How To Get Unstuck!

Do you ever feel that you are spinning your wheels? You know, one of those days when you can’t seem to get anything done? Do you feel that you are stuck and you don’t know how to get “unstuck?”

I have those days from time to time. Writers call it writer’s bloc–one of those times when you can’t get started.

How do you get “unstuck?”

This is what I do.

First, do something. Most of the time, I have plenty to do. Just doing something makes me feel better. As I accomplish a few tasks, other tasks seem to come easier. As I write, I need to get a few words on the screen. Having written something makes it easier to write what you really need.

Second, do something hard. My wife Martha often talks about what’s on her “nag list.” Those are the jobs that bother her and constantly nag at her until she gets them done. Getting those obstacles out of the way will help your feelings immensely and may give you momentum for other tasks.

Finally, do something important. I always try to do the most important jobs first, but I find when I am stuck it won’t always work. Therefore, you may simply have to get started with something before you can do the most important.

Many times I feel stuck because something big needs to be done. Dealing with the important will help you be and feel productive.

One of my past jobs involved supervising Ph. D. students. I watched many otherwise bright students who could never get “unstuck.” When they had a dissertation they couldn’t write, I usually counseled them to follow the simple formula above. Sit down and try until something begins to fall into place. Even when you are stuck, sitting and trying hard for two to three hours will make a world of difference.

May you have a productive day!

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3 Comments


  1. Ed Matthew
    Apr 18, 2012

    Being stuck can be quite an issue. Recently, Saturday, I had a full list of things to do. I checked my oil before taking off and found even though it had only been 1600 miles the oil was a quart low and thick. Because I have been trying since November to get the mechanic to fix the oil leak that sprung up when the timing chain was changed to fix that leak (sickness and many other issues continue the delay; another mechanic said it would be about a thousand dollars to repair, to let the mechanic who caused it, fix it) there was dye in the system. The synthetic oil was replaced with new Edge Castrol Synthetic oil as was the High Milage oil filter. Unhappy with the intended proactive changing of the timing chain which has now cost several thousand dollars; but confident we were saving an engine with good compression on all 8 cylinders. Since having a family business fail when the demographic study and the business plan showed it was a no brainer win for the community, family, Church and God left us in a bandaid mode. The maintenance of the remaining revenue neutral at best business depends on this four wheel drive work vehicle which is now prohibitively expensive to replace.

    With mom loaded up and ready to go, engine started, oil pressure good, foot on brake and nothing happens. It will not come out of park. There is no resistance. Stuck in the driveway again. Shades of November when the starter went out and four new starters could not fix the problem; and AAA tows were maxed to the limit (usually years go by without a tow and then it is to help someone else). AAA was called while mom sat in the car beside me. I could not see anything wrong with the column. Could see nothing wrong under the hood. When I crawled under the vehicle I could see the shift lever was not attached to the cable. I place it on but find there is nothing to attach it. However, it stays on enough to take the transmission out of park. I find a local mechanic shop open by phone and after canceling road-service with AAA drive there. The mechanic is very nice and stops with a full waiting room and takes a look to say it is a dealer part with an unknown price and labor cost to fix a less than 5 dollar press on clip; but, it may not be sold that way and it is unsafe to drive without being attached. “Can it be attached with a bolt and nut?” The answer is yes. So I drive it back and make the repair confident it will be properly fixed Monday as I am assured I will receive a call first thing when the dealership opens.

    Monday late in the afternoon I am informed that the worn retainer end is not sold by itself but with an assembly costing $180.00 plus $100.00 labor to install plus tax and since I drilled out the lever and put in a bolt that piece which took less than a half hour to remove, modify and install will cost about $200.00 labor and materials to replace.

    Anyone know of a junked 1997 GMC four-wheel drive Suburban? Just want to avoid getting stuck exercising ideas which seemed good at the time. Romans 12: 1-21.


  2. Tissie Gibson
    Apr 18, 2012

    I find that the only way I get things done that really need to be done is to write them down. If I make a list and mark them off as I do them, they are much more likely to get done. I feel better seeing that something has been accomplished.


  3. Sandy Morris
    Apr 19, 2012

    The best way I can get something accomplished is not sit down to the computer in the mornings. : )

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. — Galatians 6:2 (NIV)