4 Strategies to Get Reinspired When You’re Feeling Stuck
Last April, I found myself feeling absolutely stuck. My to-do list was piling on item after item and with limited time while working and trying to complete my full-time master’s program, I found myself running into mental roadblocks.
Knowing how precious time was, I wanted to get projects and writing assignments done, but would find myself staring at the computer screen, unable to type out the words that I knew were floating around in my head. My inability to make progress quickly just added even more stress to my already-full plate.
Despite working in a job that I enjoyed and learning about compelling content in my master’s program, I still felt like I was spinning my wheels and always playing catch-up.
Through trial and error, I was able to discover the strategies that worked best to dig out of feeling stuck. By knowing what worked best for me, I developed a game plan to fall back on anytime I felt like I was losing control.
When you get thrown into the hustle, knowing how to get unstuck and reinspired is the key to productivity and focus.
Here are my 4 recommendations for how to get unstuck:
1) Seek inspiration.
When we get busy, we often cut out the fun. The things we enjoy are the things that motivate us and often get pushed to the back burner. Whether you like running, reading a book, or watching an episode of your favorite guilty pleasure TV show, indulge yourself! Let your imagination run free. Make play a priority.
2) Conduct a brain dump.
You’ve been busy lately and have all sorts of things floating around in your mind. Put away the computer for an hour and bring out your favorite notebook and set of pens. Putting away your devices and actually writing is key to this activity.
Write out everything that comes to mind – no need for correct spelling or grammar here. Create your to-do list if tasks are crowding your brain. Dump every idea for the project you’re working on to the page. Don’t restrain yourself. If you think it, write it. Don’t be afraid to get messy.
After you’ve completed your brain dump, review what’s on the page. If you want to bring your next draft back on your computer, now is the time to do that. Revise your disorganized brain dump into a more formal document that you can actually use.
3) Calm the chaos.
In the mess of the mind during a busy season, it becomes difficult to sort out exactly what needs to be done. The to-do list in your head becomes scattered and the unfinished projects are strewn across your desktop (the physical and computer one).
Bring a sense of organization to it all by creating your task list. I prefer to perform a task brain dump prior to assembling my actual list of tasks and prioritizing them. After my brain dump, I set my priorities. I’m partial to the Eisenhower Decision Matrix for sorting by urgency and importance.
4) Retool to refuel.
At the end of April, I had the pleasure of participating in our Bootcamp exercises a second time. It had been a year since I had initially attended Bootcamp, but I was surprised by just how refreshing and renewing it was to spend a weekend with other women who were setting goals and asking about my own.
In the hustle that we often get swept up in, it’s easy to forget about the long-term big picture and only think in the short term. Focusing on your own professional development, attending a conference, or taking a new course can be just the break you need to refuel. Step away from your brain drain to give yourself a break. Gain a new perspective so when you return to old projects you’re excited to go back and finish them off.
So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and trapped in the cycle of busy, take a moment to realign. Seek the inspiration and organization you need to refocus. Then reenter the world like the boss you are and conquer your goals.
Jackie Follmuth received her Master of Public Administration degree from Texas Tech University and earned her Bachelors in Public Management & Policy at the University of Arizona. Jackie has a passion for leadership, management, digital marketing, and swimming education. She previously served as Bossed Up’s Digital Director, but has since moved on to be a data specialist for a non-profit in her hometown.