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Hi there,
What are your strategies for solving hard problems?

Last week, I made it a priority to start my days by creating something. I've been successful six of those seven days, but I've also added some writing and editing in the evenings before bed.

Admittedly, it's a slog in the evenings, especially editing and trying to correct some of the issues in my writing. I hit a lot of walls.

But it's also been a boon for my writing.

I go to sleep and, like magic, wake the next morning in a hurry to continue creating as my mind has generated several alternative routes around the previous night's roadblocks.

While we sleep, our brain reboots. It intentionally forgets, edits, and consolidates information. It also continues formulating solutions for our hard problems.

In Brain Rules, John Medina suggests companies utilize a team problem-solving process where teams are presented with a problem, but before they're allowed to share ideas and solutions, they need to sleep for eight hours.

If there's something you're trying to solve, consider writing the question out before you go to sleep and provide your unconscious mind a direction to wander.

I do have one caveat, though. Don't stress yourself out before bed. If you're struggling with something, take a few minutes and write it out. Writing provides a release; that's why journaling or drafting to-do lists can feel so good!

And, sometimes, I need to remind myself, it's not all about productivity.

Blogger Anne-Laure Le Cunff wrote "time anxiety is the fear of wasting your time. It’s an obsession about spending your time in the most meaningful way possible."

She has three recommendations to reduce anxiety while still find meaning in our daily lives:
  • Define what "time well spent" actually means to you, without thinking about the outcome.
  • Think about your output and how the process makes you feel. Enjoy running, don't worry about the marathon.
  • Create a shortlist of activities you enjoy that bring value to the world.
Quote of the Week:

In times of change, learners inherit the earth.
- Eric Hoffer, h/t to Ellen Rhymes

(And h/t, if you didn't know, means hat tip. I just learned something new!)
Until next week, God bless -- stay safe, sane, and intentional.

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