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The Howl at the Moon Hack: A Productivity Method You May Not have Expected

Friday February 21, 2020

Lately I’ve been doing a bit of brainstorming on the Fi-Te dichotomy and productivity. One of the outcomes of which I’ve been very proud has been Task BATL.

Today I’d like to discuss another outcome that’s been really amusing. This is a new productivity technique that’s rooted in emotion, play, and more balance. I call it the “Howl at the Moon Hack”. Here are the steps:

The Howl at the Moon Hack

  1. Put on a “soulful” guitar backing track
  2. Sing about everything that sucks or that bothers you or concerns you about the work you need to do. Be as corny or sarcastic or serious as you feel you need to be.
  3. Address even the hard, seemingly dead-end problems you don’t want to talk about (break that emotional barrier!)
  4. Keep singing until the singing is no longer fulfilling in any way, and you don’t have anything else to sing about
  5. At that point, it should become a bit easier to plan / organize / move ahead with those difficult projects, as you switch from Fi toward Te-type thinking. Hope you have a list handy!
  6. Consider taking advantage of the momentum of this switch to get up and get moving around, if you can. Even just to get a drink of water or take a short walk around the block. You can work on your to-do list while doing these things as well.

Seriously, try it if you haven’t already, and especially if you’re really into productivity techniques and hacks. I have received good reports from others who have tried it.

The idea is to address any emotional barriers that could be preventing you from getting to the next step.

Sometimes you just can’t force things to happen. As much as we may want to work like a robot / computer / etc., and have a program or be the program, we’re also emotional individuals. And avoiding emotion, or just doing nothing about the emotion while it is buried further down, can lead to some really embarrassing and alarming situations.

Here are a few other techniques that have been amusing:

  • “Hijacking” to-do list bullets to just gripe about everything for a moment
  • Doodling funny pictures of aspects of one’s duties, for stress relief
  • Writing funny, work-related lyrics to popular songs
  • A lot of other unholy and irreverent things

The cool thing about these is that, while they initially seem fickle or immature, they can open up a deeper and qualitatively superior dive into one’s own values, and help us ask really important questions:

  • Do you really feel connected to your work at all?
  • Have you just been buried by too many to-do items?
  • Are you enjoying life?
  • What is needed right now in order to feel better?

Even those last two questions can be absolutely huge.

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