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How To Think Laterally (And Solve Infuriating Problems!)

Edward-de-bono-quote-lateral-thinking

Have you ever had a problem that was sooooooo infuriating, no matter which way you looked at it, you just couldn’t see a way out?

Me too.

I’ve been struggling (read about my full struggle here). Mainly it’s the whole business / mamma thing. I mean how do people find the time? It’s C.R.A.Z.Y. how much time (not to mention brainpower) goes into caring for another little soul.

My main struggle has been time. How to find it, how to prioritise it and how to magic it out of thin air. 💫 ⭐️ 🌟 ✨

Because that’s what you gotta do when you’re juggling a baby and a biz. Squeeze a few slithers of time out of NOWHERE to devote to your work.

Anyway, I was grappling with this the other week as I slurped on my third chai latte of the day (yes I’m an addict), when I decided to take a different approach. I figured, I need to literally create time but how the heck do I do this? So I did a bit of an analysis on where all my current time goes.

Essentially most of the normal waking hours were gobbled up by caring for my son and general activities like shopping, yoga, meditation, eating etc. So other than that I had between 7pm and 6am free. Well, other than sleep.

So, instead of banging my head against a brick wall, I decided to think laterally for a minute. I know that I’m completely useless at working late at night as I’m just too frazzled from running around after a toddler all day. The mornings however, are my best time to power through work.

Buuuuuut my toddler wakes up at 6am!!! I mean how am I supposed to get up before then??

Well this got me thinking laterally. What could I do to make me need LESS sleep? What changes could I make, so I could sleep less, but still wake up rested and energised?

I thought back to a time at University when I did the Atkins diet. Anyone remember that? It’s the low carb diet (it’s since been re-branded as the keto diet). I remember when I did that diet (and specifically when I just cut carbs from my evening meal) I needed WAY LESS sleep. I could get by on 6-7 hours easy.

So next I thought, OK I need to plan this based on my natural levels of productivity. I know I’m rubbish at working late, so I need to use the time early in the morning.

I worked backwards. If I wanted to get up at 4am then what time would I need to get to bed to still get 7 hours sleep? 9pm. Great! I love going to bed at 9pm. This sounded like a winning solution.

So, that’s what I did. I cut out carbs from my evening meal, cleaned up my diet (sugar is a carb peeps, bye bye sugar! 😮), made sure I was in bed by 9pm and got up at 4am. This gave me an extra 2+ hours in the day to devote to my work.

And the best most brilliant bit? It meant that by the time my son waked at 6ish I had already accomplished SO MUCH that it just made me feel GREAT about the day. I was no longer chasing my tail trying to figure out when I’d get some work done.

So my peachy pie friends, lateral thinking is THE way. Instead of looking at the problem head on, try and approach things differently. I mean, my problem was initially time, buuuut, it was actually a diet problem. If I’m honest I was eating crap and that was draining my energy and making me sleep longer than I needed to.

DISCLAIMER: Clearly I’m not suggesting the answer to everyone’s problems is a low carb diet, that’s what worked for ME. Just like working in the AM works better for me than the PM. For some peeps the idea of getting up at 4am (and some days I did 3am!) would be like ‘HELL NO! THAT”S THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT’. But I feel that way about working late. Those night owls who burn the midnight oil and work until 3am. I just don’t get it!

The point is; there will be a way that works for YOU. Whatever your infuriating problem is, there IS a way. There is ALWAYS a way. Just think around the problem, go behind it, above it, to the side of it, any way you can to find another way.

You’ll find it. I promise.

If you’re struggling, pop your problem in the comments below the blog post and I’ll have a go at thinking laterally with you. Be gone problems! Time to bite the dust!

With LOVE and dust biting, problem zapping cheer! Ha! 😂

Zoe B x

P.S. We have Edward De Bono to thank for the concept of lateral thinking. Why thank you kind sir!

P.P.S Have you checked out my most popular Career Masterclass: 3 Steps to Find More Meaningful Career your Love? Get 90 solid minutes of amazingness here. (it’s free)

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8 Comments. Leave new

Great post Zoe! I’ve been doing the same this year and I love it. I get so much more done and I miss nothing, those night hours were frittered away on my laptop. I did it over a few weeks so it wasn’t too much of a shock to my system. Now I wake up at 4am (or 4.03) without an alarm.

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Thanks hon. yes I LOVE the early morning hours! So quiet and no distractions 🙂

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Loved this post. I’ve been trying to figure how to get more productive time & sufficient sleep too. (No baby though, just long work hours & lots to do). Thanks for the posts, really glad that you’re back on.

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Thanks Celly! Good luck with your productivity! Hope the events biz is going well 😉

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Hi Zoe, thank you. Yes I had my first event last month. Just waiting on some material from my photographer, so I will share with you.

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Night owl here, or rather an extreme-B person as it’s called @ here. I can go till 6 am or a couple of nights without sleep and not really feeling tired, but what makes me tired is trying to break the code with every possible method and nothing seem to work… I am pretty good at marketing myself face2face, but when it comes to Fb or any other online platform for that matter nothing seems to work….. neither targeting, videos, written content and so on.
Sorry about venting it out loud (((BLUSH)))

Love, Light & Joy

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Hello night owl! Well to think laterally about this we would need ot turn the problem on it’s head../what is the opposite of fb, online platforms etc? Why do you have to use these channels? If you’re great at face to face, why not focus more on this or apply what you do face to face in an online format? How can you make your videos more face to face like? some things to ponder…

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Well, I don’t have to, but it’s the “obvious” way to get new clients apart from health fairs. Was thinking about making webinars, but then everybody I watched say that people need to learn to know you first… if they don’t talk to me at least I don’t see how they’ll ever learn to know me 😛
Thanks a lot for you answer <3 <3 <3
I'll brainstorm a bit or more on that to see what comes out of it.

Hugs
Tatiana

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