I have two new tricks (for me) to help myself animate.
1. write down what my next move is for when I get back to the computer. It can take a long time to get what's going on in a scene uploaded to my brain's ram, so at the end of a session when my brain is humming and keeping track of all the spinning plates making a note of which plates needs a respin next for when I get back seems to be helping me get faster to the doing part of animation.
2. having the steps of my workflow labeled helps me troubleshoot (if I'm having lots of problems may need to step back a step, if I'm not sure what to do next it's time to move to the next level) and stay on target. Newest addition for me is splitting up rough blocking into ruff block poses and ruff block timing.
my stages (often blur together):
listen to audio on repeat, try to tease out the true meaning and emotions,
think about the point of the scene (try and put the scene in a totally different context then source audio that still fits the emotions) thumbnail ideas
vid ref a lot 20 minutes at least, then cut together a short vid with the most interesting parts
layout build the scene and props, put characters in their spots, set camera
rough blocking: getting the meat of the scene down
block goldens the essential story telling poses of the scene, the ones that would be drawn if it were a comic strip instead (ignore timing, focus on flow between poses) key whole body
block timing shuffle the golden poses around until the timing works, copied pairs
blocking 1st pass: contacts and extremes, all the poses that describe the bounds of the movement key whole body
blocking 2nd pass: breakdowns, all the poses that describes the kind of movement, eases and arcs and stuff key whole body
polishing the two parts go together, whatever it takes to make it look right
partials blocking: frame by framing through on each body part and putting keys to smooth out arcs and eases (just keying parts, no longer whole body keys)
curve polishing: smooth curves, make sure there's no weirdness, then just go down heirarchy making sure it looks right (setting keys or tweaking curves)(I try not to tweak tangents anymore, if the curve overshoots I lock it with a key so that a global tangent change won't kill it)
review: on loop, walk across room and watch it big, shrink it tiny, flip it horizontally ,watch it over and over and make notes of everything needing fixing
fix it: fix all the things on the list
repeat last two steps until done