Get Unblocked - 33rd Degree Conference

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As a developer and a creative, you need ways to work better so that you can create more, but what do you do when you hit a seemingly insurmountable mental wall? You need to get unblocked: to bust …

As a developer and a creative, you need ways to work better so that you can create more, but what do you do when you hit a seemingly insurmountable mental wall? You need to get unblocked: to bust through that barrier to allow creativity to flow. Beware: this presentation challenges the standard norms around concentration, focus, productivity, and may change how you work…for the better.

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  • 1. @denisejacobs @33rdDegreeConf #33rdDegree #getunblocked
  • 2. Blocked?
  • 3. “The entire industry is broken.” - Ted Neward, Managers are from Mars, Developers are from Venus
  • 4. Managers
  • 5. Office-bound http://www.flickr.com/photos/stewf/393637161/
  • 6. Time pressures http://www.flickr.com/photos/indraw/4857101224/
  • 7. Demanding clients http://www.flickr.com/photos/clairity/154640125/
  • 8. Bureaucracy http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4749431435/
  • 9. Oppressed http://www.flickr.com/photos/johannahobbs/2412291551/
  • 10. Instead of this http://www.flickr.com/photos/anieto2k/8156999698/
  • 11. You run into road blocks http://www.flickr.com/photos/99301367@N00/8497106802/
  • 12. And you run completely http://royhoes.deviantart.com/art/Out-of-Inspiration-85588391
  • 13. http://www.flickr.com/photos/myfear/289257055/ When in the creative flow
  • 14. We are alchemists http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Faust_image_19thcentury.jpg
  • 15. It feels like http://www.flickr.com/photos/torley/2761300969/
  • 16. “Creativity is magical, but it is not magic.” - Dr. Charles Limb, Your Brain on Improvisation TED talk
  • 17. We’re powerful creators
  • 18. “Developers are like the Jedi: we’re all tapped into The Force.” - Ted Neward, Managers are from Mars, Developers are from Venus
  • 19. Instead of using it fully http://www.flickr.com/photos/h-k-d/3310336516/
  • 20. We give our power away https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6D-O5ECr5EUow5jrck2A2A
  • 21. Instead of power, we feel… https://www.flickr.com/photos/70938871@N05/8230432077
  • 22. Building Blocks
  • 23. http://www.flickr.com/photos/barretthall/3036598475/ &http://www.flickr.com/photos/carbonnyc/3135103537/ It starts early
  • 24. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorenjavier/7324305636/ Three stories
  • 25. Age 6
  • 26. Father Photo: Deloria Jacobs
  • 27. Photos: Deloria Jacobs Mother & Sister
  • 28. Me? More of a graphic artist Photo: Deloria Jacobs
  • 29. Compared myself http://www.flickr.com/photos/kharied/3315558702/
  • 30. ( I have to be like them to be creative. )
  • 31. Age 10
  • 32. Photo: Deloria Jacobs Oldest friend in the world
  • 33. ( “Who do you think you are?” )
  • 34. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mcsdwarken/7490078656 “I should tone it down”
  • 35. Age 24
  • 36. I graduated! Yay! Photo: Deloria Jacobs
  • 37. Maybe be a writer?
  • 38. “Do you know how hard it is to get published?” - My father
  • 39. My father was bad-ass Photo: Deloria Jacobs
  • 40. “I have to be superlative”
  • 41. I binge-created for years
  • 42. But never felt deserving
  • 43. Always a bit in the closet http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenzzz_14/7031233649/
  • 44. After writing this…
  • 45. I had an epiphany http://www.flickr.com/photos/44085287@N05/4055814772/
  • 46. We ALL hold the power http://www.flickr.com/photos/assbach/267598910/
  • 47. For Empowered http://www.flickr.com/photos/designandtechnologydepartment/4771136128/
  • 48. Internalized critical voices http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeapalooza/553545517/
  • 49. Paralyze and imprison us http://www.flickr.com/photos/b3ni/2990601183/
  • 50. We give so much away
  • 51. = Blocks http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_g_travels/860951845/
  • 52. Lies that we tell ourselves
  • 53. Adds up; Shuts us down
  • 54. Instead of creativity
  • 55. Destructivity http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevygee/3265941065/
  • 56. How do we… http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/5445602998/
  • 57. Get Unblocked? http://www.flickr.com/photos/rvm_71/5011353192/
  • 58. “You can’t force yourself to get into (creative) flow, but you can set the conditions for it.” - Ted Neward, “Managers are from Mars, Developers are from Venus”
  • 59. The Process
  • 60. Recognize & Banish
  • 61. Physical evidence of fear http://www.flickr.com/photos/grumpyfeline/4626401443/
  • 62. Internalized criticisms + fears https://www.flickr.com/photos/remoto/5313967682
