Last week was an annual business conference that I have attended for two years in a row now. The first time I attended, I felt like I had been run over by a truck of good ideas. It seemed like every time I turned around, there was someone who was once in my situation and had found a way to grow their business. Last year’s conference left me with pages and pages of notes and a laundry list of things I wanted to do for my business. I’ve still got that list and am only part of the way through it…

This year’s conference felt equally overwhelming. But since I had already attended it once before, I felt more comfortable. I had a good idea of who I wanted to talk to. There were vendors that I wanted to make sure I spoke to. And there were even a few people I knew from last year. So it was a much more social conference this time around, but I still ended up with 34 pages of notes to process and review.

Now What Should I Do?

I remember years ago when I worked for someone else, I was jealous that my friends got to go to a business conference. While they were out learning and networking, I was tied to a desk. There was no travel for the job. Most days, I was stuck watching an attorney who rented space from my employer steal our office supplies. Fun times.

But now, with all these notes and ideas bouncing around in my head after a business conference, what should I do next? As I learned last year, the first thing to do is to get all of those ideas out of your head. Whether you are using a David Allen GTD system (his new workbook works great for that) or some other organizational setup, leaving all those great ideas in your head will probably drive you crazy.

What I learned to do last year, and what I’ve set aside time for this year, is to grab a piece of paper and my notes and just write it all out. Ideas, tactics, strategies, books to read (like this one from last year’s conference), you name it. Get it all on paper and out of your head. And then you can see what you need to do. The paper becomes a gargantuan t0-do list.

If you start tackling items one by one, you may find that you’ve made a lot of progress by the end of the year…

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