It happens at home when tax day looms and we just can’t get ourselves to open up that file of receipts.
It happens in relationships when we know we should say how we feel, but we just can’t seem to get that conversation started.
It happens in the workplace when we have a project or initiative that we’re supposed to be leading but we just can’t seem to light a fire of passion to get it going.
During these times, we may clean out our email inbox, read every article and blog that we’ve earmarked “useful,” complete our filing, adjust our chairs to perfection, get lots of coffee and have extra “water cooler” chats. But no matter what we do, that project awaits with growing urgency, whispering in our ear “do me, DO ME!!!!!”
We commit to spending “the afternoon” or “the first two hours of the morning” to get started, but invariably we allow life to step in and take over. Once again, our progress is derailed.
And the thing about being stuck, is it has the quality of quick sand. The longer you are stuck, the more stuck you may become.
But there is hope!!
After many years of coaching, I’ve witnessed my clients go from stuck to unstuck. And each time, I marvel at the ability of human beings to make this transition in their own way.
And this is the key – each person has to find their own strategy. I don’t know what your strategies are, but I can offer some techniques to get you started.
Coach Me Quick tips for Freeing Yourself from being Stuck:
- Turn it around: Typically we think about the process of a project as being from beginning to end. How about reversing that? Take one day and consider your project from end to beginning. Where do you want to end up? What will the last pieces of the puzzle be? Changing how you look at the final product may trigger some new energy for getting started.
- Learn from the past: Identify a time you were stuck in the past and take note of what changed to cause you to become unstuck. For example, I have a client who spent a week procrastinating about a sensitive email she had to write. She went around and around in her own head about it – mentally writing and re-writing the email. Finally, she mentioned it to a friend at lunch, briefly describing the email and the trouble she was having. The simple action of speaking about the email to another person, allowed her to see how she could write it. She went back to her office after lunch and was finished with it in 30 minutes. We all have small triggers that can help us to move the “off” switch to an “on” switch. Can you find one trigger for you?
- Focus on the future: What will you be doing after you’re finished with your project? Can you imagine something beyond the project that is exciting or interesting to you? These ideas may inspire you to take actions.
- Change the scenery: Do the project in a new place. Go to a coffee shop or even to another room in your office building. You may find the change of scenery will help you to focus in a new way.
- Parallel Universe: Consider the idea of not doing the project at all. What are the ramifications? If you just gave up on it, what would happen? This may shift your perspective and provide some fuel for your internal fire about the project in general.
- Got friends?: Enlist a work buddy/accountability partner. Sit shoulder to shoulder if need be and commit to working on something concurrently. This is a great way to just get started. Often people feel that if they could just get started, they would be on a roll.
What are your unique strategies? I would love to hear what has worked for you, when you have felt stuck… really STUCK!