The Zelda method will make you more productive

Zelda: A Link to the past

I loved Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Never got into Ocarina of time and thought that Wind Waker looked great but was pretty simple. I was also reading The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim. The book explored Freudian Symbolism in Fairy Tales.

It appeared that Zelda: Twilight Princess had incorporated elements of this symbolism into its story. The hero transforming into a wolf, the horse that rears onto its hind legs when the hero kisses the princess. I could get into it if you want but I’m not here to talk about the deeper meanings of a Nintendo game.

What I am here to mention is the difficulty of the puzzles in the game. I found some of them challenging. I’m not a great gamer, so maybe that makes me a noob, but I remember several times just being unable to progress.

Not knowing what to do; I would play Viewtiful Joe instead.

Henshin a Go-Go baby

Viewtiful Joe was knock about beat ‘em up fun compared to the more strategic play. I would get my fill and then would go back to Zelda. I was able to find that I could progress a little further.

Zelda hadn’t changed in difficulty level. It was just that I was able to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. Approach the game objectively.

This would go back and forth until eventually, I completed the Zelda game.

Words and Lyrics

I made a film a few years ago, Deadville.

When I was writing it, I had also started up a band called Mental Deficiency. Splitting the time between the two may not be the best practice, but for some reason, it worked with me.

At one point rewrites for Deadville needed to be completed by a specific date because we needed to start rehearsals.

At the same time, I was worried that Mental Deficiency wouldn’t have enough songs to play our headline gigs. You need about six-eight songs if you want to headline your concerts and they have to be your own. Covers are cheating.

Thoughts of needing songs were in the back of my head the whole way through rewrites the Deadville script.

Almost as soon as I finished the Deadville script lyrics and song ideas came pouring out of my head.

I don’t know why I was able to come up with lyrics so fast. Distracting myself from the songs by working on a script gave my conscious mind the distraction that it needed. It was so my subconscious could work on coming up with lyrics and ideas.

You’ve probably been told to focus on one and not to stop until it is done.

Does that work for you? If it does you can stop reading, what follows isn’t applicable. I’m talking to the people who struggle with focus. If you are a person who gets bogged down in the weeds of a project, I’m here to talk to you. If you’re a person who gets emotionally invested in a creative endeavour, then you and I have a few things to discuss.

My focus is a big problem. Trying to heed the advice of those who have done so and focus on one task until it’s completed is difficult. For the last few years, I have attempted to do that, and it hasn’t got me the results that I wanted.

While I’m still learning and trying to find a way that works for me I realise that the one task at a time approach does not work.

If this sounds like you then I may have a method that might help.

Zelda Method

You may not find this useful. You’re thinking “so what?” .

In fact the majority of you reading this won’t. You have proper focus, so I know that this post is aimed at the smallest minority like myself.

Trying for years to focus on one task has led me to frustration. The “one step at a time” method has not worked for me, and maybe it doesn’t work for you.

Try what I call the “Zelda Method”. Work on one project until you hit a wall then work on something similar yet different.

With Zelda and Viewtiful Joe they were both games, but they were a different genre.

With Deadville and Mental Deficiency, they were both word related projects.

I forget about the “Zelda Method” and have recently wasted time focusing on one project. In this case, it was a play that concerned Harvey Weinstein. Furthermore, it dealt with the complicity of actors, Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey.

I hit a wall and got frustrated, the project has halted. I went back to another player and started to restructure the piece. Low and behold I now know what restructures that I should make to the first play.

If I ever want to learn to play a musical instrument, it’s going to have to be piano and guitar at the same time.

I’m annoyed that I forgot that this is how I work, let this post be a reminder that one step at a time does not work for everyone.

Those who run before they can walk stumble more often but you’ll be surprised how much ground they cover.

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