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3 tactics to getting back on track

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in Office Management,Time Management

When stuck on a problem or task, people handle it in different ways. Some become more productive by finishing smaller tasks, while others might play games to avoid the inevitable. The truth is, it is better to realize you are stuck and unable to move forward on a big task than it is to avoid it. Emily Triplett Lentz, writing at Help Scout, says once you realize you are avoiding the problem or task, try these three tactics to get unstuck.

1. Apply tried-and-true problem-solving frameworks. There is no formula for problem solving, but there are plenty of frameworks to look at a problem and come up with ideas for how to solve it. Some people use mental models as their problem-solving framework. Find one that works best for you, and use it when you get stuck.

2. Give it a rest. Once you realize you are stuck, jumping into problem solving isn’t always natural. Sometimes, it is best to let your subconscious take over for an “incubation period” in which your brain continues to work on a problem even though you have set it aside to deal with other things.

3. Seek outside perspective. Talk to someone close to you—a spouse, a friend, a mentor or a colleague—to gain new insight. They are living outside of the problem, so they might be able to offer unexpected ideas to help you out. Tell them what the problem is, what you’ve done so far and where you are stuck. Even if they can’t help, maybe talking it out will help you solve it yourself.

—Adapted from “3 Approaches to Getting Unstuck,” Emily Triplett Lentz, Help Scout.

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