Problem: Do you ever feel stuck? Obsessing about a problem and can't see a solution? Trying to organize a big event with little time and money? Dealing with a challenging boss or employee? Freaking out about registering thousands of voters when time is running out?
Solution: Walk away from it.
When I am in the moment, usually with too little sleep, kinks in my neck, and overly focused on "fixing" the problem, I feel challenged to come up with solutions--particularly ones that are innovative and creative. I am also more likely to be reactive and negative.
But if I literally walk away from the problem and leave work aside, I find I have a lot more "juice" to come up with solutions. I have fresh energy and new perspectives on the challenges I face.
Someone that inspired me to take control of my problems was Jonah Lehrer, the author of Imagine: How Creativity Works. One of the stories in his book deals with Bob Dylan. After a grueling tour in Europe, Dylan returned to New York, ditched his guitar, and declared he was done with music.
After a brief period of rest and reflection, according to Lehrer, he threw down twenty pages of prose and headed back to New York City, where he walked into a studio and recorded "Like a Rolling Stone."
We may not all be musicians, but we can all unleash creativity by getting some distance from our work. How do you deal with work problems that are on your mind? Share in the comments!
Sue Chinn is the Training Director at NOI.