Feeling stuck, scattered or overwhelmed?

  • Can you only see one option and it’s not the one you want to take?
  • Are you overwhelmed with options and unable to choose one?
  • Do you know what to do but not how to do it?
  • Do you make a start and then not maintain it?
  • Are you doing it all on your own and feeling totally worn out?
  • Are you waiting for something to change and it just isn’t?
  • Perhaps you are working flat out but deep down know you are on the wrong track?

We all experience being stuck at times. Whether it’s over big or small issues, it usually results from only seeing one possible course of action and not wanting to take it. Getting unstuck depends on you freeing up your thinking and creating more possibilities.

Here are some effective ways to re-focus and get moving in the right direction

  1. Write down your challenge as succinctly and accurately as possible
  2. Change your physical position
  3. Go for a drive
  4. Brainstorm all the possible options. Go for quantity and don’t filter out the whackier ideas
  5. Exercise
  6. Get a coach who can ask powerful and challenging questions that provoke
    you to think differently
  7. Take a break, make yourself a cup of coffee
  8. Go for a walk around the block
  9. Get out into nature
  10. Lie on your back and look up at the sky
  11. Give yourself permission to stop thinking about it right now. Make an appointment
    with yourself to re-visit it when you are feeling more resourceful
  12. Sleep on it and let your unconscious mind work on it overnight
  13. Talk it over with a trusted advisor
  14. Ask yourself “If I knew the solution, what would it be?”
  15. Have a soak in the bath
  16. Ask yourself if this is something you want to address or just think you should, must or ought to
  17. Change the language you are using to generate more excitement and commitment
  18. Build in accountability for taking actions by reporting back to someone
  19. Check your assumptions, especially when you are telling yourself you can’t do something. What if you did?

What would you add to the list?

Which of these steps work best for you?

Julie Kay helps you improve individual and team performance by building the strong trusting relationships you rely on for your success. If you are genuinely interested in boosting performance, productivity and profits the answer is just a click away. For more information, just click here

15 Responses to Feeling stuck, scattered or overwhelmed?

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  • Hi Julie
    Have copied and pasted for the boss – I don’t know what to do with him ….he is all the above – and it is not because he is not good at what he does – it is just people who want to be successful can sometimes get stuck – and dont know how to free themselves. The list is on his desk..in large FONT.

  • i am feeling stuck because i am working alone and its getting on my nerves now.i have stopped trying to think differently and i am not able to concentrate on the work i have alsoif you can help great

    • It certainly can be isolating to work alone and more challenging to maintain your creativity. What can you do to become more energised? How can you ensure regular contact with people who will stretch you and stimulate new thinking?

  • bravo, awesome and very helpful entries, what can I say? Thanks a lot Julie

  • Hi Julie

    I like to lie down for ten minutes with a raisin and concentrate only on the raisin and nothing else. It’s very difficult to do because obviously your mind has a tendency to wander. However, it helps to clear the mind and then I find that I re-focus.

    On other occasions I meditate and concentrate just on my breathing. I think it’s good to have a range of solutions and use whatever feels right on a given day.

  • Julie,

    Great list! If I get stuck, I will get up from my desk and leave what I’m working on and walk for about 15 minutes – or depending on which office I’m at (work or home) I’ll talk to co-worker or husband.

    If I’m overwhelmed, I tend to get even more organized than I already am. I will make a detailed “to do” list and use it religiously. I’m learning to also say “no, I can’t do that at this time.” Adding “at this time” leaves the door open to be asked at a later date, when hopefully, I will be able to do whatever asked.

    • Thanks for contributing Edwina. I particularly like the tip about adding “at this time.” I think that helps people who struggle to say “no” because it sounds less abrupt and final.

  • Dear July, great list. Perhaps, you could also take your guitar or sit down to your piano and it might also clear your mind and help in the concentration. Normally I’m good at decision making but I would use exercise (trade-mill, swimming, walking, tennis) and/or playing music if I was stuck.

  • Thanks for these suggestions. They’re all great and I especially like the suggestion to “Get out into nature”. Studies show that connecting with nature really can have positive effects on your health.

    • I agree. I think its partly down to nature itself and how relaxing and or energising it is, and partly down to the fact we rarely experience silence. We are so bombarded with information today that getting into nature provides the space for our best thinking to take place. Thanks for your comment.

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