  • 63. Evil voices in your head http://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/4887528060/
  • 64. “If your demons are such that they fill the room the instant you contemplate creating, your studio will be too dangerous a place to enter.” - Eric Maisel, author of Fearless Creating
  • 65. You can’t outrun them http://www.flickr.com/photos/wester/504925076/
  • 66. Face and ID your Inner Critic http://www.flickr.com/photos/lambdachialpha/203904103/
  • 67. Impostor Syndrome
  • 68. Impostor Syndrome Paradox http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/2279939232/
  • 69. Comparisons http://www.flickr.com/photos/automania/126698126/
  • 70. Perfectionism http://www.flickr.com/photos/diepuppenstubensammlerin/7648792510/
  • 71. “Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.” ― Anne Wilson Schaef
  • 72. Focus on the finished product… https://www.flickr.com/photos/phatcontroller/3667889959/
  • 73. Instead of the process http://www.flickr.com/photos/spyndle/474122586/
  • 74. The real problem http://cuttingthecheese.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/26810560251953842_ede18tng_f.jpg
  • 75. “The Best” vs “The most” https://www.flickr.com/photos/villify/10871945326
  • 76. Procrastination http://www.flickr.com/photos/irrezolut/2311904560/
  • 77. Feed each other
  • 78. Fear of failure http://www.flickr.com/photos/laughingsquid/2717325940/
  • 79. F.E.A.R. = http://cdnpix.com/show/imgs/7a361666e107cd36656d5a66ea2e4e80.jpg
  • 80. Or, the alternative
  • 81. “Fear is not real. It is a product of the thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.” - character of Cypher Raige (played by Will Smith), After Earth
  • 82. Become a Fear Alchemist http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Joseph_Wright_of_Derby_The_Alchemist.jpg
  • 83. “The goal is to manage anxiety so that our energies are used for the productive and satisfying art of creating…
  • 84. …rather than the destructive and debilitating art of self-torture.” - Clare Warmke, Idea Revolution
  • 85. Banish the Inner Critic http://www.flickr.com/photos/mythoto/3822942678/
  • 86. Comparisons aren’t real http://www.flickr.com/photos/suvodeb/2559017400/
  • 87. “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ― Dr. Maya Angelou
  • 88. Reframe failure http://www.flickr.com/photos/laughingsquid/2717326642/
  • 89. And mistakes https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/4498817330/
  • 90. “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” - Henry Ford
  • 91. Be bad/make it ugly https://www.flickr.com/photos/kpwerker/6051104684
  • 92. “If you want a creative life, do what you can’t and experience the beauty of the mistakes that you make.” - Marcel Wanders, Designer and “Professional Amateur” (marcelwanders.com)
  • 93. Take it a step further Photo: Denise Jacobs
  • 94. Change your body, change your mind http://www.flickr.com/photos/thirteenthnile/4546397775/
  • 95. “Our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behavior, and our behavior changes our outcomes.” - Amy Cuddy, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are TED talk
  • 96. Cop a Power Pose
  • 97. Adjust & Replace
  • 98. “It’s all preparation. The magic happens at the stove.” - Daniel Steinberg, Crazy and Focused
  • 99. Laying the foundation Photo: Denise Jacobs
  • 100. Train Your Brain http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiarescott/3211540197/
  • 101. Left v. Right brain? http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=left%20brain%20right%20brain&order=9&offset=48#/d10qlpq
  • 102. Left hemisphere http://www.flickr.com/photos/smittenkittenoriginals/4451172538/
  • 103. Right hemisphere http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorelei-ranveig/2294885580/
  • 104. A balanced brain http://www.flickr.com/photos/47691521@N07/4639590640/
  • 105. Our brains produce…? http://www.flickr.com/photos/cblue98/7254347346/
  • 106. Know your Brainwaves
  • 107. Get your Alpha on
  • 108. 5 Easy ways access to Alpha http://uniteunderfreedom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Brain-waves.jpg
  • 109. (1) Breathe to refocus http://www.flickr.com/photos/eldave/3065425105/
  • 110. (2) Lay down; be prone http://www.flickr.com/photos/snazzy54/4581347651/
  • 111. (3) Daydream/Space out http://www.flickr.com/photos/fuzzylittlemanpeach/4633972431/
  • 112. (4) Takes a shower http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3761878381/
  • 113. (5) Get physical http://www.flickr.com/photos/miguel77/2728104156/
  • 114. “When your brain is supposedly doing nothing, it’s really doing a tremendous amount.” – Marcus Raichle, Neurologist
  • 115. Manage time http://www.flickr.com/photos/paolocampioni/2168286027/
  • 116. To DON’T https://www.flickr.com/photos/superamit/1043379069
  • 117. Say NO to Distractions http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideon/6582069/
