Every day, when you wake up, problems come pouring in. Maybe you hold them at bay until after you’ve had your cup of coffee. Maybe they whisk right into your mind a few seconds after the alarm goes off. Maybe you manage to get all the way to work, whistling and carefree, before six or seven brand new problems find a way to hop into your life.
No matter who you are, your problems are there with you. The more problems you’re experiencing at a given time, then more frustrated you’ll be about all of them. It’s human nature to want to fix problems, and to fix problems well. But when you’ve got ten or twenty problems on your hands, it’s hard to give the proper time and thought to each one of them. That’s where you can save yourself a bit of grief.
You’ve been told before to “think outside the box.” To be perfectly honest, you’re annoyed by the phrase. You’ve heard it one too many times when someone (like your boss) just wanted you to accomplish the impossible. “Just keep trying!” You don’t have a lot of affection for the phrase.
But think of it here as permission to be a little lazy. Not the bad, unproductive lazy… the clever kind of lazy that helps your mind find the simplest solution. The innovative kind of lazy that’s been praised for finding the easy way out. Go ahead and be that kind of lazy. Think of something easier. You deserve it. Your other problems deserve it, too, because they need some of your time as well.
Say you’re in charge of renovating an old cathedral. Rather than hiring a crew to restore the pillars by hand, you could consider bringing in a specialized machine to do the job instead. Say you own an Etsy store and you’re trying to get better photos–but can’t afford a great camera yet. Think outside the box and get a camera lens for your phone, saving yourself money and boosting the quality of your photos. Say you’re the owner of a small retail store, and you’re not sure how to hang your products. You’ve mulled and tested and had overly-creative “solutions” come toppling down around your ears. Don’t worry–you can take the easy way out and have beautiful display walls with a quick online purchase.
No matter how unique or bizarre your problems are, there’s a solution out there that will make life easier. The more you train your brain to think outside the box, the more easily ideas start flowing. Soon you’ll be ticking items off your to-do list and feeling a lot less stressed. Whatever you have to do, and however you decide to do it, thinking outside the box will save you time and worry.