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Getting Past the Hurdles: Tips for Productivity

There are times at work when we get stuck. Let's say you've been working on the same project for a long period and the project comes to a standstill. Maybe you're feeling discouraged, uninspired or unmotivated to finish an arduous or daunting task.

During these times, decisions are more difficult to make, inspiration is harder to find, and it feels like there is a gap with no bridge to cross. It's bound to happen from time to time and crucial to move forward, even if it's tough. Although getting stuck shouldn't become perpetual, it happens to the best of us.

Don't get discouraged during these times! You're not alone. When facing obstacles, find a way to get past them. Although the means to do so varies from person to person, I can share a few methods I use to get past the hurdles. While I work in the creative field, these tips can apply to anyone who is trying to stay productive, or working toward a goal.

Take breaks when needed.

Breaks exist for a reason. Sometimes knowing when to take a break, what to do on a break, and how long it should last can improve your workflow. To work without any breaks can actually slow down progress and decrease productivity due to physical or mental fatigue. If you have the time, a break can give the much needed rest to reenergize. Pausing for a few minutes provides time to refocus. By stepping back to get a clearer view and making necessary changes, the quality of your work could improve.

Ask for help when necessary.

Asking for a hand or finding the right kind of help can speed up the process in completing a task or accomplishing a goal. I’m thankful to work with an amazing team, always encouraging and willing to help. Receiving feedback and being open to suggestion can generate improved or unexpected ideas. It provides a chance to gain knowledge and advice through an objective lens, opening the door to useful tips that otherwise might have been missed.

Quick brainstorming sessions.

Coupled with the idea of asking for help when necessary, collaboration and brainstorming sessions can assist in getting past barriers. Whether doing so alone or with others, brainstorming can help generate ideas and promote progress. It can be a lot of fun and push a project forward in a positive and meaningful way.

Get excited.

I love my job, so it's easy to get excited about the work I do. However, there are moments where I am stuck trying to find the best solution. One way to get excited is by looking at inspiration. Some of the tools I use to inspire creativity include magazines, books, nature, and a plethora of online resources. Spend some time looking for what inspires you so you're prepared to have the resources to start again when running into these inevitable roadblocks.

Revisit the Process.

Sometimes "feeling stuck" can indicate that the solution needs work. Finding the right answer takes time and hard work. You don’t want to spend hours on a project that is going in the wrong direction. If it needs to be revisited, this opens the opportunity to reevaluate the project and find a the best solution

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What else can you do?

If you feel stuck, move on to another project for a while. This will allow a chance to continue being productive, and give you break from the problem or project that’s setting you back.

If there multiple projects on your plate, do the work you can do and and come back to the project you're stuck on at a later time. We all have good and bad days, but you don't want to lose momentum by getting held up by one project or task.

Knowing when it's time to move on and when it's time to come back to a project can be a great tool for maintaining productivity.

Think Positively.

Fear of failure can make it difficult to start a project, or even finish a project that’s already been started. The fear of failure is just another form of negative thinking, and can cause unnecessary stress.

When going into a new project, thinking negatively already sets you back. This train of thought can take up a lot of time and greatly hinder productivity. Knowing when to stop and change your thought patterns is beneficial in finding the best workflow.

Have faith in your ability! Work to maintain a positive outlook and you'll find that it becomes easier to start projects and stay productive in the future.

If you work towards this, it’s easier to overcome obstacles and move forward when facing challenges. Even if things didn't go perfectly during the process, each moment gives an opportunity to learn and improve.

Negative thinking will not make it easier to meet the deadline the way that moving forward can.

Wrapping Up

Getting stuck or off track can happen in any field. If you're feeling flustered and put pressure on yourself to the point where it hinders workflow, take a breath, and give yourself some grace. There's probably already pressure to begin with and added pressure will only make things more difficult.

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." Albert Einstein

In the end, finding what works to move forward and stay inspired or motivated is key when you're in these situations. Experiment with these methods and you might find inspiration and motivation where it didn't exist before.

Whether it's taking a break, teaming up with someone to tackle a problem, or thinking positively, there is always a solution to whatever hurdle you face.

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