How Isaac Asimov Avoided ‘Getting Stuck’ While Working

How Isaac Asimov Avoided ‘Getting Stuck’ While Working

When you’ve hit a wall while working on a project, there’s no sense in banging your head against it. Here’s how Isaac Asimov, the prolific science fiction author and science writer, worked his way through creative blocks.


Asimov wrote more than 500 books in his lifetime, so he was no stranger to productivity or feeling stuck. What was his secret to success? Michael Chu highlights a strategy found in Asimov’s autobiography It’s Been a Good Life at Medium:

I don’t stare at blank sheets of paper. I don’t spend days and nights cudgeling a head that is empty of ideas. Instead, I simply leave the novel and go on to any of the dozen other projects that are on tap. I write an editorial, or an essay, or a short story, or work on one of my nonfiction books. By the time I’ve grown tired of these things, my mind has been able to do its proper work and fill up again. I return to my novel and find myself able to write easily once more.

The project you’re stuck on may be at the top of your to-do list, but you need to give your brain some time away from it. You don’t have to stop being productive, you just need to let your mind work through it in the background. When inspiration finally strikes again, take hold and feel yourself get pulled from your mental rut.

It’s Been a Good Life [Book Depository via Medium]

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.