Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
This week, in light of a recent blockage, I am looking at stoppages and blockages that can keep you from getting things done. Since I am dealing with this as I write this, I figure I would share my secret for easing myself back onto track.
I often find that if I simplify what I am trying to do, or simplify how I am trying to do it, I can make a little progress. And with a little progress, I can make a little more, until I am moving ahead again.
Right now, I am having a blockage on writing. My mind is blank, even though I have lists of ideas, and the empty screen mocks me. Even changing the environment around my desk didn’t help, nor moving my computer to another space.
So I simplified.
I am writing this post in long hand, on paper, with a pen. Sitting in front of the computer was shutting off the words entirely, so I picked up a notebook and moved to my reading area. I also gave myself permission to write a really awful article I’ll have to do major cleanup on the article, I’m sure, but at least I’ll have words to work with!
As a side note, yes, I had to leave large chunks of the article behind. But at least I had words to take out!
I also am using a fun notebook and pen with ink that changes colors as I write. Why? Because the black and white on the screen was part of the problem. Now I am staring at the colors changing, and wanting to write words to see them change more.
Can this help in other blockages? Absolutely. As a music major, I had a piece I had to play, exquisitely beautiful, and I couldn’t manage to get past the notes on the page. I had worked and attacked it every way I knew how, and couldn’t make it sound more than mechanical. So I took my flute back to the dorm’s practice room, and started playing scales. My brain finally released my fingers after about 45 minutes of scales, and I was able to play the piece (finally) with some expression. It took more work, but the blockage had cracked.
I’ve used this method time and again whenever I get stuck. Whether it’s an artistic problem, creative problem, work problem, or even not wanting to do the housework, this method has never failed me.
I’m not totally past the blockage, but the cracks have appeared, and I know I will find myself back on track in a few days.