I don’t know about other folks but I often find I get locked in a rut when it comes to tackling big problems. I have trouble breaking out of a set pattern of thought which is not helpful when what I need is a completely out-of-the-box solution. The following are the top three ways I am able to shift mental gears.
Walking My Dog Along the Creek
There are a couple tricks to this method. I don’t force myself to think about the problem while walking. I just allow whatever thoughts start to flow. The second trick is remembering that usually, it takes at least an hour before my brain is relaxed enough to shift into a different gear – so practicing patience is key.
I don’t know what it is about water and repetition but wow the two together are powerful. I usually start getting ideas by lap two. The only drawback is not having a way to record any of my thoughts but I am always sure to bring my laptop to the gym and I stop in the cafe on my way out to record notes and enjoy a smoothie.
With the speed at which my mind races it’s inevitable I wake up in the middle of the night – usually, 3 am and I can’t fall asleep again. If I remind myself not to get all worked up over it often I am able to approach a problem I am facing at the time with a different perspective. Whether it’s sleep deprivation or my subconscious more readily accessible I don’t know but I have solved more than one problem this way. Heck, it could also be a sign of midlife but who cares if it works?
What Works For You?
I am curious what others find useful ways to get their minds into a creative mindset? Please comment and share if you relate. I think we can all use fresh ideas to stay focused and motivated.