We have a complicated relationship with sharing and copying the work of others. Which is a polite way of saying that there is a great deal of plagiarism in the world, some of it only thinly veiled. It is an entirely different proposition when we think about copying ourselves. It’s our work already. So what could possibly go wrong? Without the appropriate attentiveness and focus, the answer is “A great deal.”
We all have to get started some time. The longer that we orbit a large, messy, complex problem, the more complicated and difficult it can appear. Options and expectations weave together into a giant, tangled bundle of questions and choices that can seem impossible to unravel. Finding a way in, or even an end to grab on to, can seem an insurmountable challenge. The good news is that there are strategies that work to navigate the complicated and get to something that looks clearer.. It is all about knowing where to start.
We don’t do our best work under pressure. Stress and productive creativity are poor companions at the best of times, and particularly now. While our current circumstances may not be optimal, that doesn’t mean that we can’t find the physical, mental and metaphorical space to function. It just needs a little work to define, and a little more effort to negotiate and make happen.
Acting with intention is an interesting notion. Intention—our ability to choose our response and act upon it—is our unique gift as human beings. We don’t just react, but can instead choose to act. The challenge is that we don’t always do so, and there are several ways that we undermine our ability to act and to exercise the agency that we theoretically enjoy. Understanding what compromises our intention, and knowing how to overcome those impulses, is essential to being able to take the steps that we most value.
Immersing ourselves in a challenge is one of the great joys of work. Finding situations that engage and stretch our abilities, and completing them successfully, can be a huge source of joy and inspiration. Despite this, it is easy to fall into ruts and fall back on routines. The creative solution that we critically engaged ourselves to find yesterday becomes the default and unthinking response today. It doesn’t have to be this way. There are strategies available to find engagement and inspiration, even in the most familiar of circumstances.
There is procrastination, and then there is procrastination. One of the most insidious forms is, “I need to do this first, to get ready.” Theoretically, this is all productive work. It is us getting prepared and focussed. We are making sure we have our ducks in a row, and we are committed, ready and able to do our best work. Practically, we are in many ways avoiding the thing that we say we want to do most. It doesn’t have to be that way.