How to Get Unstuck
Stuck. We have all been there. Maybe it’s writer’s block. Maybe you just can’t get started. Maybe there’s a deadline looming and you can’t seem to figure out the next right thing to do. When you are stuck you need easy, concrete actions to take to get yourself moving again. Here are three strategies to help you get unstuck.
How to Get Unstuck Strategy #1: Go for a Walk
Ever notice how you get your most creative ideas when you aren’t trying to be creative? One of the reasons I love to attend conferences is that as I sit listening to others talk about their work I get great ideas about my work. Sometimes they are related, more often they are not. Maybe you get these ideas in the shower, or as you are falling asleep or at the gym. I recently read that people became more creative after reading the phone book. Whatever you do, do something different. Getting outside and going for a walk can be enough to disengage your brain from stuck mode and get you going again.
How to Get Unstuck Strategy #2: Set a Timer
Don’t know how to get unstuck? One word: Pomodoro. This is hands-down my favorite anti-procrastination/time management/productivity/getting unstuck technique. I love it for its simplicity, elegance and easy. Anyone can do it! I wrote a short post on Pomodoro last fall. It includes the basic steps and a handy video from the official Pomodoro website.
How to Get Unstuck Strategy #3: Make a Mental Map
I recently figured out that getting stuck is part of my creative process. I am not proud of this but it certainly gives me a lot of opportunities to practice how to get unstuck! One I recently tried was making a mental map. The process was quite simple: I just wrote the topic in the center of a piece of paper and then created a graphical representation of all the aspects of the topic I thought were important. Not an artist? As you can see by what I produced neither am I! But the product served as a nice outline and before I knew it my writing was back on track.
Go Get Unstuck!
There is an old joke that goes, “How do you eat a whale?” The answer is, “one bite at a time.” Sometimes how to get unstuck is as simple as asking what the one next right step is and doing it. It is easy to become paralyzed by the big picture. Keep your thinking small and just do the next right thing. So the next time you are feeling stuck try one of these strategies to get yourself going again. Got some other strategies that help you get unstuck? I’d love to hear about them.
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