Have you ever experienced the hair-pulling-out frustration of being overwhelmed by your thoughts going a hundred different directions over a project? Do you do what I do and constantly revisit the project hoping to catch a glimpse of progress while pleading to the heavens to have your thoughts finally click?
Recently, under a number of deadlines and juggling what seemed like 72 different projects, I smashed into a mental wall that left me wanting to scrap a particular project. The urge to scrap didn't come from fear (if that's you, instead read 4 Ways To Slay Your Inner Resistance And Launch Your Project) but rather it came from my lack of clarity. My countless thoughts made sense in my head but I couldn't mustard a coherent output.
Funny enough, this blog post was a CLICK moment. CLICK happens when perplexing ideas or tasks finally become understandable…they magically click into a clear view. I was working after a frustrating work period the day before and then suddenly in my mind - CLICK - the message and format snapped into place after days of my thoughts bumbling around in my head. Then - CLICK - the idea for this blog post became instantly clear because the previous CLICK was so blatant to me.
Although the CLICK moment can appear to be happenstance, I think it's intentionally created. Here's how...
- Consistently show up. In the words of Woody Allen…"80% of life is just showing up." Give your project and the thoughts surrounding it the due diligence to settle into place. Work thinking time into your daily routine. To CLICK great ideas often need to marinate rather than be microwaved. Stay consistent.
- Level the urge to scrap. When things don't CLICK, we tend to immediately scrap and move on. Seth Godin calls this "the dip" - a temporary setback that can be overcome with persistence. Give it what you've got at that moment, don't beat yourself up during or afterwards (which I am expert at...just ask my wife), and show up tomorrow to push on. Don't make scrapping an option. Leave no back door. Finish and ship.
- Interrupt intentionally. Many times the CLICK occurs away from the work period. Mine often come in the gym. After exhausting your creative right brain, find an activity that stirs the left brain (driving, walking, showering, etc.) and watch your right brain come to the rescue with the missing piece you needed. Consistently show up and then don't be surprised when clarity CLICKs in-between.
- Capture the clarity. A CLICK moment on the treadmill does no good if you forget it later. Put in place the infrastructure to capture helpful ideas and thoughts. Smartphones work great - just make sure you have an easy to access, single application you use regularly and it's categorized well. (If you need help getting organized, read David Allen's Getting Things Done) Captured ideas and thoughts will free-up your mind to experience CLICK quicker.
- Keep reminding. Remind yourself that you've CLICKed before and you'll do it again. Remain steady in the belief that the CLICK is coming. Enlist friends or family to encourage you as well.
I hope this inspires you to persevere through those I-wanna-scrap-the-whole-thing type projects and find peace that the CLICK is closer than you think.
Don't leave it to chance…cultivate the CLICK.
Question: How do you get your thoughts to snap in place?