Press Play

When I don’t know what to write about, I can pace around the house trying to come up with an idea. I can stare at the blinking cursor in silence. I can also go do something else and hope lightning will strike later. There are a million ways to handle a creative drought or friction in productivity.

Nine out of ten times, however, the simplest solution is also the best: I can sit down, put my fingers on my keyboard, and press play on a timer and some music. Once the “game” of writing has officially begun with some ritual, however silly it may be, chances are, I will start playing — and something will end up on the page.

This solution is simple because all it requires is trust: As long as I believe that work will happen once I play some work music, start a work timer, or make a “work coffee,” it almost inevitably does. Of course, that trust isn’t always easy to find, and that’s why we feel friction and “writer’s block” in the first place. But if you can build and reinforce those habits — and along with them the belief — the system will become more reliable than even the best productivity hack or creativity exercise.

You don’t need the perfect idea or a finished roadmap before you start. Just press play and allow progress to happen.