There is an element to every project that I believe everyone struggles with; time. Physicists know time as a constant. There is no doubt that time is always ticking on. Time does not stop and every deadline is constantly getting closer. Skill and focus help to stay on task when working toward a deadline. However, there can be so many different distractions when you are working toward a goal.
Distractions can be healthy. If you are too focused on your goal then you may miss something or overlook something just because you have seen it a hundred times. It is important to take time to allow yourself to subconsciously process things. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by your distractions. Get your mind off the problem at hand (maybe work on a different part of the project, take a walk around the site, do a couple pushups… I don’t know, whatever works for you). If you come back to it and still don’t have the answer, don’t worry, because you’ll figure it out.
Sometimes, you just need luck. You might just have a random thought that becomes something great. You might be one of those people that mid-conversation that is totally unrelated might just stop and need to write down a thought, don’t be afraid of that. Sometimes, you might be throwing around an idea that you think is really stupid but it might lead to something better just because you exercised it.
I once attended a youth journalism conference in high school at the University of Illinois where a guest speaker said, “Don’t be afraid of the kitten ideas.” Now, out of context that may sound a bit odd. However, he had talked about how a group of friends were trying to make a video that would be popular on youtube. These kids had tried all kinds of tricks that they thought would attract people to their channel. Then one day, one of the kids was bored and filmed his cats playing in his living room and uploaded the video. The video flooded his page with views and lead to the discovery of the group. All of his friends thought the video was totally stupid but he up loaded the video anyway.
I guess, the point I am trying to make is… Don’t take yourself too seriously but don’t allow yourself to get too distracted by unimportant things. Find out what it is that you want to do and do it.