Breaking Free

By Jeremy Koellish, COO

Here’s how it starts: You’re presented with a problem and your mind instantly begins to work at it like a reflex instead of the complex wonder machine it actually is. You find you’re going nowhere fast and you wonder why. Sound familiar?

Don’t worry, there’s a term for it – it’s called a rut and if you’re a human being, chances are you’ve suffered this ailment. But there’s an antidote if you’re willing to invest the time to get there. Here’s how:

Recipe: One part knowledge…

Seems counterintuitive, but I’ve found that the more you know, the more likely you are to fall into a rut. We see it in our industry quite a bit – a skilled technician is confronted with a problem and without thinking she automatically chooses to go down the same path she always does to find the solution. This usually happens for one of two reasons: we become so detailed in our approach we lose the vision of the bigger picture, or we have allowed our habits to put our brains on cruise control. Either way, both roads lead to Rutsville.

Understand: Welcome to the rut.

You don’t know exactly how you got here, but you know where you are. You’re in a rut…but how did it happen? First, take a breath and ask yourself one simple question: “Have I been coming at problems the same way, doing the same thing over and over again?” If the answer is “yes, my mind has become like an assembly line” – then ask yourself this far trickier (but invaluable) second question: “Is there another way?”

Transform: Free at last, free at last!

Freeing yourself from factory-style thinking is no easy task…and I certainly do not mean to downplay the personal investment needed to find “another way”…but it is possible! It is just a matter of clearing out the chaos around you so you can let your mind wander in peace. Go for a run, meditate, take your shoes off in the park. Thinking outside the box is not that hard, it is just a matter of taking the time to let the answer in and quieting your mind enough to hear it when it arrives.

Follow Jeremy on Twitter @JKoellish for more insights, How To’s and IT Humor