Idea development is a lot like backpacking deep into the mountains. When you start out, you can see the uphill climb in front of you, but you are excited, passionate and full of energy. You start your journey and it doesn't seem so bad. You make a lot of progress then, suddenly, your energy fades and you are struggling.
In running, it is called hitting the wall. During a marathon, runners often experience intense fatigue only a few miles into their journey. While hitting the wall for runners has more to do with physiology, it is common to experience a similar phenomenon when working on a project. So how do you beat it?
After pushing yourself and working with passion, your mind is bound to be tired. Your adrenaline is spent. You are mentally exhausted. It is time to rest your brain. Take a walk. Meditate. Take a 20 minute nap. Do something non-stimulating so your mind can relax and recharge.
After you've rested, rekindle your romance with your Why. Think about the thing that drives you. What opportunities lie ahead? What benefits you will gain? And, think about what is at stake if you don't finish. What will you miss out on?
The only way to keep moving is to take the next step, even if it is small. If you are stuck and not sure which step comes next, take a couple minutes to evaluate where you are in your project. Chances are, there are several areas you can focus on. If you are stuck, pick a task that is quick and easy to accomplish. Finish it fast, and celebrate your success. Then, pick another quick and easy task.
Just as runners often hit the wall a few miles into a run, just as many experience a second wind. A second wind is when they suddenly find the strength to continue with less effort. The same thing happens in working through your project. After you've pushed through the hard part, you will start moving again with less effort. It is part of the process.
In the comments below, tell me what you've done to break through when you hit the wall in your project.