Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 7th 2014 Contents Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Feel that you're stuck in a rut and just can't get
on with what you want or need to do? We all lose
our motivation now and again. But that doesn't mean
we have to waste days (or even weeks!) waiting for
it to come back so we can get on with things. Get
out of that rut and back to business with one or
more of these rut-busting techniques.
1) Walk away.
If you've lost your motivation due to frustration
with a particular problem, walking away and doing
something else can work wonders. If the problem
needs a creative solution, try doing something "mind-
less", such as light gardening tasks, exercise, or house-
While you weed, walk or vacuum, your mind will
still busily work away on the problem. If the problem
is a mental block, try something "mindful", such as
working on a crossword puzzle or some other different
task that requires concentration. I often find that
when I do this and then go back to work, I'm able
to make much more progress.
2) Break it into bits.
If the reason you're stuck in a rut spinning your
wheels is because the task in front of you is over-
whelming, climb out by breaking the task into man-
ageable steps. For instance, creating a marketing plan
for your business can seem like a huge chore. But
if you break the task into steps such as defining your
ideal customer, deciding on a pricing policy and
deciding how to advertise your products or services,
you give yourself an action plan - and the satisfaction
of completing each step.
3) Flip your schedule.
Another good way to get out of a rut is to change
the schedule. Many people start a business when
they already have a job, for example, trying to fit in
working on their new business in "leftover" time in
the evenings, when they're already tired and burnt
out. But how much more could be accomplished if
they could flip it around and spend x amount of time
at the start of the day, the time of day that most
people have the most energy?
4) Take a nap.
It's impossible to have or maintain any motivation
when you're tired -- and sleep deprivation is now a
chronic problem. Get back your energy and your
mind with a power nap.
Sleeping only ten to twenty minutes can refresh
and energise you for the task at hand; in fact, according
to research by Dr Sara Mednick, a scientist at the
Salk Institute for Biological Studies, power naps can
lift productivity and mood, lower stress, and improve
memory and learning.
5) Take a forced break.
I've discovered the world doesn't actually end if
I don't do anything business-related for a day or two
- and once I get over the fretting stage, I have a lot
more energy to bring to my work. If it's possible,
this may work for you, too. If you can't leave the
work alone for a day or two, force a break by doing
Seven ways to get out of that rut
something completely different.
Explore someplace you haven't been
before or try a new activity. A break doesn't
have to be long to be effective. Even a short
break can give you new energy and a new
perspective to take back to your work.
6) Keep slogging.
Understand that slogging brings results.
Do you think that Michelangelo felt "moti-
vated" every day to work on that ceiling?
He didn't even want to take on the project.
But he and his team slogged away for four
years -- and created a masterpiece. Some-
times just forcing yourself to carry on is the
answer. Even if you don't feel like it. You
may even find that you become motivated
as you become immersed in what you're
7) Bribe yourself.
Sometimes we just need an incentive to
make the extra effort that will break us out
of that rut. What can you place at the top
of the bank that will motivate you? Is it the
promise of a long soak in a bath, an hour
that you can spend working out or a piece
Promise yourself whatever it is that will
work for you when you finish whatever is
holding you back.
We all fall into a rut now and then, losing
our motivation and grinding to a stop. But
we don't have to stay there.
Figure out why you're feeling disenchant-
ed, and then try one or more of the tech-
niques above to get fired up again -- or at
least able to move onwards and upwards,
accomplishing what you need to do.
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