Getting Past a Roadblock

It’s noon. Emily gives herself only thirty minutes to write a simple proposal for the new conference she plans to pitch at lunch. She has discovered two things about her brain over the years: that she can bring ideas to her stage with less effort if she writes when a deadline is close, and that writing seems to expand to fill the time available.

After a few minutes, as Emily gets close to finishing her proposal, she has a small insight: she should go to her lunch meeting with a suggested brand name for the conference. The novelty of this insight sparks her interest, pushing up her dopamine levels. But she quickly gets annoyed with herself for not having thought of this before, remembering it can take days ...

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