I was working with a client recently on her creative blocks. In passing, she mentioned that every time she opened the top drawer of her desk to get a pen or paperclip, she had to fight her way through staples, cartridges, rubber bands, etc., and every time she would get annoyed.
She sensibly put a task on her to-do list - “Sort out the desk drawer". This was a good idea, except that she never seemed to get round to doing it. Now not only was she annoyed every time she open the drawer, she was also frustrated that "sort out the desk drawer" kept coming up on the to-do list. She brought this up at a couple of coaching sessions, always as an afterthought (“…and on top of everything else…”).
I asked her, "Why don't you just sort out the drawer?"
"But I don't have the time!"
I asked her to think about all the time and energy she wasted every time she tried to find something in the drawer, or move the task along the to do list. This was not to mention all those feelings of frustration, annoyance and guilt. She had never thought of it in that way or acknowledged what an energy sapper the drawer was. Her key action from our session was to sort out her desk drawer.
At the next session, she reported back. She had found some great seedling trays in a garden centre which she cut to fit in the drawer. She could store paperclips, staples, pencil leads, sharpners, rubber bands in individual segments keeping everything tidy and easy to find. And, at last, she put a great big tick through that damned task on the to-do list.
Funnily enough, she suddenly found herself unblocked in other areas.
This solution may seem blindingly obvious to you, but I suspect we all have a few of these energy sappers having around. It could be that button that needs replacing which we forget about until we want to wear the shirt. Or the squeaking hinge on the bathroom door. Or the dodgy ‘A’ key on the laptop. You know, all those things which don't stop you dead, but which are just a bit of a faff.
So how about today, you get one of those little energy suppers sorted? As well as the feeling of satisfaction, you may be surprised what else might come out of it.
If this has struck a chord with you and you want to find out if coaching will support you, check out how we could work together and get in touch.