It happens to everyone. You´re living your life, working on a project and, seemingly out of nowhere, you realize you´re not getting anywhere, that for some reason, things have stalled and you´re unable to move forward. Being in this place can be incredibly frustrating. Fortunately, there are many ways to get unstuck and we look at five of them in this post.
1. In a conversation I had with my late father, he gave me a simple solution. He said, “When you feel stuck, when things aren´t moving forward, you´ve lost your efficiency. Stop what you´re doing and take a break. Get a cup of coffee, take a walk around the block, go and buy some flowers or take some time to read book.”
That one simple act, he said: “Will free up your mind. When you return to work, you will have a different perspective and, chances are, the resistance will be gone.” More often than not, he was right.
2. Unfortunately, sometimes that doesn’t work and I´ve found my mind will spin on a problem, endlessly. Here´s another solution, which I found in Dale Carnegie´s book: “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.”
Here´s how it works: The first thing you need to do is to sit down with paper and pen and write out the number one thought that´s troubling you.
Secondly, you write out the origin of the problem
Third, you write down ways to solve the problem, no matter how ridiculous they might seem to be.
As a final step, you analyze what you´ve written and look at which option would be the best solution.
3. Sometimes, moving forwards might feel like an it would take the effort of Hercules, even for a simple act, like pressing speed dial on your cell phone to talk to a crisis line when you´re in a lot of pain.
This was my dilemma when I was homeless. I was in my car, near a beautiful park. I had my phone in my hand with the number already selected and ready to go, but I couldn´t punch the number. I couldn´t do it because of the incredible shame I felt over what had happened and I felt like the worst failure in the world. It was crushing and I could barely move.
After awhile, I did the only thing I could do. I cranked my seat back and took a nap. When I awoke a short time later, I felt a lot better and I was able to make the call.
Never underestimate the power of a short nap. The late Thomas Edison was well-known for his habit of taking short “catnaps” throughout the day. Sometimes this is all you will need to become unstuck and feel refreshed.
Note: Have an alarm clock handy and time your naps, making sure they’re not longer than 15-20 minutes. If you sleep longer than that, you might wake up feeling groggy and that could take many hours to overcome.
4. There will be many times in life where you feel overwhelmed by the tasks you have to do and if that´s the case, there´s an excellent chance you´ve taken on too much. One way of dealing with the problem is to write down all the tasks at hand.
Once you have, take some time to think about how long it will take to complete each task. Once you do that, create a grid structure, which might look like the illustration below.
Each rectangle in the table represents a block of time (45 minutes of work and 15 minutes of rest). This could be for a seven hour workday (plus/minus). With this layout you calculate how much time it takes for each task then fill in the spaces on the grid, allocating your time to each task.
So if a task takes three hours to complete, you might want to use three consecutive squares in on day or to space that out over a period of days. It’s up to you. More than anything else, you will have broken the task up into manageable chunks and you will now feel in control of your time, your life and you will no longer be overwhelmed.
5. One way to get unstuck is to develop the habit of discipline. This can be really tough, especially in the beginning though it will pay off in the end. With discipline you create a daily schedule and stick to it.
An example is deciding to go to the gym at 6:00am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. One of the immediate challenges you’ll encounter will be waking up and not wanting to do work out, to roll over and go back to sleep. This is only natural, though it will sabotage your efforts.
One of the important qualifiers about discipline is you do it even when you don´t feel like it, when everything inside you wants to do something else. One way to work with discipline is to reward yourself when you complete a task, such as going to a favorite coffee shop after the gym workout and settling in for half an hour with your favorite newspaper.
Get the free guide 10 Ways to End Your Anxiety and Depression from HowtoEndYourSuffering.com, where readers learn how to undo the thought patterns that cause suffering.