You’re going along, minding your own business when all of a sudden you realize, you’ve hit a wall. Â You’re stuck. Â And you don’t see a way around it. Â I once worked with a guy who was so good at this he became more like a wind-up toy. Â You wound him up, sent him in a direction and he dutifully went until he hit a wall. Â And then he sat there until you came back and changed his direction for him. Â He was much easier to manage once I figured that out!
But, what can one do to help one’s self out of this situation? Â Whether it is writer’s block, or not solving a critical problem, or just losing your “mojo” as I’ve heard it called lately, here are 5 ways I use to get out of it.
1. Â Call someone you haven’t spoken with in awhile – seems pretty basic, but a conversation with someone who hasn’t been in your day-to-day can often give you a different perspective on what’s going on and just refresh your point of view. Â Not to mention you get to retell all the good stories which puts you in a better frame of mind.
2. Â Read something completely unrelated. Â Personally, I like Mental Floss which is a quirky, trivia magazine. Â They do a feature on a different part of the world, they talk about all kinds of fairly random topics and you sound brilliant at your next networking event when you can whip out off-the-wall facts about things. Â But the point is, it isn’t about business in any way. Â It is about physics and poetry and Â new advances in science, and geography and culture. Â But, the process of reading about those things can often give you a whole new insight when you return to the problem at hand.
3. Â Pick something totally unrelated and try to incorporate it into the situation. Â Generally I run into walls when I’m trying to solve a problem. Â So when that happens, one thing to do is pick something completely unrelated and try to incorporate it into a solution. Â For example – I was trying to come up with a new slogan for a customer and was completely stumped. Â To bring in something unrelated, I randomly selected an album in iTunes to play and tried to incorporate the music. Â That led me to reviews of the pieces which in turn gave me different words to consider and wah-la! Â A slogan was born!
4. Â Color in a coloring book, put together a puzzle, or do something fun but structured. Â I know – that sounds weird. Â But think about this: you are trying to work through something and are stuck. Â So you give your brain something else to think about that is fun, but isn’t completely creative. Â When you color (and yes, I mean INSIDE the lines) you select the colors to go next to each other, but the design itself has been dictated so the decisions you make are minimal. Â Giving your brain a rest from focusing on the problem at hand gives your subconscious a chance to give it a try and the structure of the activity keeps you engaged. Â At the end you may solve your problem as well as decorate your refrigerator!
5. Â Talk it out with a friend. Â I can’t tell you how many people call and want to talk about something, but by the time they have finished explaining it they found their answer. Â The process of verbalizing it is incredibly powerful and having someone else listening can make all the difference.
Here are some of the ways I find to get out of a rut. Â What do you do?
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