Seems obvious but we usually double down or try harder when things are not going our direction, although it’s always worth it to take a step back and assess the situation, “This is not going as planned, now what?” well maybe the option is for you to do the opposite.
Now there is a balance, you want to make sure you try hard but if your hitting your head against the wall maybe you want to use the rule of 3, if you have tried 3 times and have not seen any positive results then it may be time to try something different in which case I propose going against the current or in in opposite direction. Yes in many cases the opposite maybe the shortest path to solve your problem. Another way to look at is that the opposite may be the path that no one has traveled yet.
Doing the opposite can be as basic as looking at your problem and finding out what the opposite would be and trying that out. Let’s say you are proposing a project to your boss but he does not seem to be interested in it, maybe you propose what you know he would truly be interested in (i.e. opposite direction) and then guide him back to your project or a subsection of your project that could then grow in to the full extent of true proposition.
Doing the opposite could be as simple as reducing the amount of time you spend reading emails, how much time do we waste on emails? maybe you only read 2 emails or maybe you avoid emails all week.
Remember If there is problem and you have already attempted to solve it but you have had no luck, step back and look at what “doing the opposite” would be, sometime this perspective will give you alternate solutions you did not imagine. Be conscious that when you try something new it may not work right away and if it doesn’t pivot and try something else, pivot until you find something that works and then keep doing more of that.