Why They Might Not Work
Keeping up with a daily set of tasks can be daunting, particularly for those (like me) who don’t adhere to a tight routine.
Daily Blocks won’t work for everyone. And even for the people they do help, they won’t work every day.
Still, if you're having trouble, there are steps you can take.
1. You have too little time, too little energy, too many distractions, too much laundry . . .
There are a thousand and one reasons our best intentions go awry. Life throws curve balls constantly. Sometimes you’ll forget about the blocks altogether, or remember them just as your head hits the pillow and your eyelids begin to close.
That’s OK. As with the practice of meditation, you’ll eventually bring your focus back. You’ll try again the next day, or the day after that.
2. You may not have a pressing desire or need to complete a certain task.
Choose tasks that are important to you and that have the power to improve your life. The more motivated you are, the better they'll work.
3. You see undone blocks as failures, and the discomfort of facing failure weighs on you too heavily.
Try to frame any completed tasks as success. Even if you do only one block, you've accomplished something.
For the blocks to work, you need to be able to forgive yourself and tolerate imperfection. If this is hard at first, take heart: it does get easier over time.
4. You find the blocks too annoying.
Again, a strength of the blocks is that they're in the way – they loom. They demand something of you, reminding you of the hope and aspiration with which you set them up each morning.
Seeing the blocks in a positive light can help you tolerate that sense of expectation. Try to see them as tools of power and possibility. They offer a chance to gain control over your life and to accomplish your goals.
5. You don’t find the blocks annoying enough.
If the blocks aren't catching your attention and provoking you to act, try putting them in a more intrusive spot.
6. You stop setting up the blocks each morning.
Remember, this is the one crucial change you’re making. If this doesn’t happen, nothing else will. If you’re having trouble with this first step, consider setting an alarm to remind you.
I’ve used the blocks for over a year, and I know they work for me. But as successful as my experience has been, it’s also been all about failure.
Paradoxically, it seems, the more I accept that I'll frequently fail, the easier it is to maintain the blocks as a routine. If I don't view failing on any one day as a complete failure, then I don't find myself tempted to give up altogether. It's just a moment where I say, “Well, that didn’t work today – I’ll try again tomorrow.”
Remember, something is better than nothing. The piecemeal nature of the blocks method can help keep you on track. Only do one, or a few, and you'll have some success every day. You’ll stay engaged, feel accomplished, and come out ahead.