Time management tips can save the day when you’re paralyzed over a project. You can have fun with them, too! Never underestimate the power of creative play to restore flow.
Do you ever freeze up when a deadline looms, the clock is ticking, and you are stuck in a rut? It can be a nightmarish feeling, can’t it?
Sometimes, the harder you try, the more your mind goes blank. Panic mounts as your ideas and inspiration dry up. Brainstorming, or mind mapping, is an excellent way to creatively open up options. By sketching out your ideas as simple phrases in balloons, connecting and building on them, you automatically revert to the creative side of your brain. But sometimes, self-consciousness steps in. And you hear messages like:
“Nobody’s going to like that!”
“This just has to be perfect!”
“Everyone’s going to see how ____ you are!”
You try old standby solutions like taking a quick walk to clear your head. But when you return to your desk, the critical voices are still there, just waiting to start in on you again.
Well, there’s one tip that can be a lifesaver in a situation like this. Moreover, it’s a game you can enjoy at other times, too. Often, it stimulates creativity that enriches other projects, as well. It’s an entirely counter-intuitive tip – and that’s its beauty.
Game: Turn Your Inner Critic on Its Head!
The next time you are stuck, generate the absolute worst version of whatever you are working on that you are capable of creating. If you are writing a sales page, or a blog post, or copy for a press release, throw yourself into it with the mindset that you are going to stretch the limits of bizarre. See if you can make it destined to shock and disappoint! Throw in everything that you might have censored, and exaggerate it to the hilt. Have fun with it.
What this does, as you may intuit, is stop your critical inner voice from looking over your shoulder. Or, more precisely, you gain control over this voice by actively choosing to have it contribute to your project… rather than your shrinking from its catcalls from the sidelines.
What does your inner critic think is a really terrible headline for your next E-zine article? What would guarantee that your report would create shrieks of outrage? Go ahead and write your entire article from this vantage point. Enjoy the process, and as you relax, you are free move ahead on your project, knowing you’ve neutralized your critical voice to provide comic relief, and nothing more.
Before you know it, the ideas will be pouring out. You may be pleasantly surprised with the new inspirations that come about as a result of this counter-intuitive time management tip!
Give it a try, and play with variations. Make this exercise your own, and you’ll feel more refreshed and engaged at the end of your workday.© Copyright 2011 Paula Eder, Ph.D.