014: Stuck? Use a Rubber Duck. 🐤
2 min read

014: Stuck? Use a Rubber Duck. 🐤

I recently found myself caught in my own head and completely unable to move forward. This wasn't just a mental block; I couldn't get anything done.

Welcome to Toolbox Tips, Effective’s weekly newsletter aimed at putting more tools in your productivity toolbox.

I recently found myself caught in my own head and completely unable to move forward. This wasn't just a mental block; I couldn't get anything done.

I was stuck.

Whether it's deciding what to create next, make for dinner, pursue as a business strategy, or, like me, getting lost in your own head unable to make sense of the world, this is a very human problem. It's easy to get overwhelmed and paralyzed in our modern-day, information-soaked world.

So what do you do about this?

The answer is simple. Get things out of your head. Talk it out. Write it out. Whatever you do, stop mentally processing.

Some people, including programmers I know, use a "rubber duck" on their desk. They talk out their problem or where they're stuck to this external item like they're talking to another person. This helps to externalize this information so the brain can effectively interact with it.

This is why the Getting Things Done brain dump/mindsweep is so powerful. You take everything that your mind is concerned with, write it down, and then process through it.

Once I did this, my brain was able to see each item for what it was, process through it, and get creative on how to move forward.  So if you're stuck, try using a rubber duck.

ACT: Next time you recognize you’re stuck, talk or write out everything on your mind with an intent to externalize this information.

Notent Notables

It’s been a while! Between travel and getting sick, writing newsletters has unfortunately fallen to the wayside for a little bit — but I’m glad to be back at it.

Since we last talked, I published my updated Obsidian workflow for 2022 over on the YouTube channel.

Oh, and in case you missed it, we launched Obsidian Made Simple v2!

For Your Enjoyment

It’s been fun strolling down memory lane lately. Here’s a fun look at where my productivity life was at nearly four years ago…

Check-In #1
This is our first check-in episode. Justin is making progress on his goals, hasn’t really figured out what he wants to do with Evernote, and doesn’t really seem to use his task manager.

Here to Help

I can help you in three ways on your productivity journey when you’re ready:

  1. Have a question about your system or productivity concept and need help? Ask it here.
  2. Wanting to level up your Obsidian skills? Check out Obsidian Made Simple.
  3. Looking to streamline your PKM workflow? Get a 60 day free trial of Readwise.

That’s all for this week. Until next time, stay effective!

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