Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Ideas Like Lightning Bugs


It seems like there aren’t as many lightning bugs in the Summer months anymore. Not like there used to be. At least not like I remember. Could be because things aren’t always exactly what you recall from childhood. Could be climate change. I don’t know.

But I used to collect lightning bugs on summer nights in northern Illinois as a kid. Collecting lightening bugs requires a jar. A container. Something to put them in. Otherwise, the game is one of flitting from one flash to another and never getting a collection.

Which also isn’t a bad game. If you’re six.

The distracted culture we live in is still collecting lightening bugs without jars. There’s a project. That sparks an idea. Chase that idea down. Start another project. Another idea. More chasing.

This is why the majority of people never finish things unless there’s a hard deadline with money or job-security at the end. It’s easier to flit on to the next flickering thing.

Here’s how I fix the flitting:

The “Drafts App” is on my phone’s dock. (This app is now available for MacOS which may be a game-changer for me).

I have a notebook and pen by my desk and with me most of the time.

These are my jars. When there is a wandering or wondering thought, don’t Google. Write it down. Come back later. Finish and focus on what’s in front of you. These two tools focus me on the task at hand. They help me finish.

Because I no longer chase down random thoughts.

I write them down.

We can see if they’re important enough to act on later.