You sit down to work on your next project. It’s rather simple. All you need to do is open your word processor on your laptop and start writing. Yet something keeps you from proceeding. Something stops you from opening the lid. You look at the laptop. Nothing seems wrong. You reach out your hand, put your thumb in position to open the lid, and make a forward gesture. Yet something stops you cold. Something freezes the muscle impulses in your hand. You can’t go through with it. You turn away, defeated.
You have just encountered the resistance.
The resistance lives in our mind somewhere between the right side creative hemisphere and the left side logical hemisphere. It lives in a hidden crevice, out of sight from our conscious mind. Yet this little blob of grey matter can stop us in our tracks faster than anything else.
Here’s how it works…
The right brain has all the creative ideas jumping around and being pulled to and fro by the winds of stimulation. The eyes see something new, the right brain takes over. The ears hear something interesting, the right brain tunes in. The nose adds its input when the smells of fresh baked bread or a hot fresh cinnamon roll come into range. These ideas are fleeting, usually lasting only a minute or two. Once the new stimulation comes along, the right brain takes off in a new direction. This is really exacerbated with cell phones, iPads, iPods, and all sorts of browser distractions. It soon become a moving mass of noise…
The resistance is a simple on-off device between the crazy right brain and the logical left brain. The two hemispheres don’t get along very well. The resistance is the referee.
The problem is the logical left brain can only process one idea at a time. The resistance keeps the left brain happy by restricting what it sees from the right brain. The resistance only allows one item at a time to pass. When the right brain is overstimulated, the resistance picks and chooses small items one at a time for action from the logical left brain. It may allow a mouse click here, and a twitter lookup there. The resistance takes all the noise and makes it manageable for the action oriented left side.
So… When you want to get a project done, but your eyes and ears are over-stimulating your mind, the resistance shuts down the flow. That big project is put on the back burner, because it’s easier for the resistance to pass on small thoughts rather than large ones. That large project can rattle around in the right brain for days or weeks at a time, before the resistance will let it through.
The secret to overcoming the resistance is simple.
You just need to turn off the external simulation.
Unfortunately, for most people, this is not an easy task. You can shut off your web browser only to be influenced by a ringing cell phone. If the phone doesn’t get you, the email popup will. If you become really diligent, you might be able to get clear of this noise for five minutes… If you are lucky.
The real answer lies in a little device that works directly with the resistance and the left brain. It assures the resistance of a single flow of ideas for a set period of time. It blocks out the noise and let’s productivity rule.
This simple device is a timer.
The timer can be a stand alone digital unit, a spring bound egg timer, or the internal clock on a PC or tablet.
The key is to set the timer for 48 minutes, turn off all extraneous stimulation, close your door, and do one thing at a time. This allows the resistance to open the flood gates between the right side of the brain and the left side. That big project idea on the right side now has a full flow to the action based left side.
The laptop opens up, the keys start typing and the new book, project, or homework is finally on it’s way to completion. The resistance has been promised one big idea and it goes with it. The bandwidth is wide open.
The key thing here is to give the right brain a rest after 48 minutes. It’s not used to full flow and it can get overheated if it runs too long. After 48 minutes, you need to give the right brain a 12 minutes rest. Get up, stretch, get a drink, and then you can come back and do another 48 minute stretch.
With a simple timer and a little practice, you can get full flow in your brain. That new book you want to write can be handled quickly using this method. Do you have a big project with a looming deadline? Use multiple 48 minute periods to knock it out in record time.
Question: Have You Been Able To Overcome The Resistance?