“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”
Gautama Buddha identified five states of mind, called the Five Hindrances, that hinder our ability to meditate and be present in our lives. We can also apply this concept to doing creative work, studying, or simply trying to get something done.
If you are having trouble focusing and getting your work done, are you being blocked by one of the Five Hindrances?
1. Grasping: You want to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch something different experiencing right now.
Are you checking social media or the news instead of doing your work? Do you want to get a snack?
2. Aversion: You want to push your work away out of fear, anger, or frustration.
Are you complaining about the person who assigned the work? Are you frustrated by your progress?
3. Restlessness: You have too much energy or too many thoughts. This can come from trying to accomplish too many things at once.
Are you trying to accomplish too many things today? Are you trying to multi-task? Have you exercised today?
4. Sloth: You feel bored and lazy.
Are you are staring at your work and not making progress? Are you are procrastinating?
5. Doubt: You question if your work has any value or will have any impact.
Are you muting yourself? Do you feel like giving up? Are you avoiding doing your work because you don't feel good about it?
When you become aware of what is blocking you, then you can find strategies for getting unblocked.