When you’re stuck, it feels like there’s no way out of your rut. Maybe you’re stuck at work, or stuck in a relationship, or stuck in your life as it is now. But getting unstuck is possible—and it all starts with self-awareness. You might have a sense that you want to change your situation, but not be sure how to go about it. Or, you might know the type of change you need to make but feel nervous about the consequences of doing so.
It’s normal to get stuck at some point. Even the most prolific writers have writer’s block at times. But feeling stuck is also an opportunity to try new things and approach your writing from a different angle. It’s a chance to experiment with different writing tools and techniques, and see which ones make you more productive.
The beginning of a novel is often the easiest part to write, because you have lots of ideas and are excited about the story. But the middle and end are where most writers get stuck, and it can be difficult to find a solution to the problem. Here are a few ways to help you break through that stuck phase and start writing again.
Having a plan of action will help you feel more in control when you’re stuck. One strategy is to commit to spending a set amount of time—such as 25 minutes—working on your project uninterrupted. Another is to use a tool such as the Pomodoro Technique to break up your work into small chunks of time with breaks in between. This will help you focus and prevent you from overanalyzing your task and becoming overwhelmed.
If you’re stuck at the office, it might help to talk with a coworker. But be careful not to take this as an invitation to vent your frustrations about the company or your boss. If you’re having trouble expressing your feelings in person, consider communicating with an outside counselor who specializes in workplace issues.
You may be feeling stuck because of a lack of structure in your daily routine. Or, you might not have the motivation to do your work because of a feeling of meaninglessness or disconnection from other people. Changing your surroundings or reevaluating your relationships can be an effective way to get unstuck and feel more productive.
Sometimes you may feel stuck because of a belief that you need to be perfect. This type of perfectionism can hold you back from taking risks and trying new things, or it can prevent you from completing a project because of the fear of failure. Try to accept that you will not always be perfect, and focus on the positive aspects of your life.
It can be hard to tell when you’re being stuck if your emotions are running high. Rather than ignoring your emotions, turn to a trusted friend or mentor for support. An outside perspective can help you gain clarity and see the big picture.