What do you do when you’re feeling stuck with the thing you’re working on?
When you need to do something important but are getting nowhere?
Let’s say, for instance, that Mildred sits down to write a blog post but is feeling uninspired. She doesn’t know what to write. Has no ideas at all. The words won’t come.
But she knows it needs to be written and set up in the next 48 hours.
So what should she do?
As she sits there, staring at the screen, she’s feeling frustrated. She starts doubting her abilities and her knowledge. She becomes anxious as the clock is ticking and still she has nothing to show for her time. Panic is setting in.
She has a deadline. She just needs to push through until it’s done. Right?
With a cocktail of negative, stress-inducing emotions sloshing around, it’s very unlikely that inspiration will strike.
So the best thing she can do?
Get up, walk away and do something else.
Mildred might argue that if she walks away she’ll feel guilty about not doing the thing she ‘should’ be doing.
But that guilt will still be with her if she stays put - the work still isn’t getting done. And if she carries on staring at her laptop, those feelings of guilt will be compounded by anxiety, pressure, frustration, feeling like a failure etc etc etc.
On the other hand, if she gets up and walks away, yes she’ll feel guilty and anxious to start with. But after half an hour or so spent mindfully doing something completely different, her focus will be elsewhere. As a result Mildred will start to feel refreshed. Her brain might begin to unclench (not the scientific term!), and the neurons may start firing again. (We all have our best ideas in the shower, right?)
If she stays, resolutely sitting at her desk, there’s nothing to pull her away from all those negative vibes and she’ll stay stuck.
If she walks away, she can return to the task later, with fresh perspective, fresh air in her lungs, fresh oxygen in her noggin!
And hey presto: job done!
Try it for yourself next time you’re feeling stuck and frustrated with the thing you’re working on. I’d love to hear how it goes for you, so do leave a comment below or hop over to The Getting Stuff Done Collective in Facebook and join the conversation!