Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been unable to make progress toward a goal or have been hesitant to start a new project out of fear, doubt, or uncertainty?
I have. There are lots of things I could list. I have ideas in my Evernote that have not seen the light of day outside of them being a note in my app. There are projects that I haven’t started or have put on the back burner because I wasn’t sure of how to get them done. Can you relate? In this post, I’ll share how to get unstuck with nearly anything.
Recently, one such thing I’ve gotten unstuck with is writing this blog. For some time I have been struggling with it. But now I think I have a clear path forward to getting progress and traction with it. Here’s how I did it.
Take an inventory of unfinished things
I can tell you the best thing to start with is to take action by looking at all the things you have left undone. Yes, it will be like looking into your closet of all the scary things that are half started or not started. Those inner demons that are challenging your self worth because they aren’t done.
Look through your notebooks, look through your stacks of paper on your desk, take a walk around your house, write everything down.
Triage that list
Triage is a process that the military uses in crisis situations to filter wounded into those that are okay without treatment, those that need treatment, and those who won’t survive no matter what they do. Staff take into account their supply, equipment, and ability to work when making these decisions.
For me, when I need to get unstuck I have to make similar decisions. What projects am I fine with being left alone for a while? What projects really excite me at the time? What projects will actually pay me for work or services to clients? What are just some novelty things that are nice, but not necessary or fit into my goals?
With some of those questions and the answers to them, now you should have an idea of what you actually want to get started and done.
Transform your mindset
I think that even if you take inventory of your unfinished or undone projects or idea and triage that list into the ones that you want to tackle, you still will need to do some inner work on your mindset and belief system. Here’s what I mean by this.
Perhaps, and I know this to be true in my own life, that my perfectionistic tendencies come out when starting something. It is especially bad when I’ve not done it before and it’s new. It’s at this juncture that I have to adjust my mindset.
- Just start it. It doesn’t have to be perfect right from the start.
- Get it going! When you get it going, you’ll start to see momentum that’s exciting.
- Think about the end, what does this project or thing look like when complete?
- What’s the very next thing you could do to complete it? Do that!
For this blog post I’ll be perfectly transparent with you. This post is the first and final draft, save some clear edits like misspellings and punctuation. It’s not that I don’t care about the work, but it’s about not letting myself get stuck into the mind taffy of making sure it’s absolutely perfect. If I did, nothing would get published. Rather, If I feel that it’s 85-90% good I publish it. I put it out there because I know that good published beats perfect in the drafts folder of WordPress every single time.
Whatever project or task or thing you want to get done and unstuck, consider the fact that done is better than perfect every single time. I quote Alltech Founder, Dr. Pearse Lyons:
Don’t get it perfect, just get it goingDr. Pearse Lyons, founder of Alltech
For me and for you, hopefully, is that you can take small steps to improve over time and that you’ll have a nice body of work to show for it later.
You also have to give yourself permission to kind of play around with whatever you’re doing. The act of playing will relieve some of the pressure that you might have to be perfect. Children who play don’t have it perfect, but they enjoy the doing of it and they actually seem to get better while playing.
To get unstuck with anything consider three things: take inventory of what you haven’t done, triage your list of things you want to accomplish and those things you don’t, and transform your mindset to not get it perfect, just get it going.
Now it’s your turn! What are you stuck on right now? What’s the next action you could do to get it going? How do you get unstuck in your life? Let us know in the comments below!