  • 118. Instill the Headphones Rule https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/9824922293
  • 119. RescueTime.com
  • 120. HeyFocus.com
  • 121. Added bonus
  • 122. Tools RescueTime.com GetConcentrating.com HeyFocus.com Browser Extensions Firefox: LeechBlock Idderall Google Chrome: Strict Workflow StayFocusd Aids for digital blocking
  • 123. Single-task http://www.flickr.com/photos/33498942@N04/6009639079/
  • 124. Pomodoro Technique http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucamascaro/4975166968/
  • 125. Airplane mode http://www.flickr.com/photos/pieterouwerkerk/699475144/
  • 126. Connect & Play
  • 127. Do It With Others http://www.flickr.com/photos/u-suke/5668302030/
  • 128. Mo’ people, mo’ ideas http://www.flickr.com/photos/seretuaccidente/147686396/
  • 129. Avoid sameness http://www.flickr.com/photos/dahlstroms/3774973833/
  • 130. Diverse environments http://www.flickr.com/photos/shirinwiniger/3680885289/
  • 131. Share ideas http://www.flickr.com/photos/nanpalmero/4278466639/
  • 132. Don’t keep them to yourself http://www.flickr.com/photos/anieto2k/8127201319/
  • 133. Share mistakes http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt/26322670/
  • 134. Amplify the ideas of others http://www.flickr.com/photos/roland/54381130/
  • 135. Improv http://www.flickr.com/photos/roel1943/5740295789/
  • 136. Plus it http://www.flickr.com/photos/66568868@N00/6032481145/
  • 137. The structure
  • 138. Make your partner look good http://www.flickr.com/photos/31246066@N04/4597640798/
  • 139. Expands, does not contract http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/5752191246/
  • 140. Power-Push Writing Photo: Anna B. Scott
  • 141. Free & Clear
  • 142. Before http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_g_travels/860951845/
  • 143. After http://www.flickr.com/photos/visualdoubts/4087935894/
  • 144. The stage is set for Flow http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgeithner/5290115839/
  • 145. Find
  • 146. •  Clarity about & confidence in you want to achieve •  Level of mastery •  Cleared space; materials on hand •  Time carved out; distractions eliminated •  Practice in place The previous steps lead you here:
  • 147. (Re)Gain Creative Confidence http://www.flickr.com/photos/44085287@N05/4055807492/
  • 148. “…the confidence that, when given a difficult problem, we have a methodology that enables us to come up with a solution that nobody has before.” - David Kelley, Founder of Ideo
  • 149. Ideas are on and poppin’! http://www.flickr.com/photos/7730492@N03/4957946157/
  • 150. A transformation happens http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/5392982007/
  • 151. Reclaim our power http://www.flickr.com/photos/anieto2k/8216666102/
  • 152. By realizing
  • 153. Nudge your comfort zone
  • 154. “Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training.” - Anna Freud
  • 155. Value yourself and process http://www.flickr.com/photos/pocait/2847866615/
  • 156. Moving forward http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/6005503875/
  • 157. “Creativity makes day to day experiences more vivid, more enjoyable, more rewarding. When we live creatively, boredom is banished and every moment holds the promise of a fresh discovery.” - Mihali Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity
  • 158. It’s how & why I do what I do Photo: Derek Kearney
  • 159. “The new scarcity: the time, energy, and brainpower of bright, creative people.” -Mary Poppendieck, “Think For Yourself”
  • 160. You’re a precious resource http://www.flickr.com/photos/siutou_amy/2306794554/
  • 161. In order for you to create
  • 162. Need to Get Unblocked http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcymet/3564484236/
  • 163. You are my starfish https://www.flickr.com/photos/bestrated1/3323936783
  • 164. Make better things AND http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/5319988695/
  • 165. I hope that you http://www.flickr.com/photos/boojee/2781415869/
  • 166. The End…? http://www.flickr.com/photos/imuttoo/232100469/
  • 167. Thank you http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/4759535970/
  • 168. Four Secrets to Enhancing Creative Productivity www.creativebloq.com/inspiration/four-secrets-enhancing-creative-productivity-9126098 Banishing Your Inner Critic alistapart.com/articles/banishing-your-inner-critic/ Reigniting Your Creative Spark alistapart.com/articles/reigniting-your-creative-spark/ Breaking the Perfectionism-Procrastination Infinite Loop webstandardssherpa.com/reviews/breaking-the-perfectionism-procrastination-infinite-loop/ My articles for further reading
  • 169. DeniseJacobs.com  Sign up on my mailing list here! denise@denisejacobs.com twitter.com/denisejacobs facebook.com/denisejacobsdotcom slideshare.net/denisejacobs Connect with me! Photo used with permission: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aarronwalter/4629078087/