Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Lead­ers, cre­atives, and writ­ers like you often get stuck. Frozen. Not sure what to do next. You’re unclear why you’re doing what you’re doing. Your head isn’t in its usu­al place. You can call it writ­ers block or ‘being unproductive’—but either way—there are com­mon rea­sons why we get stuck.

Being stuck sucks

When you’re stuck, you feel frozen. Rather than tak­ing a break to get some fresh air (lit­er­al­ly and metaphor­i­cal­ly), I find myself try­ing to “trudge through the murky waters” until I’m able to make some­thing hap­pen.

This almost nev­er works. I sit in my chair feel­ing stuck. I waste time. Have you ever been there?

Lying to ourselves

We tell our­selves that what we are doing isn’t good enough. We believe this sto­ry, this lie, that our cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, mate­ri­als, loca­tion, or what­ev­er isn’t good enough.

Social media and the web doesn’t help. We see oth­ers’ per­fect desk set up, and we want that. We see an announce­ment for a new lap­top or phone, and we want that. We want what the com­pa­nies want us to want. They’re real­ly good doing that. They get us. But they steal our cre­ative band­width.

We tell our­selves that if we had this or that we’d be able to make our BEST work. Which makes the work we’re doing right now not look so glam­orous. We tell our­selves once we save up and get that THING—then, THEN we’ll start mak­ing stuff that’s awe­some.

Start preaching to yourself

If you’re going to lev­el up and start get­ting the work done, you’ll need to preach to your­self. In oth­er words, you’ll need to tell your­self hard things you need to hear, even if you don’t want to hear them. This takes dis­ci­pline because its easy to avoid this step.

[share­able cite=“Josh Mitchell”]If you’re going to lev­el up and get work done, preach to your­self. Tell your­self hard things you need to hear, even if you don’t want to hear them.[/shareable]

Give yourself the WHO CARES TEST

When you use the So What, Who Cares Test, you’ll start to find what it is that’s trip­ping you up. Ask your­self, So what? Who cares? Your answers will be (1) no one, (2) some­one that mat­ters, (3) some­one that does­n’t mat­ter, or (4) your­self.

  1. No one cares. Get over it. This is a detail or sil­ly thing that doesn’t mat­ter. Move on. Lit­er­al­ly, no one cares.
  2. Some­one that mat­ters cares.Some­one that mat­ters’ is some­one who is direct­ly relat­ed to your project mov­ing for­ward and has a say. Stake­hold­ers, investors, men­tors and advi­sors are all peo­ple that might mat­ter. If you are in busi­ness with your hus­band, he has a say. If he’s not involved with your busi­ness, he doesn’t. That doesn’t mean you don’t love or care about your spouse, it just means they do NOT get to make deci­sions about your busi­ness and project. If some­one that mat­ters cares about some­thing trip­ping you up, TALK TO THEM. Let them know their stance is trip­ping you up. Rene­go­ti­ate if pos­si­ble. Be clear. Make the call soon­er than lat­er. Move on.
  3. Some­one that DOESN’T mat­ter cares. Peo­ple that don’t mat­ter are the haters. They’re not impor­tant to your project, don’t under­stand what you’re doing, and that’s OK. Move on. Austin Kelon says, ‘don’t feed the trolls.’
  4. You care. Ask your­self, am I car­ing too much about this aspect? Can I move on? Is this going to bring the whole project down? Fig­ure out how much you’re will­ing to care as soon as pos­si­ble. Make the change that’s need­ed. Or not. Move on.

The fol­low­ing list is not exhaustive—but are some WHO CARES ques­tions you can use to trig­ger pres­sure points in your project.

Who cares about your emotions...

  • Who cares that you’re feel­ing sad?
  • Who cares if you’re hav­ing a bad day?
  • Who cares that you got offend­ed?

Who cares about your project...

  • Who cares if things didn’t go as planned?
  • Who cares if you’ll need to make a tweak or change?
  • Who cares if some­one else needs to take over and lead?
  • Who cares about this project any­way?

Who cares about your physical location...

  • Who cares if you do your work from home?
  • Who cares if you work in a cof­fee shop?
  • Who cares if you do your work in your car?
  • Who cares that you’re not in Nashville?
  • Who cares that you’re not in Hol­ly­wood?
  • Who cares you don’t have inter­net?

Who cares how original you are...

  • Who cares that this has been done before?
  • Who cares what peo­ple are going to say?

Who cares about your website platform...

  • Who cares if you’re using Word­Press?
  • Who cares if you’re using GoDad­dy?
  • Who cares if you’re using WIX or Wee­bly?
  • Who cares if it’s hard to edit?
  • Who cares if it’s tak­ing too long to make changes?

Who cares about social media...

  • Who cares how many fol­low you have?
  • Who cares if some­one says some­thing stu­pid in the com­ments?
  • Who cares if you get offend­ed?
  • Who cares which plat­form you use to share con­tent?

Who cares about design...

  • Who cares what font you’re using?
  • Who cares what col­ors you’ve picked?
  • Who cares if the pic­ture isn’t at the per­fect res­o­lu­tion?
  • Who cares if there’s a spelling mis­take?
  • Who cares if it says Pow­ered by Square­space at the bot­tom?
  • Who cares if it didn’t turn out exact­ly as you had hoped it would?
  • Who cares what peo­ple might say?
  • Who cares if no one likes it?
  • Who cares that some­one else came up with the idea first?
  • Who cares it took you 3 months (or 5 years) to write your eBook and peo­ple still think it sucks?

Who cares about the software...

  • Who cares if you’re using 1997 Microsoft Word to write your nov­el?
  • Who cares if your soft­ware isn’t the lat­est ver­sion?
  • Who cares if there’s a new soft­ware com­ing out next month you’ll need?
  • Who cares if you don’t have the absolute best?

Who cares about equipment...

  • Who cares which micro­phone you’re using?
  • Who cares which lap­top you’re using?
  • Who cares that it’s the most expen­sive [thing] out there?
  • Who cares where you bought it?
  • Who cares how cool it looks?

[reminder]What goes through your brain when you’re stuck? What have I left out on this list?[/reminder]

Share this post

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print

You might also like...

Free Home Delivery Service

Get research-based articles sent directly to your email inbox: the modern home delivery service. 
Your time and attention is valuable and we promise never to spam. Unsubscribe any time.