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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2 thoughts on “Overcoming BLOCK: How I Moved Past the Mental Musak

  1. I have experienced terrible blocks like this that give me great anxiety as I feel my precious time for accomplishing things slipping away. To overcome I began to do a little bit of everything on the to-do and slowly get other things done while still ruminating on the current project. Writing sales pitches for school were a big one for me, or coming up with the the title for a paper. For some reason I can’t write a paper without a title and sometimes the title just wont come.

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    • It has taken most of my years writing to overcome the need for a title. I find the title comes to me eventually, but my best writing is always the stuff I started with a title for! It gives a very clear focus to what comes next that I haven’t been able to replicate when I can’t think of a title.

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