Have you ever felt stuck? Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t get going, or get the things done that you knew you needed to do? Have you ever felt as if you were getting things done at 5mph while everything around you was moving at 60mph? Me too. I have been in this position more times than I can remember and have been there much of this week. So how do you get out of stuck? Here are some of my methods:
-Get Started – there is an old saying “A job begun, is a job half done”. I am not sure I would go so far as to say that if you get started on whatever you need to do that it is suddenly half done. However, I agree that the hardest part of most projects is just getting started. It is a guarantee that you will stay stuck if you don’t get started.
-Set a deadline – set a series of deadlines if it is a larger project. It is so much easier to stay stuck if there is no urgency to complete the project. For me, I often have to put my deadlines on my calendar or some other visible document. The deadline carries more meaning when it is can be seen.
-Have someone else ask about the project – get someone else to ask you about the project. Knowing that someone is going to be asking will often get you moving beyond stuck.
-Do something different – get away from the project for a while. I don’t mean avoid it, I mean do something completely different for a little while. It could be other work, or it could be something fun or meaningless. This can help shift your mind, and emotions, out of the stuck mode. Then when you return to the project you may have some fresh thinking, or at the very least you are renewed to start moving out of stuck.
-Do something physical – this one assumes that you are stuck mentally or emotionally. Take a walk, ride a bike, exercise (not my first choice), mow the lawn (my last choice) or something else that gets your blood flowing and your mind focused on something other than your project.
-Tell someone you are stuck – I realize that this might be obvious, but I also know that many times others are unaware that you are stuck. Telling someone can bring some support, some accountability and maybe a fresh thought that helps you move beyond being stuck.
-Make sure that whatever you are stuck on needs to be done by you – sometimes we are stuck because we are not doing the right stuff. Either it is not your area and you have accepted it anyway, or you are covering for someone else who didn’t get it done or you have overstepped and are trying to control someone else. So stop and make sure you should be doing whatever it is that has you stuck. Caution, don’t just use this as an excuse to not do something that you just don’t want to do.
There are very few conditions in which being stuck is fun, so let’s work to get out of stuck. Don’t be too proud to admit you are stuck. The biggest thing is to do whatever works for you to get unstuck. I have discovered that it is not always the same things that get me unstuck. What works one time may not be what helps me move through it the next time. So don’t get stuck on how to get unstuck. Be willing to try different things to move beyond stuck.
Here’s hoping you are not stuck, but if you are stuck then here’s hoping you can start moving out of it today.