/ Shayon Mukherjee / blog

The value of sitting on an idea

April 13, 2024
~2 mins

Have you ever had a brilliant idea that you wanted to act on immediately? I think its safe to say we’ve all been there, and it’s tempting to jump right in. But what if I told you there’s immense value in simply sitting on an idea?

Let’s explore this concept. Sometimes, the excitement of a new idea can cloud our judgment. It feels like the idea is burning a hole in our pocket, urging us to act. However, taking some time to marinate on it can reveal insights that aren’t apparent at first glance.

I’ve started practicing this approach myself. Whenever I come up with a potential improvement or even think about rewriting some part of a system, I write it down. I sketch out what it might look like, both from a design and a communication standpoint. Then, I let it sit. Sometimes for a week, other times for a month. During this period, I might gather some initial feedback to get a sense of direction but nothing more.

After some time, I revisit the idea. To my surprise, majority of the time, the ideas don’t make sense anymore, or they’ve evolved into something more substantial. Looking back, if I had rushed into action, I’m not sure how successful those attempts would have been.

This practice is about more than just avoiding mistakes. It’s about ensuring that our actions are as effective as possible and truly necessary. It’s applicable whether you’re developing a product, handling incident responses, or planning long-term projects.

So, why does sitting on an idea work so well? I think it gives us the chance to overcome our initial biases and see the idea from new angles. With time, we can assess its relevance, urgency, and applicability. Sometimes, doing nothing for a while is the best course of action.

Next time you’re itching to jump on a new idea, consider letting it sit for a while. You might find that the idea improves, or you might discover a different path that makes even more sense.

Have you ever sat on an idea and found that it evolved for the better? How did the wait impact your decision-making process?

last modified April 13, 2024