” As well as it gives structure to your goals, this tool is perfect for organizing your day in general. Your everyday life has its smaller parts too, so include them in the list. This way you’ll have a bigger picture of the day. It will help you to distribute your energy according to your effective hours. Once you write down your tasks, you can focus on active doing.

Let’s say you’re at the beginning stage of your idea development. You identified your best hours to be somewhere in the afternoon, then use that time for the art search. You’ll be able to focus and accomplish your task more effectively and much faster than at any other time of the day.

3. Time audit.

Time is your most valuable asset. Therefore you need to know what you spend it on. In order to find out where you lose time you need to keep track of what you do day-to-day and how much time these actions take. Do it for about 2-3 weeks. Use online apps like Calendar, record or write it down. For instance, you can find that you spend around 1 hour a day just answering emails. With that data you can adjust your schedule, learn faster ways of addressing this task, and redirect the rest of your time for the most important task or MIT. With this tool you’ll find that you actually have much more time for pursuing your ideas and dreams than you previously thought.

4. MIT.

This tool helps you to identify the most important task for the day: a) determine what tasks you need to accomplish to realize your goal/s. b) break these tasks down – what actions are the most important for accomplishing your goal/s.

Zooming into the task will help you focus on the immediate things that need to be done. And combining this tool with your most effective hours will reduce the time spent for it.

5. Manage your environment.

A lot of times we get distracted by the external world and don’t even notice it. The UK research showed that people spend about 2 hours during their working day only for checking their social media and reading news. Instead of wasting time for random distractions, use it for personal development. Look for resources that help with invention idea development and teach you how to get invention started, or any other educational materials. So, turn off your phone when you’re in the process of implementing your tasks. Set special time for social media, phone calls, text, etc.

Also, create your working space where you won’t be disturbed and where you feel comfortable. With practice and repetition your brain will automatically go into the productive mode as soon as you enter that space. But if you’re the person who needs noise around for more concentration, then make a habit working at such places that provide necessary conditions for you.

In conclusion, remember that you’re managing but not controlling your time. Therefore, you’re open for any opportunities and you can easily navigate through your schedule for your own benefit. If you don’t finish something today, move it to the next one without stressing about it. But nevertheless, do something towards your goal every day. It doesn’t matter if it is 20 minutes or 2 hours.

As long as you do it, you’re moving forward. Applying time management over an extended period will refine your productivity and bring balance into your working and personal life. You will always find time for your loved ones, passions and tasks at hand.

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