We all get stuck sometimes, especially as entrepreneurs with heaving task lists. All too often, a problem or to-do item will crop up and suddenly we find ourselves in the procrastination twilight zone, spiraling in a sea of paralysis and unable to make progress. It happens. But it can be overcome. Here are 5 ways to get unstuck and get back to laser focused productivity.
1) Interrogate It Immediately
Rather than pretending it’s not happening, address your predicament immediately. Though it may sound crazy, ask out loud what your block is. Sometimes the mere act of acknowledgment is enough to clear the blockage and help you get back to work. If you identify a reason like ‘I don’t know how’ or ‘I find this boring’ or even ‘I don’t believe in what I’m doing’, then you have clarity on what you need to do to change your situation. If you’re unsure, ask a mentor, colleague or friend for help. If you’re bored, find a way to shake your challenge up (consider some of these tactics). If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, consider a way to add more meaning to your initiative.
2) Set Yourself A Reward
At our core, humans are pleasure seekers. We are wired to seek it out and drawn to its magnetism. Set yourself a juicy reward, set a timer and get to it. You may have to break your challenge down into increments, with incremental rewards, but this can work in your favor. Achieving small wins will help you gain a sense of accomplishment; and achievement begets achievement. You’ll be on a roll again in no time.
3) Don’t Force It
If you are stuck, don’t fight it and use it as an oportuniy to sharpen your creative axe and fill your mind with inspiration. Take a walk around the block, pick up a magazine you’ve never bought before, go down an Instagram warren following a hashtag you’ve never heard of. Rather than fight your block, embrace it and recharge your creativity. Taking the time to do this will help you see your problem with fresh eyes and may renew your sense of momentum.
4) Outsource It
If this is a to-do item you will be repeatedly up against, consider finding a way to outsource it. The time it takes you to complete the task (including procrastination) may well be worth the investment. On top of that, when we routinely struggle with tasks, we can kickstart a negative work cycle that impacts our momentum and productivity on other tasks. Hit up O-desk, Task Rabbit or offer a fellow entrepreneur a skill swap to help keep you focused on tasks that give you energy.
5) Ask Someone Unexpected
If you’re really stuck on your challenge, shake things up entirely and ask someone out of your ordinary realm for advice. You could ask a kindergarten teacher, an artist, a barista or child what they would do if faced with your problem. This is an easy way to get fresh perspective on your challenge and might unlock the inspiration you need to help you dive back in to your work.