Sometimes a change is as good as a rest, or how to pop the clutch of your mind

There are times when your brain just doesn’t want to co-operate. Sometimes it is due to procrastination, sometimes you truly need a break, and sometimes you want to work and nothing shows up.

That is when you need to pop the clutch in your mind.

I drive a manual stick transmission and have for a long time. For those who haven’t, the clutch is the pedal you use to switch the gear. You press in on the clutch and move the stick to the desired gear, then release the clutch while pushing the gas. It takes a little bit of coordination, but it is great fun. There are also a couple of cool tricks you can do in a stick transmission that you can’t really pull off in an automatic car.

A really useful one (especially if you owned an older model stick car) is popping the clutch. If your car won’t start because the battery is dead, you can put the car in neutral and either push it or roll it down a hill and at the right moment put the car in first gear, remove your foot from the clutch and push on the gas. The car will lurch horribly but if you did it right, it will start.

You bypassed the need for a starter and are able to drive on your merry way, hopefully to a mechanic who will fix your starter or charge your battery.

So to bypass what is stopping you from working, take your focus off the task at hand but do something work adjacent. So if you are stuck trying to write (and you didn’t leave of at a good place), instead of beating your brain, go do some other writing task. Write in a journal, write a letter, email or even a blog post! You don’t actually have to send the letter or publish the post. But the act of writing something different will allow your brain to stay in the writing mode but get around what was stopping you from the task you needed to get accomplished. Once you are finished with your adjacent task, you should be now able to continue to write.

Did this work for you? Let me know if it does, or if you have any other tips on how to get it done!

Have a great day!



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