Most of the time when we sit down to work, even in our favorite chair, we have a stack of papers or files, maybe a list of some kind, and proceed to “work” as we’ve always defined it … plow through the stack and “get ‘er done”.
But if you try it with a blank sheet of paper, as I did again this morning, and just sit back and noodle on the issues that are clogging your brain waves and keeping you up at night. … with no preconceived notions about them because your paper is blank so far … you’ll be amazed at how your mind starts to do it’s favorite thing … add some intellectual firepower to solving problems.
Our brain is not really that good at filing, sorting, recording and remembering what we need at the precise moment we need it. Our own experience will testify to that if you think about it. Moreover, there are lots of better ways to remember, sort and recall things and most of us have some system to help us with that.
But there’s no real substitute for brainpower when it comes to problem-solving. Your brain’s actually pretty good at that and it doesn’t take much to get it started … say, a blank sheet of paper.
Whether it’s over coffee, your favorite Cabernet or something stronger, I guarantee you’ll find that a fresh sheet of paper gives your mind a fresh look at the issues you’re wrestling with .. WITHOUT the baggage that usually tags along. Start by simply focusing on the problem and begin to think about how you’d solve it FROM SCRATCH … what’s the desired outcome and what action steps do you need to take to get there?
By ignoring all the gunk that’s stuck to that problem like barnacles to a boat bottom, you’ll inevitably start to think differently about it. No distractions, either … no football game over your shoulder, no kids playing on the floor in front of you. Just you … in a favorite place … maybe in the soft air of an early morning or quiet evening.
Try it. You’ll be surprised at how eager your brain will be to tackle those issues. Without the clutter, you’ll rediscover that your brain is an efficient and innovative machine for solving the problems that will help you achieve your personal and professional best.