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Use Improv to Get Off Your Butt

As I sit here writing this blog post, I only have a few ideas without a cohesive picture of a final product.  I don’t really know where to start.  I have no idea how this will finish, and yet I still must produce.  And with that I call upon my improv training to get the ball rolling.  Looking up, I notice that the first paragraph just wrote itself…Here’s how it works…

Nothing and Everything

Just about every improv scene starts out in the same way: An Empty Stage.  Without a script and without a safety net, the improviser must step on stage and produce something.  While there seems to be nothing on that stage, the opposite is true.  Everything is on the stage.  The improviser can call upon an infinite number of possibilities to create.  However, this can be even more daunting than the prospect of having nothing at all.  An infinite number of possibilities force us to answer the question “Which one should I choose?”

Do Something!

The answer: It doesn’t matter what you choose to do first; just do something.  Once we allow the judgmental part of our mind to get locked up in the infinite options, we stall in an attempt to find the best possibility.  The best choice is to simply do something…anything.  The only wrong choice for the improviser is to leave the stage empty.  For the writer, “Do Something” means put a word on the blank page.  For the artist, put paint on the canvas.  For you, just start somewhere.

Adjust Your Course

Once you commit to doing something, it gets you out of your judgmental mind.  You can take a moment to notice what you did and adjust course accordingly.  At the very least, this process will shift you out of the stalled state.  Making the initial move on an exercise program, or when writing, or whenever you start a new project is the first step on the path of momentum.  So stop reading, and Do Something!  

~Tommy Galan, Director of Corporate Programming at The PIT