It’s easy to get stuck. Maybe you’re having trouble starting a new writing project, can’t focus on a task, feel stressed about your todo list. Maybe you just feel down in general. The mind and body are deeply connected. Triggering a change in feeling to raise your mood and increase productivity is actually just a tiny step away no matter the situation. So, how do you get instantly unstuck?
I’ve been doing creative work for many years. I also do lots of physical work, knowledge work, researching, and love a diverse set of activities. Over time I’ve discovered many different triggers that were able to quickly induce positive mood changes. This isn’t about making huge overall changes, but rather to find a way to raise the red flag and make a simple adjustment that can have a rapid and real helpful response.
What if there were ways to get instantly unstuck from whatever it is that’s holding you back?
Get instantly unstuck with simple activities
We are inundated with todo lists, backlogs, and countless books and podcasts on how to do big picture productivity boosting. But what happens if you just feel momentarily jammed up? There’s no shame in admitting that it’s easy to get stuck. It could be that you just feel like you hit a wall, or that you’re having trouble getting started on some task.
The first thing to do is assess where you’re at, and then take a quick, simple action which can immediately alter your mood and give you the boost you need to get unstuck.
Overthinking? Write Something
Put pen to paper and you’ll be surprised how well that helps stop you from overthinking. When you pause to write (or even type) something, it is a forceful trigger for your mind to move focus to the task of writing. This will help to calm the swimming sea of overthinking that’s happening and helps you get a break to ease the overthinking mind.
Tired? Take a Nap
Sounds simple, but there really is no better fix. Napping can be as simple as just laying down for a 15 minute break. Set a timer and let nature take its course. The body telling you it is tired is a very obvious response signal. The refreshed feeling after a nap is the body’s reward. That also frees the mind to feel a fresh start.
Burned out? Read Something
Reading is a surprisingly cathartic process. It’s a way to focus your mind on taking in new information and this process helps switch off a lot of other cognitive tasks that may be causing you to feel overwhelmed and burned out. There may be more to the overall situation but taking the time to do some reading is a quick way to reset yourself.
Angry or Frustrated? Music is the Cure
Music is soothing to the soul because of how your mind processes things. Putting some music on triggers very positive results. There are lots of deep things happening as a result of listening to music but more than anything it is a quick way to spark a mood switch and bring some calm.
Stressed out? Walk it Off
The simple art of taking a quick walk is a rapid and real way to destress. Taking a little walk around the block is not a huge impact on your time and the result can be profound because it physically separates you from what your working on. You may even find that the thing that has you in a mental loop gets unlocked within a few minutes of walking around.
Sad? Just Move
Exercise and movement are hugely important. You don’t even need to think of this as a “I need to hit the gym and do a 90 minute workout” level of exercise. Even a brisk walk, doing a light bike ride, some body weight exercises, or maybe a quick workout at a gym will have a significant effect. By moving your muscles and pausing the world for a little bit you are getting neuromuscular triggers that also reduce sadness and depressive thoughts.
Meditation can be as simple as the 5 minutes of taking a shower, a little breath work at your desk, or just sitting outside and focusing on nature. Whatever your version of meditation is, the act of focusing on something in a meditative way is a trigger to ease anxiety.
Lazy and Unproductive? Turn off the Screen
You probably hear the term “doomscrolling” a lot. It’s not always just the negative feeling of screen time that is the problem. Take a break from screen time and do a physical task. Even cleaning up a little around your desk or home will force your mind away from the feeling of laziness.
Simple Structure for Better Days
Hopefully you found this to be a good quick guide to help you get instantly unstuck from whatever it is that’s got you held back. When it comes to overall productivity and well-being there are many tools and techniques to help. You may have a plan in place for daily task management already. If you want a little help with some simple ways to structure things for a better day you can also check out our post on 8 Daily Ways to Unlock Creative Accomplishment which has been getting great feedback.
Got any productivity tips that work well for you that you want to share? Drop a comment below and we would love to share with our creative community. Speaking of a creative community, if you’re keen to do some technical writing then we have tons of freelance content engineering opportunities for you. There are lots of lessons and educational tools that we are building and sharing for you to learn from.
Thanks for reading and let’s all stay inspired to do fantastic things!