Overcoming BLOCK: How I Moved Past the Mental Musak

When I have a BLOCK, it’s like the mental equivalent of hold music. I know there’s something there that needs to get done, but there’s no voice talking me through it, there’s just infuriatingly cheerful musak playing, regularly broken by static. Today that mental musak was broken by an epiphany.

Today started well, very well in fact. Yes, I stayed up too late and woke up a little more tired than I’d like, but overall it had an amazing beginning. Despite that, once I had shared a leisurely carb-filled breakfast with the family, this wave of lazy hit me.

Now, by now you all know I am the list lady. I have a list for everything: groceries, priorities for my spare money, tasks for the day, professional and personal development priorities, even movies that I’d like to share with my partner. When I write a list, I also decide which things are most important. There is some flexibility in the order I do things if they are of equal import, but once I have decided a particular task is the most important, I don’t do anything else until it’s finished.

Today, as it has in the past, that became a problem.

I sat down to write a few blog posts, as I mentioned, and I had major writer’s block. I keep a list of things that inspire me, things I want to write about. I seriously stared at that list for at least 10 minutes. I tried to start writing to see if I could get in the swing of things. I tried taking a break. I tried making more coffee. For nearly 3 hours, I tried to force myself to write so I could move on to the rest of my list. Of course, the more I pushed myself, the more frustrated I became and inspiration moved farther and farther from my grasp.

Until… SMACK. I had this thought: “I can move on. I can finish the rest of my list instead of wasting my whole day waiting for inspiration to hit.”

This may seem simple to some of you, even obvious, but for me it was an epiphany. I accepted that I couldn’t get this thing done, and just get something done.

This isn’t how all of my blocks work, and I have other insight for other types of block, but when I really hit an immovable wall, accepting that I should do other things was an epiphany I needed to share with you all. I know the frustration that comes with that BLOCK, and if giving yourself the permission to move on for now can alleviate some of those icky feelings, please give yourself that permission!

Priorities should only ever help you be more successful, never make you less successful. Don’t let your priorities stop you in your tracks.

Do you experience BLOCKS like this? If so, how have you moved past them?

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Big Time Saved, Better Time Spent

The internet is full of time management tips and tricks, life hacks, and apps that are meant to make our lives easier, our tasks more convenient, and give us more time for the things we actually want to be doing.

Unfortunately, as tasks get easier, the expectations we have for ourselves and others increase. Yes, emailing and texting are easier and shorter than writing and mailing long-form letters, and our smart phones are right at the tip of our fingers all the time. That doesn’t mean it’s reasonable to reply to 100 emails and 700 texts every day!

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It’s easy to think that we can just shoot off a quick message, it won’t interrupt our flow. The reality for many is that we spend all day interrupting our focused work or time that’s meant to be dedicated to things like recreation or family just shooting off quick messages. The result is a constant state of distraction, and if you’re distracting yourself from focused work, a constant state of trying to get back in the flow of things.

If you want to have a full conversation with someone, call or meet them in person. Not only will it be a shorter conversation, it will be clearer, help build your relationship, will be a more rewarding experience. Save texts for brief check-ins or confirmations, or for communicating that you’d like to talk to the person when they are available.

If an in-person meeting or phone call is an option, don’t email them without a good reason to do so. Sure, if they have specifically asked you to, take the time to email them. On the other hand, if you’re emailing because you’re responding late at night, it may be better to write yourself some notes about what you wanted to say and give them a call the next day.

While some are very skilled at brief communication, such as the eminently tweetable Michael Hyatt, most of us struggle to communicate tone successfully through text or email. While it may feel like more time at first because you have to schedule it, doing the bulk of your communicating verbally will improve communication, build relationships, and save you time overall. 

Spend the next week limiting your texts and emails, increase the in-person or verbal communicating that you are doing, and let me know how it goes in the comments below.

It may take some time for the people in your life to understand this is how you prefer to communicate, but stick with it. As you eliminate more and more of the small demands on your time, you’ll see the time they once represented open up.

A Week Off

Hey guys!

I just wanted to take a second to let you know that I’ll be taking this week off from posting so that I can work on getting content written. I’ve been swamped and not dedicating the time and intentional effort to these posts that I’d like to be and I’d like to change that.

I hope you’re all having a great week and tune in next Monday for more Impetus to Grow!

P.S. If you have any ideas for topics you’d like me to cover, submit them in the comments below or by using the Contact Karli page.