stuck in this maze? 3 ways to get unstuck.

September 15, 2013

by william choukeir

you probably know exactly what it feels like to be stuck in a maze. not because you’ve actually been in a maze. but because you’ve had a similar experience.

it’s the feeling of choosing between left or right when you have no idea which is a dead end and which is salvation. it’s the feeling of reaching a dead end, and realising that you’ll have to backtrack and take the other path. it’s the feeling of having to do this over and over again until you spot—if you’re lucky—the light at the end of the tunnel.

we all get stuck sometimes (or often) working on a project. more so when creativity is involved. it’s very likely that one of these three reasons is the culprit:

1 | do i lack autonomy, mastery, & purpose?

best-selling author Dan Pink spent years looking at the latest scientific evidence regarding productivity. he found a pattern. the ‘carrots and sticks’ approach for motivation doesn’t work. he could not find a correlation between money incentives and performance improvement. instead, Dan Pink isolated three components that, together, are the driving motivator for the most successful people we know. people who never seem to get stuck.

  • autonomy. are you the master of your own choices? do you feel ownership for your work and how you do the work?
  • mastery. is the task at hand too easy or too hard? the ideal task provides just enough challenge to keep you engaged on the long run.
  • purpose. do you feel part of a cause larger than yourself?

there’s a fourth hidden component. money. ‘but you said…’
yes i did. here’s what i mean. money has to be enough to stop you from thinking about money. cool yes?

2 | do i have a fear of finishing?

author and time-coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders (voted ‘amazing woman of the year’) isolated four culprits behind our fear of finishing.

  • do you believe that nothing is ever good enough to be finished? if so, think: there’s a cost to doing everything ‘perfectly’. sleep, relationships, finances, and your emotional state will suffer as a result.
  • does finishing seem like you’re closing-off options? unfortunately, if you’re not finishing your current phase, you’re also keeping yourself from moving forward on new options. try: writing down all the possibilities and opportunities that’ll open up once you finish.
  • do you loose excitement before finishing a project? abandoning a project at 99% done adds up to 0% benefit. try: partnering with a persistent person.
  • does finishing feel like submitting yourself to criticism? unfortunately, if you hide your work for too long, you also open yourself up for criticism for not delivering on time. this happens, Elizabeth says, when you feel like your external success determines your internal worth. try writing down: ‘i’m a good [fill in the blank]. if they don’t like what i submit, i’m not a failure. i’ll take a step back, educate the client on how to give feedback, and focus on what needs to be done next.’

3 | don’t know where to start or how to move forward? try an elastic process.

often you can’t see a solution to your problem. sometimes you can’t even see the problem. here i share with you my own elastic process that has been refined over 15 years of experience as a creative. this has worked every time for those i’ve shared it with and myself. why elastic? you’ll find out towards the end. these are the four steps that i loop through until i’m unstuck. full essay here.

…so, if stuck ask:

• do i lack autonomy, mastery, or purpose?
• do i have a fear of finishing?
• do i know how to move forward? (next edition)
and because casafekra can help too, here’s a 4th one for designers:
• do i have ‘post-inspiration syndrome’?

post-inspiration syndrome?

while creating a concept, designers often search online and offline for furniture and seating inspirations. that’s the fun part… then comes the time to execute, and concerns pop up:

is there a local supplier that has the chairs we found online? will they have matching tables? what if they’re above budget? what about quality? if we can’t execute our ideal solution, we’ll have to compromise. our client loves the initial designs, he doesn’t want alternatives. i wish we won’t have to rethink our seating solution. and so on…

that’s ‘post-inspiration syndrome’. as design firms are crawling through this maze, projects are piling up, deadlines are at risk, and clients are getting impatient. this process lacks autonomy, mastery, and purpose. and the money compared to the man-hours involved is not nearly enough — there’s an alternative.

don’t let your team search for seating inspirations. give casafekra your unfurnished plans, unfurnished perspectives, and mood boards. casafekra provides a seating solution that matches your vision and concept, free of charge. they cover furniture layouts, seating arrangements, specifications, warranties, logistics, execution, and everything else that keeps you from advancing your business. on top of that, they back everything up with their ‘3-pillar guarantee‘: on-time, on-budget, and touch&feel guarantees.

dozens of design firms now have an unfair advantage over yours because they’re benefiting from this service for their hospitality and F&B projects. i recommend you benefit too because it won’t cost you a thing, and there’s no contract nor commitment from your part. cure your ‘post-inspiration syndrome’ and fly over the maze with casafekra. find out how here.

p.s. bookmark this to come back to it when you feel stuck, or discuss in the comments here.

this post is from ‘edition 03’ of our ‘inspirations newsletter’. subscribe below to receive these regular editions by email. every edition also includes ACAD 3D models of chairs, stools, tables, and sofas, exclusive to our subscribers. subscribe below:


2 Responses to “stuck in this maze? 3 ways to get unstuck.”

  1. Do you agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  2. […] continued from: stuck in this maze? 3 ways to get unstuck. […]

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