No matter how meaningful your work, everyone feels stuck sometimes. Here are research-based quick, easy actions for getting past the inertia and taking action when you are feeling stuck. Pick one when you are resisting moving forward or are generally stuck on what’s next.
- Plan ahead. Make a task list for your day (or week) the evening (or weekend) before. In the morning, go through your list of to-dos in a mechanical way. Nothing to think about. No decisions to make. Look at your list and do it.
- Don’t worry alone.* If you cannot get out of your own head or past your resistance, call a friend who believes in you. Make a pact with someone who will be there for you, with an ear of support. Promise to always answer calls from one another and to only take a few minutes.
- Take a shower. There is actually science behind this method. A shower enacts cornerstones of creativity including: dopamine release, relaxation, and distraction from decision making. Some creatives/innovators are known to take several showers a day when in the middle of a project.
- Exercise. Go for a quick walk. Try an interval app. Jog in place. Do 20 jumping jacks. Stand in mountain pose.
- Take a micro-action daily. Break down your to-do’s into steps that seem ridiculously easy. This is the most effective way to break free of inertia.
- Clear out a drawer or quit an activity. Clearing physical space or your schedule can clear your mind and energy too.
- Use the power of morning pages. Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way, suggests starting each day with a written braindump – no agenda, no worrying about how it sounds. Even if you write, “I don’t know what to write over and over again.” I’d say start with one page and see if it helps free your energy.
- Know your goal. Remind yourself every day where you are headed and WHY. Write your BIG goal and your WHY down everyday. If you are unclear on your goal, download this exercise from Reclaim Your Dreams to get started.
- Read every word of The Art of War. In his book Steven Pressfield focuses on how to move forward on creative projects and work through resistance.
- Start with thanks. Begin every day with a list of one to three things you are super grateful for.
- Rest. Don’t quit. We all need a break so step away from the computer and take a nap or grab a cup of tea or….you name it.
*Thanks to Dr. Halowell via Marie Forleo for this gem of a quote.