Tuesday, December 12, 2006

How to get yourself out of a rut

Things I learned from many years of being stuck in a rough situations (Chess, meetings, stuck at a piece of code, etc), I have adopted a general formula for what to do when I’m faced with a problem that’s got me stuck. You need to take a creative pause in that situation. The “attacker” could be a person like your boss or a problem on hand.

The first step is to change your focus – this could last seconds to couple of minutes, you just pause and say “hamburger….” or drink your tea. I am drinking lots of tea for this very reason. Otherwise the first thing out of your mouth may make the matter worse. Once you feel you are in control and thinking is coming from the right place of your brain then you can return to the stage you were in the first place.

Everybody gets stuck from time to time, so have a handy bottle of water (it is good for you) or learn to say “…Ok …hamburger”. If you have a technical challenge just walk away and talk about other things. Many times you can turn and change toward a better direction by just following this simple practice.

1) Create a pause before you react. 2) It keeps you from taking things too personally
3) It helps you ask more questions instead of jump to conclusions.

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