April 24, 2011

I think I can, I think I can, I think….I’ll take a nap.

Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain. ~Author Unknown

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Decisions, Decisions and more decisions. Ideas, Ideas and more Ideas…sometimes there is so much to do nothing ever gets done at all. Have you ever had one of those days? weeks? months? lives…. That moment when the to do list seems too much to handle let alone accomplishing anything on that list? Ever caught in the analysis paralysis mind trap?

I am queen of this particular subterfuge, so much to do so I’m going to watch my hulu list instead…or spend 3 hours wondering aimlessly through the halls of facebook.

I used to beat myself up endlessly for this behaviour…heck beating myself up used to be another way to avoid doing what I thought I needed to do…here is what I have learned about this that helps me get it done…eventually.

1. most things that need to be done, don’t need to be done at all…you may want to do them (dusting, dishes, writing a novel) but really do they HAVE to get done? When you stop “shoulding” all over yourself and you realize it really is just a choice the pressure is off and it’s easier to prioritize.

2. it’ll keep. closely related to number one, most things are not nearly as desperate as you think…when you stop seeing time as finite and you believe that you have time…time expands and more gets done than not.

3. check it off. if what you just finished is reading 3 cracked.com articles mark it off your to do list. Success breeds success. when you feel like you are accomplishing things you tend to accomplish more. (this is why I choose to do little tasks firsts…the more you can check of that list the more you can get done)

4. recognize that force isn’t always the best answer. Sure you could FORCE yourself to sit down and write at this moment—but maybe, just maybe your subconscious is working on your novel while you watch 2 back seasons of Dr. Who. Maybe today isn’t the time, maybe now isn’t the right time. Sure discipline is important, but so is recreation and so is recognizing the natural flow of things. (I have found that if I wait until the “mood” strikes me I get three times as much done in half the time as the forced sits)

5. don’t be afraid to change your mind. (this is related to number 4) sometimes by waiting you may realize that what seemed like the perfect idea was really just a fleeting idea or thought — aren’t you glad now that you didn’t invest a bunch of time into it?

6. have a little faith and trust and for goodness sake breathe, sometimes we get so convinced that we are out of time that we skip the very things that will help us accomplish our goals…take the time for family and fun, for yoga and meditation, to play with the dogs and pet the cats, to eat something delicious with total awareness…taking time has a weird way of making time.

7. Forgive yourself. I’ll say it again…forgive yourself. Now go do something useful…what’s done is done. You won’t get that day back lamenting it’s perceived loss.

8. I know it’s been said before but do the list, prioritize, rewrite it three times if you need to…get it out on paper and breathe.

9. do NOT, I repeat do NOT compare yourself to others —in any way shape or form…live your life and let them live theirs.

10. remember sometimes the best scenery is found during a detour…go with it…maybe you need to be just where you are.

11. My favorite way to get out of a slump? Change my routine and do something for someone else. Actually this is the number one thing I do when anything is bothering me…when you get out of your own little world perspective shifts and with fresh eyes wonderful things happen.

How do you overcome your slumps? What ’causes you to get stuck? What was the best advice you have received or giving about unsticking?

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Aminda R. Courtwright  |  Contribution: 9,785