There are a million and one things conspiring to undermine your workflow on any given day.
Be vigilant. There are forces at work in the world around you: at home, during your commute, in the office, on this very screen you’re staring into right now —all diligently plotting to steal your creative energy and rob you of your best ideas.
Eventually the astute creative practitioner will devise clever ways to counteract the insidious idea-thwarting noise that destroys one’s ability to enter what John Cleese calls the creative open mode.
Work remotely the odd day each week if you can. Work in your pyjamas and slippers, if it helps you focus.
Stop dwelling on negative thoughts. Be gone!
Colleagues who feel compelled to gripe about so-and-so not pulling their weight or client/project so-and-so not living up to their expectations because it’s going through double-digit rounds of revisions. Hey, these things can get the best of us. But don’t let it. Suck it up buttercup. Welcome to the wonderful world of work. If you let every little thing get to you each day, read too deeply into every email or text message you receive (hey, you’re gonna get millions over the course of your life), eventually you’ll get an ulcer or some unpronounceable medical ailment that will effectively stomp your ability to do anything productive or worthwhile from this day forth.
Go smoke a cigarette (if you have to), put your headphones on, close your eyes and visualize what you want to accomplish. Now open your eyes and get down to work. Crush all subsequent distractions in your path.
It’s fascinating to think as we age we invariably begin to fixate on our various physical ailments, “oh my back’s been acting up lately”, “I’ve got this burning, itching sensation around my ankles”. You know, those awkward conversations, usually with someone your senior, perhaps an elderly uncle or grandparent. It seems every time you talk the first thing out of their mouth is “Oh I’ve got this pain in my -unmentionable- area”. And then you learn they’re taking copious amounts of prescription drugs, eating primarily processed foods with little or no nutritional value, completely abstaining from any and all forms of physical exertion. And they wonder why their body (and mind) are slowly withering away.
This is actually a really awful post. I’m not sure what the point is I’m trying to make or where this is going. I seem to be going off on a tangent.
Just thinking again about how my laptop broke down last week makes my blood boil. It’s just a stupid machine. I’m healthy and alive and so are my family and friends. That’s really all that matters.
I’d much rather be thinking about my creative zen-space right now.