How To Get Unstuck



“Momentum builds momentum.” — Stacy Stoldorf Guethling

Are you stuck?

Whether you are stuck, or you find yourself stuck at some point in the future, it helps to have a way out.

You can get unstuck by breaking out of your mental gridlock and building momentum, with even just a little progress.

In the book, The Daily Edge: Simple Strategies to Increase Efficiency and Make an Impact Every Day, David Horsager shares simple ways to get unstuck and build momentum.

Sometimes We Get Stuck

You are not alone.  We all get stuck, sometimes.

Horsager writes:

“Sometimes the sheer size or complexity of a project can leave us without a clear path forward.  With so much to do and uncertainty about where to start, stress renders us paralyzed.  In other words, we get stuck.”

You Don’t Have to Stay Stuck

Just because you get stuck, doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck.

In fact, the key to progress is finding ways to get unstuck faster.

Horsager writes:

“The good news, however, is that getting stuck doesn’t have to mean staying stuck.  Usually all it takes is a bit of progress to knock our minds loose and get us back on track.”

Work One Aspect of the Problem

Work one aspect of the problem and do what needs to be done.

Horsager writes:

“The easiest thing in the world to do with a difficult job is to put it off.  But this is nearly always guaranteed to make things tougher, not easier. 

Decide that you will work one aspect of the problem, and don’t give up until you’ve made some headway.  In other words, do what needs to be done, whether you feel like it or not.”

Start Anywhere

If starting at the beginning doesn’t work for you, then try the middle or the end.

In fact, many great things happen by working backwards from the end in mind.

Horsager writes:

“There is no rule saying that you have to start a project in the beginning.  If you are having trouble with the start, try attacking it from another angle.  You might find that it frees up your mind and gets things moving.”

Do Small Pieces

Little pieces add up.  Chunk big things down into bite-sized tasks until you find it easier to start making some progress.

Horsager writes:

“If you are overwhelmed by the size of a task, break it down into the smallest pieces possible. 

For instance, a 50-page report might consist of three sections, each of which has 10 topics. 

Start with any of those–your work will add up quickly.”

Do Something Terrible

Don’t let great expectations get in the way of getting started.

Just start.

Dive in and hack your way forward.

Horsager writes:

“Give yourself permission to do the job terribly at first. 

Without any pressure, you will probably get through it quickly and let go of enough anxiety to go back and do a better version on the second pass.”

Use Momentum

Momentum builds on itself.  Let it snowball.

Horsager writes:

“Any of these techniques will help you get going.  Once you’ve started, you will find it much easier to keep the forward momentum.”

You might not be able to keep from getting stuck.  But you can get unstuck faster.  And the more you get unstuck, the more momentum you can create for whatever you want to do.

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