Ask any would be author who has stared for hours on end at a blank sheet of paper or computer monitor just how real writers block can be — and you’ll fully grasp what I mean when I say “inaction breeds more of the same.”
When you’re feeling stuck… Move!
Fortunately, the opposite is also true — that is, if you’re stuck, and not sure what the next step you should take is, taking a step, in almost any direction will be exactly what you need to spur your creativity to kick in and get you on the very path you need to be on. It sounds ridiculous I know, but I’ve found it to be true just the same.
In fact, I’ve seen many an article I have written take shape because I decided to just keep “writing” even when I wasn’t exactly sure that what I was writing belonged in the particular article. Yes, you read that right, sometimes, when I feel writers block kicking in I will even write something to the effect of “I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but I’ll keep writing” — interestingly in short order I “find” the thought I was looking for, and of course when it’s time to edit the completed article I just remove the nonsensical sentences I wrote.
The example above is from my writing, but of course it’s definitely not limited to such. The idea is just as effective when you’re trying to figure out a next step, or set of actions in virtually any instance.
I often do brainstorming sessions with clients, and because these sessions often involve people asking me questions on the fly, my answers are replied to in real-time as well. Naturally, during a brainstorming session every idea which is discussed isn’t going to be a “winner” nor even necessarily something worth pursuing. However, through having hashed out and built upon the ideas that were thrown out there during the particular brainstorming session, a workable idea inevitably does appear. The reason is simple, action breeds action.
You can test what I’m suggesting for yourself easily. The next time you’re feeling resistance to something — work you know you need to do, a call you need to make, you name it — put off actually just doing the thing. Instead, try to run it through your mind, the more time you begin “thinking about the task” the more likely it is to grow in depth, it will take on a form larger than it actually is in your mind. In other words, procrastination will build.
The second part of the test is to simply resist the part of you which wants to over-analyze all the “right ways”, and “correct steps” which need to be done — and instead take swift action. That’s right, actually get started doing whatever is required to see completion on your given endeavor.
In both instances we are talking about the same task that needs doing — but getting to “done” is as simple as not over-thinking it, not allowing your “procrastination monster” to grow out of control. It sounds simple, because it truly is — but it requires your making the choice to not put off what you know needs doing — because the moment between “starting now” and “getting started soon” is all too often the difference between, finished and stuck!
It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!
* Josh is the author of Why Perfect Timing is a Myth: Tips for Staying Inspired and Motivated Day in and Day out! and It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!