Breaking Out of a Rut
There are many ways to end up in a creative or productive rut.
For many, the rut comes from distractions. There's no doubt that social media is a major part of people's lives, with around 4.9 billion users in 2023. And like many I know, I kick off my day by checking my go-to apps, seeing how friends and acquaintances seem to have their lives together.
While my friends seem to be moving forward, I remain glued in the virtual world until it's time for work. Then, I shift my focus to brainstorming ideas for the day and aim for maximum productivity, which doesn't always go as planned.
As soon as I make it to my computer, my ideas vanish into thin air. Help; I'm stuck!
On social media, we see success stories and picture-perfect moments, but the struggles and those 'stuck' moments are usually archived. According to Adam Adler, a renowned physiologist and professor at NYU, these overlooked moments make up a significant 99% of our lives and work.
So, instead of keeping these experiences in the shadows, I'm here to share the steps that guided me through a recent and major 'stuck' episode, with the help of Living Spec.
Don't Start by Pursuing Perfection**
Working too hard to avoid every potential flaw can lead to stress and mental health challenges, as Professor Thomas Curran's journey highlights. Aligned with this, our Co-Founder and CEO, Dylan Schiemann, encourages the Living Spec team to "just have fun with it!" during tough times. As a result, we may have different roles, but we have one vision: to encourage stuck teams to share their ideas often and early, even when they're imperfect. Our brain-emulating app is designed to help you swiftly record and share your thoughts and collaboratively refine them, moving closer to perfection while embracing imperfections.
Ask for Feedback and Reach Out to Others
As we stated in our Feedback is your friend post, regular feedback increases your chances of excelling at your job by 3.2X and boosts your engagement by 2.7X. Imagine having a tool that streamlines your feedback journey. Living Spec not only helps you capture and store your thoughts but also allows you to nurture and share them with external parties when you're ready. Integrated with Slack, it helps you transform feedback from conversations into tasks and reminders. Remember, an outside perspective can provide the fresh insight you may need to break stagnation, so don't be afraid to ask for help.
Create Personal Deadlines and Landmarks
In product and project management, success often depends on clarity in defining use cases, and then setting objectives, deadlines, and milestones to achieve these use cases.
Start by understanding the project's goals and your role in achieving them. Then, break your work into manageable steps, prioritize them, and set mini milestones to track your progress. All these can be done with the help of Living Spec's Task Feature and Pages. By creating tasks and assigning them to yourself after you've identified your next moves, you define your path and milestones clearly. To give you a bird's-eye view of real-time insights, the Task Dashboard—whether you prefer a list view or a Kanban board—is for you! DYK: After a distraction at work, it usually takes about 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on track. So, leaving notes on the current task you are working on before sliding to the next can help. It's like planting markers of progress, reducing cognitive load, and enhancing focus.
Align your mood with your work
Often easier said than done, but some work is better done when you're more rested or focused. There are even products like the Neurosity Crown that read your brain activity and help you shift into a more focused state. But even without a brain-reading device, you can still align your mood with your work. For example, if you're feeling creative, you can work on brainstorming new ideas. If you're feeling more analytical, you can work on refining existing ideas. And if you're feeling tired, you can work on more mundane tasks like organizing your ideas or cleaning up your Living Spec document.
Watch out for our next snippet to get started with identifying your team's North Star. Sign up for exclusive Living Spec access and gain insights on how you can align the people aspects of your tech-driven business through the simple act of writing things down and iterating over time.
Ready to enjoy the journey and embrace imperfections? Break free from creative roadblocks, stay informed, and fuel your motivation with Living Spec.