Human beings are not robots or machines. We are more than just inputs and outputs.
But machines don’t have a soul (not even AI).
And because we are not machines, sometimes we wake up and don’t feel like performing. What then?
Try something different.
I’m a believer in disciplines, systems, routines, and habits. They can be good as long as they serve a purpose. When they no longer serve a purpose, it’s time to tweak them or change them.
If what you normally do isn’t working, it’s time to try something different. Because doing the same things over and over doesn’t always work.
Here’s an example. Typically, after everyone leaves the house, I sit down and write a weekly email to my list. Only today, I didn’t feel like it. I wrote for a bit and got stuck. Instead of trying to force it, I took a walk.
During my walk, I thought about a meeting I had yesterday with a potential business partner and came up with what I think might be a game-changing thought.
Frederich Nietzsche was a believer in walking. I’ve head it quoted different ways from his book Twilight of the Idols ranging from, “Only thoughts reached by walking have value” to “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
He even went so far as to say, “The sedentary life is the very sin against the Holy Spirit.”
Though I don’t ascribe to many of his ideas, I agree with his philosophy of walking!
Let me give you some context for Nietzsche’s statements. In May of 1879 after recurring migraines and other physical maladies, Nietzsche was forced to leave his position as a university professor. After resigning, he retreated to a small village in the Swiss Alps during the summers. Surrounded by the grandeur of the Alps, Nietzsche became a renowned walker, sometimes walking up to 8 hours per day. Eventually, he filled six small notebooks with the prose that became some of his best work. By 1889, ten years later, Nietzsche had regained his health and wrote The Wanderer and His Shadow.
Part of the problem with the modern-day knowledge work is the expectation of managing unrealistic work loads and being constantly productive. Due to the invention of smart phones and lap tops, you have access to work 24/7. Our days are packed with more than is humanly possible. But as I previously mentioned, we are not robots.
This is a relatively modern phenomenon that if unchecked leads to burnout. We are now in the information age, and before that, the industrial age. In the per-industrial age, and for most of human history, people spent large amounts of time outside working, not in a factory or sitting at a desk.
Which leads me to my point.
If you’re feeling stuck today and need some variety, it’s time to try something different?
Here are some ideas:
Take a notebook and go for a walk. Sit somewhere beautiful. If you’re in an office job, ask your boss if you can take a walk to think about the problem that’s been driving her crazy and maybe just maybe you’ll come back with some answers.
Go on a date or do an overnight with your spouse.
Go grab coffee with an encouraging friend.
Read a book. Take a class. Learn something new.
Join a sports league. Choose a hobby. Do something fun.
Find a place outdoors to think, pray, and ponder.
Anything to get the creative juices flowing again.
Life is more than work, and you’re not a robot.
What are some things you do to get unstuck? Leave a comment and let me know!