Often times those “aha” moments don’t exactly occur when you’re hoping they will: those times you’re sitting at your workstation, panning things out, thinking hard, staying focused, and you are Mr. or Ms. Productivity. Sure, a lot gets done then, but often times our best ideas occur at more inoportune moments, like when you only have a pen but no paper!
And so, I realized that maybe I should stop forcing myself to brainstorm, make list after list, and think so hard while sitting at my desk. Because once I reach that “daydreaming about James Franco, cumpulsive Stumbling, blog-reading, internet surfing, hmmm I’m hungry what’s in the fridge/pantry/fridge/pantry (do you go back and forth too?), let me email my cousin, and Oh so and so is on Gchat, maybe I’ll update my Facebook status and see how many ‘Likes’ I get” mindset … well … it’s obvious – I don’t get a damn thing done.
And this happens to all of us. We’re ready to do work and bang something amazing out but distractions ensue. Or maybe we’ve been at work for several hours and the focus just isn’t there anymore. Our creativity is lacking. And Stumbling is tempting.
This is where Harnessing where you get your best ideas comes in.
And when you get to this point, don’t fight it! There’s no use in working your butt off for sub-par results. It’s a waste of your time, not to mention you aren’t giving your ideas, projects, and priorities the creativity and talent they deserve and need to rock the world like they soon will.
Change up the pattern so you can get a little perspective, excite your thought patterns, and relieve some of the tension from trying to force yourself to focus.
Here are 3 Fun, Multipurpose, and Effective Suggestions to do this:
1.) Gym It : I don’t know if its that I feel pumped while running or I just like watching guys lift weights, but this is always my favorite way to take a break.
Not only is exercise good for your health (REALLY???) but it is a great way to change your state and refresh your mind. Many great things can come from taking a break to work out your fine behind:
a.) Oftentimes great ideas come WHILE working out. You’re too busy thinking about not falling off the tredmill, pulling off that new Yoga Move you learned – Crouching Cobra Solstice Virgo Capricorn Crap I’m Falling Over, or checking out your beautiful bicepts in the mirror to get distracted. With all that intense focus on the task at hand it leaves room for only the most important things to slip through the cracks. Go in to your work out with a frame of mind that you’ll think lightly about your specific goals and projects while you work on that V-muscle (oooh yea), and let things come to you.
b.) This is a productive way of taking a break. Sure, you could take a break by catching up on reruns of Jersey Shore (As a Jersey Girl I have to say this show truly emberasses me – but why do I keep watching???), but working out is much more worthwhile and effective. It let’s you take your mind off of whatever it was that had you stuck, and focus it on something just as important – your health – and behind.
c.) Suggestion: Create long-term and short-term, tangible goals through fitness and exercise. For instance, Joel Runyon at Blog of Impossible Things runs triathlons to gage his fitness level, measure his strenghts and weaknesses, and set dates to actually test those goals and keep him focused. Often times signing up for even a 5K, a community rec sports team, or even just a hiking group can give you the motivation to get those guns ready for the show. And if you’re out of shape, don’t worry about it! You can do it! (Check out Meetup.com for local member-organized groups.)
2.) Showers : Is it just me or do your best ideas come while you have soap in your hair and there’s no pen in site?
Okay I know this is kind of silly but it works for me so I thought I’d throw it out there. Something about lathering my long lockes and shaving my legs gets me all riled up to let ideas flow in. But actually, the reason this works so well is because I’m feeling relaxed, I’m not thinking too hard or forcefully but just lightly pondering possibilities, and above all the aroma therapy of my “Crimson Clover Natural Ocean Breeze Cotton Towel Body Wash” is deeply inspiring. And aside from it being difficult to grab a pen or paper to jot any ideas down (I just use the condensation of the shower door ;-), the H20 station is an easy place to let ideas come in.
Not to mention, if you’re thinking about a particular goal or project in the shower than you know that this is something you’ve got passion for. These are the things that consume our minds! That define us! That get us excited and mad to live! A shower guides and helps us a lot more than just making sure BO doesn’t scare cute boys/girls away.
3.) Joyriding : Good Music + No Destination + Windows Down + Wind Blowin in the Hair = Best Time Brainstorming
Ah Joyriding. Does anyone not like joyriding? Since moving to Beijing one of the things I miss most are joyrides on NJ backgrounds listening to my favorite songs, drinking an Orange Soda, and eating blueberries. Okay, that’s my own random ritual, but in all honesty I could go for that right now. Too bad crowded subways + a broken iPod doesn’t create the same results.
Going for a joyride is a great way to inspire ideas. Maybe its the music, or the constant change of scenery passing by, or the fact that you’re not rushing to get to any one place and you could care less you’re behind that eighty year old lady who can’t even see above the stearing wheel. Joyrides are a great way to take a load off, give yourself some time to yourself, and simply let things come to you. I often keep a pen and pad in my car for when those “aha” moments occur on my joyrides. Just remember to pull over and write it! Brainstorming on Paper while driving is just as bad as Texting while driving! (Guilty as charged : / )
Today’s Call to Action:
Today’s call to action is
1.) Download Bruce Springsteen’s Thunder Road for your Joy Ride, and
2.) Next time you’ve got a mental block or need a little inspiration, try one of these 3 easy-to-do activities out or use one of your own methods. What have you got to loose besides a beautiful booty, avoiding lice, and giving other drivers a good laugh seeing you singing in the car?
What are some of the things you do, places you go, and activities you do where your “aha” moments and brilliant ideas seem to pop up most naturally?
When do your best ideas come to you naturally without you feeling like you’re forcing yourself to think about them?