Have you ever felt stuck? Not physically stuck, like your foot, or your vehicle are stuck in the mud, but mentally stuck. You know that you have things to do however no matter what you do, you cannot bring yourself to do them. There are deadlines to be made and connections to be made yet you just cannot bring yourself to do those tasks.
I experienced this recently. I have a weekly schedule with deadlines, appointments, and goals to meet. Yet, every time that I set my mind to tackle one of these items, I was stuck, unmotivated. I did not make progress in any of the important tasks. I would find myself scrolling social media, washing dishes in the middle of the day and other random tasks that were not moving me or my business closer to success.
As the weekend came, I totally stepped away from my desk and schedule leaving it all for a few days. I weeded my flower beds, helped my parents, took a long bike ride with my husband, among other things. As I was doing these “non-work” tasks and projects, I found myself brainstorming and clarifying the work projects that were holding me back. On Sunday evening as I prepared my weekly schedule, I felt focused and ready to hit the ground running on Monday.
During my time away from work, I considered what to do when stuck mentally. Here are strategies which I have used successfully:
- Take a health check. Consider your overall health – your vitals, eating habits, sleep habits, mental state. Does anything seem off? Is this greater than a mild roadblock or should you check in with a health provider? Take note of any warning signs and act appropriately.
- Brain Dump. Grab a sheet of paper, a journal and a writing utensil. Set a timer for 2 minutes then write down whatever is on your mind. If you want, start with a salutation, “Dear Self”, “Dear God”, “Good morning!” – this is for your information only, you set the rules. You can make a list of blessings, tasks, random thoughts. It is an opportunity to clear you mind and start fresh. Doing a Brain Dump before going to bed can be helpful for a better night’s sleep.
- Take a Movement Break. At times, we become stuck at our desks for hours without realizing how long we have been there. Drop whatever you are doing and get moving! I will take a walk outside to clear my mind and enjoy nature. Another favorite is to do a quick workout; FitOn is a free fitness app with a variety of workout options including mediation, cardiovascular, yoga, strength and more. This helps get the blood flowing and wakes the body up.
- Set a timer. Pick one of your tasks that you have been avoiding, set a timer for 30 minutes, and only focus on that project. Challenge yourself to turn-off notifications from email or apps during the timeframe. You will be impressed with how much you can accomplish in that 30 minutes when other distractions are eliminated.
- Accountability. Select a way to be held accountable for working on a project. Perhaps, you tell a friend or colleague about your goal. Ask them to check in with you and encourage you to complete that goal. Hold yourself accountable by sharing the goal on Social Media. Friends and followers can follow your progress, cheer you along the way then celebrate when the task is complete.
When you become stuck, show yourself grace. We cannot be pushing hard all the time. Acknowledge the roadblock and determine the best way to navigate through. Consider how a self-leadership coach can help work through the obstacles and be an accountability partner for your journey.
Most importantly, do not give up. Be resilient and push through the roadblocks. You will be proud of yourself when you reach the other side.