I used to get the shanks quite a bit (always with short irons, never long irons). Funny thing about them was that anything I tried to get rid of them worked (at least for a little while). Then it was like my brain figured out I had tricked it by changing something and would make the shanks come back until I changed something again and fooled my brain again. Ha ha!
Some days trying to hit the toe worked and some days it made it worse. I once played an entire round trying to hit the ball with an imaginary extra inch at the end of my club. Another time I played the entire back nine with my five wood. Funniest time of all was when my son told me to try to shank the ball. I told him that was nuts but he said "I don't think you can do it". The rest of the day I tried my best to lead the hosel right into the ball and couldn't shank the ball at all and hit every shot perfectly. Unfortunately the next time I tried that it didn't work either.
Finally one day I was messing around and decided to try to swing like Steve Stricker with no wrist hinge. Hit the ball perfectly that day stuck with that approach and I haven't had the shanks in 4 years.