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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 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.

Published in: Career, Business

Get Unblocked - 33rd Degree Conference

  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
  6. Time pressures
  7. Demanding clients
  8. Bureaucracy
  9. Oppressed
  10. Instead of this
  11. You run into road blocks
  12. And you run completely
  13. When in the creative flow
  14. We are alchemists
  15. It feels like
  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
  20. We give our power away
  21. Instead of power, we feel…
  22. Building Blocks
  23. & It starts early
  24. 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
  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. “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
  44. After writing this…
  45. I had an epiphany
  46. We ALL hold the power
  47. For Empowered
  48. Internalized critical voices
  49. Paralyze and imprison us
  50. We give so much away
  51. = Blocks
  52. Lies that we tell ourselves
  53. Adds up; Shuts us down
  54. Instead of creativity
  55. Destructivity
  56. How do we…
  57. Get Unblocked?
  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
  62. Internalized criticisms + fears
  63. Evil voices in your head
  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
  66. Face and ID your Inner Critic
  67. Impostor Syndrome
  68. Impostor Syndrome Paradox
  69. Comparisons
  70. Perfectionism
  71. “Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.” ― Anne Wilson Schaef
  72. Focus on the finished product…
  73. Instead of the process
  74. The real problem
  75. “The Best” vs “The most”
  76. Procrastination
  77. Feed each other
  78. Fear of failure
  79. F.E.A.R. =
  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
  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
  86. Comparisons aren’t real
  87. “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ― Dr. Maya Angelou
  88. Reframe failure
  89. And mistakes
  90. “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” - Henry Ford
  91. Be bad/make it ugly
  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” (
  93. Take it a step further Photo: Denise Jacobs
  94. Change your body, change your mind
  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
  101. Left v. Right brain?
  102. Left hemisphere
  103. Right hemisphere
  104. A balanced brain
  105. Our brains produce…?
  106. Know your Brainwaves
  107. Get your Alpha on
  108. 5 Easy ways access to Alpha
  109. (1) Breathe to refocus
  110. (2) Lay down; be prone
  111. (3) Daydream/Space out
  112. (4) Takes a shower
  113. (5) Get physical
  114. “When your brain is supposedly doing nothing, it’s really doing a tremendous amount.” – Marcus Raichle, Neurologist
  115. Manage time
  116. To DON’T
  117. Say NO to Distractions
  118. Instill the Headphones Rule
  121. Added bonus
  122. Tools Browser Extensions Firefox: LeechBlock Idderall Google Chrome: Strict Workflow StayFocusd Aids for digital blocking
  123. Single-task
  124. Pomodoro Technique
  125. Airplane mode
  126. Connect & Play
  127. Do It With Others
  128. Mo’ people, mo’ ideas
  129. Avoid sameness
  130. Diverse environments
  131. Share ideas
  132. Don’t keep them to yourself
  133. Share mistakes
  134. Amplify the ideas of others
  135. Improv
  136. Plus it
  137. The structure
  138. Make your partner look good
  139. Expands, does not contract
  140. Power-Push Writing Photo: Anna B. Scott
  141. Free & Clear
  142. Before
  143. After
  144. The stage is set for Flow
  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
  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’!
  150. A transformation happens
  151. Reclaim our power
  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
  156. Moving forward
  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
  161. In order for you to create
  162. Need to Get Unblocked
  163. You are my starfish
  164. Make better things AND
  165. I hope that you
  166. The End…?
  167. Thank you
  168. Four Secrets to Enhancing Creative Productivity Banishing Your Inner Critic Reigniting Your Creative Spark Breaking the Perfectionism-Procrastination Infinite Loop My articles for further reading
  169.  Sign up on my mailing list here! Connect with me! Photo used with permission: