Everyone has those brain fart moments when you need to complete something but your mind is just drawing a blank! To help you through those times, I’ve come up with this list of ideas for getting unstuck:
- Do something else on your to-do list.
Sometimes the act of doing something else can get your mental juices flowing, or sometimes just the accomplishment that comes with completing a task can give you a boost of energy to get back to your original task.
- Do something completely different.
You can do the dishes, take a shower (I do some of my best thinking in there!), go for a walk and get some fresh air, read a news article or an entry from your favorite blog, grab a bite to eat, or even take a nap. The idea is to give your mind a rest for a bit so it can process your difficult task in the background, or just ease your frustration for a few minutes so that you can gain enough energy to get back to work. One note: the best activities seem to be solitary and quiet, so if you head to the gym you might want to stick to a machine instead of a group class, or if you sit in a coffee shop you should read the paper in a corner instead of chatting with a friend.
If you are really stuck, maybe this task isn’t for you. Find an employee or subcontractor that can do it in less time than it’s taking you, and you’ll free yourself up for other work.
- Do anything.
When I get stuck trying to think of a marketing piece or something to write for a blog entry, I will do a 10-minute free write. A free write is basically spending a timed period writing everything that comes to your head without respect to grammar, spelling or the grouping of ideas. Sometimes you will get ideas out of the free write and sometimes not — the real point is just to get your cogs turning so you can move on to other things.
- Change your scenery.
I run my company out of my home, but there’s still a lot of places I can go. Sometimes just standing vs. sitting, moving into another room, or going outside with my laptop can help me reframe my work and get moving.
The key in all this is to not turn a reframing period in to a procrastination period. Put a limit on how much time to spend freeing your mind, such as 10-20 minutes, and stick with it. Otherwise, you may find that you are wasting your entire workday just procrastinating on your original task through reframing!
How do you unstick yourself? Share your ideas in the comments below.