By Michael Gunther

Here it is again: the deadline to write another article and my mind seems to be blank as to what to write about. I have been replaying my week within my mind trying to identify what has inspired me, provided me a fresh perspective or generated some new insight to life as a leader or a business owner. I don’t know if you have ever experienced the need to complete a task with a deadline looming, and it appears your mind just doesn’t seem to want to function in order to get the job done. Well, if you haven’t, I envy you. If you have, you can understand the frustration and tension that slowly seeps into your thinking space as you see the deadline approaching faster and faster.

The last week has been full of experiences and situations that could have probably provided the inspiration for writing and yet, my mind is blank. As I assess the situation, I wonder what causes this blockage when I know the assignment has to be completed. Last week, I was gone for five days on vacation in the Sierra Nevada – off the grid, no internet or cell phone service – did my mind just stop working? Or maybe the block comes from hearing from two people in my life who disclosed they have serious illnesses, with one only having 30 days to live. How can that not impact my mental processing?

As the mental blockade is at full force, I have found that just starting the process with the first action makes the light begin to appear. One step leads to another, and before you know it, the energy and focus to complete the tasks starts to gain some steam. This had me thinking about leaders. Do they know where the blockade are that are preventing them and their team from completing a task or activity? Just asserting more pressure may not be the answer in getting the task to completion. It might be as simple as making yourself, or assisting your team member, identify the first action step to take to show forward motion.

To identify the first action step, provide yourself some quiet time to reflect about what is truly causing this mental block. Do you need to clear your mind, take a walk or find a new environment to gain a new perspective? I realized that hearing about illnesses and someone who will pass away very soon has been weighing heavier on me this week than I realized. Recognizing this blockade has definitely allowed me to take the first step in getting this article started.  I wonder how often leaders or individuals have situations going on in their lives that may been preventing them from performing at typical levels.

Bottom Line

Are you procrastinating in getting something done that you know you must start because of a deadline? Take a breath, take one step forward and get the mental processes revved up. Before you realize it, the task will be completed.

On a side note, I realize I often espouse the importance of living your life with passion and inspiration – don’t wait to start living your life the way you want to live it – can you imagine if you just heard you only have 30 days to live?

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