The Arena Newsletter
Issue 24 | February 20, 2020
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” -Pablo Picasso
Welcome to The Arena Newsletter
In this issue, we’re taking a look at inspiration, which at times c an be elusive. Some of us wait for it to come, and others just keep working, in the hopes that it will find us where we are. But what if there were a button you could just press and, poof! Inspiration abounds!

While it may not be an actual inspiration button, with The Arena App, you DO have the option to simply tap into Inspiration in the upper left-hand menu. The Inspiration section of Arena is divided into three parts: I’m Stuck, I’m Unwilling, and I’m Distracted. Each section offers several different questions you can ask yourself to help find a way to move past your roadblock and get on with your day.
I'm Stuck
The “I’m Stuck” section offers questions modeled after the Getting Things Done (Allen, 2015) methodology: Look at your projects and see what can be delegated or deleted. This could help you get a better sense of what actually belongs to you. Another suggestion is to break down your project into smaller steps. For this, use the checklist function in Arena to write down the small steps or milestones. These smaller, more manageable chunks will seem easier to tackle individually rather than trying to take on too much at one time. 

The final question in this section takes a look at communication and asking yourself who would be best to reach out to regarding your task. If you’re stuck on a project, the #1 thing you can do is talk to someone about it. Getting into communication helps to pause the swirl in our brain and recognize it. Find a co-worker, teammate, or co-conspirator who will help you sort our your brain jumble and get back into action as quickly as possible.

I'm Unwilling
The “I’m Unwilling” section takes a different approach, encouraging you to take a closer look at exactly why you are avoiding a project. These questions are straightforward, asking into what part of a project cannot be done, why it cannot be done, and who might need to know as a result. The best advice from this section focuses on you choosing a task, adding a checklist (with at least three steps), and setting a timer for 25 minutes. That’s it - 25 minutes! That’s all you need to give to this task right now. If you’re making good progress, then keep going! If you’ve hit another wall, then take a break and try it again later. Just keep chipping away at your task in manageable pieces… you’ll get there.

I'm Distracted
The “I’m Distracted” section is the trickiest. We all have a tendency to let the tiniest of things pull us out of a project we don’t want to be working on. The best advice in this section is to close out of everything that does not pertain to your current project. Not just minimize - completely close out programs, browser windows, etc. Leave only the files that are needed for that project. This will allow you to focus on one thing and one thing only. 

The other tips here are more for helping your mind reset. Do you have time to meditate, even for a few minutes? This could help you clear your mind of whatever is bouncing around in there. Or more simply, could you close your eyes, take a breath, and countdown from five to help give your mind a quick reboot? If you have a flexible schedule, you could even take a short break and go for a walk. Choose anything that helps clear out the clutter in your brain that insists on keeping you from focusing can help you move out of your distracted state. 
In Short
Whatever internal factor is keeping you from working on a specific task should be confronted rather than avoided. If you find yourself in need of inspiration, don’t be afraid to try different solutions. You just have to be willing to find what works for you, even if it’s something different every time. The most important thing is that you don’t give up. To quote a very wise fish, “Just keep swimming.”
Arena = Free!
The Arena App: Daily Planner, developed by Thrivner Software, combines best practices for #productivity, #timemanagement, and a life well-lived so you have a better day, every day! And, yes, Arena for iPhones and iPads is now free!
  • Allen, David. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Revised ed. Penguin Books, 2015.
  • Pixar Animation Studios/Walt Disney Pictures. Finding Nemo. 2003.
# InTheArena # SeizeTheDay # Productivity