Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What to Do When Too Much of "The Force" is With You

Was it just me or did you have a lot of people wishing you "Happy Star Wars Day" today? (May the 4th be with you)  Fun!  But when I thought about it, I realized I've exceeded my daily/weekly/monthly capacity for The Force. In fact, I need to clear my head.

Have you ever felt overstuffed?  Overwhelmed by ideas, information, and options?   As if there are a million things you should be doing?  Out of a billion you could be doing?  (That everyone else is surely already doing?)   Doesn't feel good.

When you get there- and you will, if you're curious, and you have goals, and you are interested in changing things- here's what you do next:
Nothing.  Change gears.  Distract yourself with something else.  Do something physical.  Let what's in your brain incubate.
Yup.  I'm usually an advocate of "GO".   Action.  Sometimes, though, you need time to let things incubate.   Did you know that incubation is a proven step in the innovation process?  A famous mathmatician, Henri PoincarĂ©,  developed a four-stage model of innovation, based on his analysis of his own mathmatical breakthrough in 1881.  PoincarĂ©'s four-stage model - conscious thought, unconscious thought (or incubation), illumination and verification continues to be studied and refined.  Einstein discussed his creative process in similar terms.

Ever been in the shower when all of a sudden, you come up with a brilliant solution to the problem you wrestled with every day the past week?   As a coach, I see it happen to clients all the time.   At some point between two sessions, something gets radically "unstuck".  Great progress is made when there was none the week before.  (remember, coaches don't do any work, our clients do all the work)

So, with thanks to Lynne, who reminded me where great action comes from, I resolve to let things incubate.  Not to worry.  To remember that I've felt this way before, right before I made a big leap forward.

How about you?  Too much on your mind?  You know what to do next.