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?

On the Impact of Organization and the Tools I Use to Stay Sane

One of the most impactful things in my life has turned out to be something I never thought could contribute to someone’s happiness in any meaningful way. The ability to keep myself organized please vital role in my day-to-day life. It allows me focus on the things I love without worrying if there are enough hours in the day or stressing out about remembering to get milk on the way home.

Being organized has allowed me to cut my weekly grocery shopping time down from three hours of crisscrossing the market to one hour of streamlined get-in-get-out effort. It has made sharing information about my work schedule with my team much easier than it used to be. Having these tangible results to look at gives me confidence that, in setting a resolution for the new year, I will be able to succeed in that. In this post I’m going to give you some of the apps and tricks I use to stay organized. Continue reading