When we first arrived, all three of us needed help getting out of a rut.
My writer friends and I were on retreat in Arkansas. At Kelsey’s Beaver Lake Homes & Retreat Center, it was time to get busy, without adding extra pressure.
Karen’s latest proposal was near completion, Kathy needed a boost to launch her new book project, and I wanted a nudge to begin my next one. But we were having trouble getting started.
More than the actual writing of books, there are many behind-the-scenes jobs that support them. Editing, websites, marketing, interviews, photographs, promotional items, and more, help round out the finished product. But it requires a lot of work to get these things done.
So how do you get out of a rut when the task seems too big?
Brainstorm your way out.
And how exactly do you do that?
One thought at a time.
As a business coach, I’ve helped many others overcome paralysis of productivity through brainstorming, and so Kathy, Karen, and I went through the process in Arkansas. It started with a series of questions. Here’s an example of some that vaulted our little group out of the pit.
“Without interrupting yourself by presuming your thoughts are too crazy, silly, or assuming they are undoable, start saying out loud, all the things that come to mind you need to do.”
“Now, what other things would you like to do?”
“What’s at the heart of your message or project?”
“How might you spread the word?”
“What could you do fastest and easiest first?”
One of the keys to make brainstorming effective is to make sure you write everything down. Ev-er-y-thing.
By writing things down, we brand them into our minds, making it less likely that we will forget, or squelch our own creativity. And you can do this alone, in a small group, or with a large crowd.
When you are finished, then you can edit. Make a list of the action items you think you can accomplish, and put them in order of priority. (List those things you can complete first at the top, so you feel the sense of satisfaction, which will energize you, and spur you to do more.)
At the end of our retreat, my two friends and I headed home with renewed determination. We had all started on the top items of our lists, and carried the resolve and enthusiasm in our front doors.
Thanks to brainstorming, my friends and I are now climbing out of our ruts. And God willing, three more books will be on their way to publication soon.
Do you need to brainstorm your way out of a rut? What small thing could you accomplish to spur you onto more?
Anita Fresh Faith
Psalm 92:5 (NIV)
How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts!
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Specialist, Certified Team Training Facilitator, Marketing Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.
She’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. Anita believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.