Sometimes we just feel stuck. Not that anything is really wrong, but more the sense that we’re not going anywhere. That place where you sense that things are okay, but not great. Where it seems like you are just going through the motions. Dependable and reliable, yes. Consistent, absolutely.
But you feel you are not necessarily bringing your A-game. I know the feeling. For me, this usually happens after an event is over, or after completing a big project. About 10 days to two weeks later, I usually feel stuck. I have a hard time being creative, intentional, getting things done, moving the ball forward, or making decisions. I feel like I’m walking in knee deep mud at these points. Another time of the year many leaders feel stuck is mid to late summer.
Are you feeling this right now? If so, here are 8 things that may help:
1. Get out of your “normal” routine
Break up your schedule. Go on a trip. Visit someone you’ve wanted to see for quite awhile. Hang out with people you don’t know but want to learn from. The key on this is break up your “normal” with something that is out of place, out of context, or just simply breaks up the rhythm. Doing this helps you see things from a different vantage point. For me, travel usually helps me get unstuck.
2. Go back to the Basics
Sports teams will go back to the basics to get out of a rut. In football, it’s back to “blocking and tackling” or in basketball it’s back to “passing, dribbling, and shooting.”
For you, this could mean a number of things, but in essence, return to the foundations of what you do, why you do it and how you are uniquely designed to be doing what you are doing.
3. Jump on the inspiration train
When I get stuck, I usually take time to find some stories of inspiration, read some emails, watch some videos, and allow myself to be re-inspired and re-energized.
4. Talk with someone who motivates you
I also like to make sure I find some time to spend on the phone or in person with people who inspire me, because they usually can pull me out of a funk I’m in. Make sure you have some people in your life who are motivators and inspiration icons. People who, when you are around them, it fires you up. Could be a friend, a boss, a mentor, or someone you don’t know well. For me, I’ll call Bob Goff. If you know Bob, you know what I mean!
5. Keep it simple
Start a new to do list with no more than 5 things on it. Get those done. Then move on to the next 5 things to do. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a to do list that is unachievable and unreachable. Focus on simplicity and clarity.
6. Hang around kids
Whether your own kids or someone else’s. Children have a way of providing inspiration because of their imagination, childlike faith, and sense of amazement at everything.
7. Return to the core
What do you love to do? What brings you to life? Maybe it’s reading a good book, or taking a drive in the country, or playing golf, or playing guitar or singing. Reconnecting to our areas of strength and passion usually reignites the momentum.
Take a run, go swimming, work out, climb a mountain, jump on a bike, water ski, play basketball, or whatever activity fits you.
Brad Lomenick is the past leader of Catalyst, one of the largest gatherings of young Christian leaders. He is the author of The Catalyst Leader, and H3 Leadership. More at bradlomenick.com