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March 7, 2016 - No Comments!

Get uncomfortable

Staying in our zone makes us good at what we do. It just doesn’t make much room for new ideas when things go awry. But if we practice thinking differently on a regular basis, our problem-solving skills expand. Here are a few ways to do it:

  1. Consider the most outrageous solution possible to a problem. As nutty as it may seem, there’s probably a kernel of usefulness in it.
  2. Do an everyday task differently, such as where you stop for coffee, what you watch on television, or when you respond to emails.
  3. Slow down or speed up your decision-making. Whichever comes more naturally, do the opposite.

March 7, 2016 - No Comments!

Get in touch with your gut

When the noise in your head blocks decision-making, try these four methods to locate your intuition.

  1. Procrastinate. By doing something else, you clear the clutter in your brain. Physical activity is a great way to focus elsewhere. So are reading a novel, going to a movie, doing chores, or shopping.
  2. Daydream. A wandering mind takes you places that reasoning can’t. It will calm your thoughts, making way for feelings.
  3. Set a time limit. Time pressure doesn’t give you time to think, only to feel.
  4. Test your feelings. Once you make a decision, how does your body respond? Are you anxious? Do you feel at ease?

March 7, 2016 - No Comments!

Boost your stick-to-it-iveness

  1. Stay with it long enough to find a rhythm.
  2. When you feel the strain, build up a major daydream about how great the end result will be.
  3. Silence the complainer in your head with positive noise, like singing, humming, whistling, reciting the Gettysburg Address.
  4. Let your pride of accomplishment propel you forward.
  5. Fit the task to your style. If you're a morning person, don't try to shoehorn it in after dinner.

March 7, 2016 - No Comments!

Delegate something small

When we’re used to doing everything ourselves, letting someone else help can feel like a weakness. But it’s actually a strength. It just takes a little practice to get there. So start by delegating one small task to someone you trust. And then trust them to do it. Three pointers that will help both of you:

  1. Give clear instructions but allow room for creativity.
  2. Let them work independently, but pre-arrange a progress check-in.
  3. Give context for the task so he knows why it’s important, who is depending on him, and what success looks like.

March 7, 2016 - No Comments!

What’s your leadership style?

Leadership is the example we set, whether we’re the one ultimately in charge or not. When we take everything on ourselves, we’re saying that we don’t trust anyone else. Or that we don’t need them. But if we ask for help, let someone else do the talking, and invite new ideas, we promote inclusiveness — and increase our chances of success. It’s actually an act of generosity to let someone else do the work.

March 7, 2016 - No Comments!

Get off the wheel

When you’re overwhelmed, first reconsider the situation. What is my expectation? What do I keep telling myself that keeps me stuck? What can I get rid of? What’s missing? Then readjust. Let people know what’s up; they’ll probably want to help. Take time out to organize. Do one thing at a time. Focus on what you’re doing, not what isn’t done. Track your accomplishments and let others know.

March 7, 2016 - No Comments!

Question your beliefs

Getting stuck as a Perplexed Planner means that what’s worked for us in the past isn’t working now — and we can’t figure out how to adapt. And what we believe to be true just may be the obstacle in our way. For instance, the computer program you always use suddenly stops saving your work, even though you click three times, type an asterisk, and hit return as you were told to do. But maybe that’s not true anymore. Maybe someone in IT made an adjustment so you didn’t have to take those silly steps. Question the truths of your situation to see if you can find a hidden solution.

March 7, 2016 - No Comments!

Imagine good possibilities

We can be so intent on keeping the bad things at bay that we can’t make room for any good stuff to enter our head, including new ideas and solutions. That’s when it’s time to start dreaming about what if, and how it can come true. What if I let someone help? What if I expected something different? What if I found for a new way of doing it?

March 7, 2016 - No Comments!

Limit yourself

Coming up with ideas is where the fun resides, which is why the act of planning can seem so darn dull. But it’s also essential, so here’s a way to infuse a challenge into your preparations. Give yourself a constraint. Imagine that you have to get it done with only $50. Or you can’t use the internet. Or your assistant can only help you on Tuesdays and Fridays. Whatever limit you impose on yourself should get your creative juices flowing as you figure things out.

March 7, 2016 - No Comments!

Fine-tune your approach

Crafting an elevator pitch is a tried-and-true tactic for people who have trouble getting to the core of an idea. That’s not usually a problem for Ad Libbers, but developing a 30-second description of your strategy can help you think about how you’re going make things happen. Use these three questions to build your pitch:

  1. What’s the conflict?
  2. What’s the impact of the conflict?
  3. What’s your resolution?