Friday, July 21, 2006

Some times you feel like a nut…

You have been staring at a blank screen for 30 minutes to no avail.

A document is in its 11 iteration between using “global” v. “worldwide” or “product solution” v. “product offering”

It has felt like 3:00 p.m. on Friday for the last hour and a half.

Anyone who has been in the workforce for longer than 2 weeks has faced one of these scenarios. You’re quickly approaching that “wall” with no escape in sight. The proverbial “frozen in headlights” doesn’t do this feeling justice, you aren’t waiting for impact. No, you’re moving toward that inevitable collision, all the while making a face you’d image a fly making just before being mowed down by the windshield of an open-throttled ’67 Mustang – a red one.

Getting past said wall is the tricky part. Finding the inspiration to persevere in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds has defined the human race since its earliest days (or so the movies would have you think). While not over-dramatizing the point there are a number of ways to get back on track, here are a few that have helped me.

  • Step away for a moment. Whether you go for your smoke break, walk up and down the stairs or hit the gym over lunch it will help get you away from whatever is under your skin for a little while. Depending on your activity of choice there are actual benefits you can achieve. For instance, your body produces endorphins when you exercise. These little chemicals are responsible for the “runner’s high” that so many people swear by…though I have yet to experience. For me it’s just pain.
  • Look to something that impresses you. Nothing gets my brain back on track better reading writing that knocks my socks off. For me it’s about encouragement, I want to be able to piece together something that meaningful, concise or brilliant. For others it’s a song that seems like it was written just for them. Whatever it is that blows your hair back, make sure you have a sampling of it with you at the office. A book of impressive passages, your MP3 player or even a picture.
  • Beer. Bear with me here. You can’t come up with that truly original idea. Your blank screen has been staring back at you for so long that you are beginning to see a face in the pixels. Assuming this image is not alcohol-induced and your office is open to it, think about having a drink. Nothing crazy, we aren’t talking about shots of tequila, but a little something to get the creative juices flowing. In the timeless words of my thesis advisor “it helps get the ideas floating around.”

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