6 Steps to Breaking the Cycle of Stuckedness

Is life supposed to be a routine?

I suppose our ancestors woke up each morning in their caves, peered from under the skins to see daylight peeking through the cave entrance, groaning, “gerump hahjh gerfawhah!” (caveman for, “Oh God, just a few more minutes!”).

How do you suppose a caveman faced each day?

They’d get up, grunted their morning greeting, threw on some skins, went into the bushes to do ‘their thing,’ If they had leftovers from the day before, they’d sit around the dining rock for an intimate breakfast before the females put their kids on their backs, picked up their gathering pouches for a productive day of foraging. The males would head out with spears in hand, meet up with other males from a tribe to head out for a day of hunting.

What a rat race… I mean what a brontosaurus-scatt existence!

Makes you wonder if any of them ever wished for, or thought there might be a better way. I guess they must have, why else would we have farmers?

It's amazing to get up each morning with a purpose, full of energyI often joke that there are two types of people in the world, the ones that wake up in the morning and say, “Good morning God!” and the other that say, “Oh God! Morning!” For the latter, there have been times that you were excited to get out of bed. Something was planned, something new was happening, and you woke up with the vigour of a 7-year-old, excited for Christmas day.

But today, each day, you wake up saying, “gerump hahjh gerfawhah!”

So what happened?

Loretta Kuhland

Loretta Kuhland

In last week’s post, I outlined my recent conversation with Business Consultant & HR practitioner, Loretta Kuhland and the three indicators that you might be in a rut.

In today’s article, we’ll cover Kuhland’s five steps to shake ourselves out of the rut we’ve worked our way into.

1. Focus on what you would do if you had the time.

Take 30 minutes to jot down at least 3-5 things you would do if only you had the time. You know, the things you regret not getting to when the time has passed. Things like attending your child’s soccer game or going on a date with your spouse or going to the gym.
Once you have them down, write down, for each point, who is in control of making them happen.
Then, go back to each point, and for everywhere you indicated that you were in control (probably, if not all), write down what needs to change to make them happen. Are these the things you could be doing if you woke up half an hour earlier or if you left work half an hour earlier?
At times, these are things we can possibly do but we get stuck with the nagging thought that we’re too busy for them and so we choose not to. The more we do, the more we ingrain in our subconscious that we are helpless and stuck.
The big question I have to ask you is, Are you helpless and stuck?

More businesses today are seeing the huge benefit of setting work-life policies ensuring their employees are not overworked and are enjoying work-life balance.

2. Face the big, unresolved problems.

Make a list (I know, another list… at least you don’t have to draw on the cave walls) of issues you have been avoiding for the longest time because you don’t know how to face them. A difficult thing to handle like a performance issue with an employee or a vendor, or a mundane, repetitive task like updating your bookkeeping, can weigh on you.
For each point, break them down into small actionable steps. Mark out which you can delegate and which you have to do yourself.


3. Concentrate on addressing one item on your list at a time.

COncentrate on one thing at a time. Multi-Tasking is a myth.Commit to following through on your list. If you want to make this work, avoid falling into the habit of procrastinating. As Mark Twain says, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
Get the ball rolling by putting in 15 minutes on your calendar to get started on one particular item on your list of projects and initiatives that have not been addressed yet.

Review the lists before you leave for the day. Seeing the items crossed off gives you a great sense of accomplishment, confidence and control. Reviewing the list before you go home for the day, also pre-programs the brain with the next steps, so you have action items ready to accomplish first thing in the morning.

The positive energy can rub off on your team and create a healthy working environment that produces a highly engaged and productive team.

4. Break big problems into manageable pieces.

A lot of times we make things bigger than they actually are. A big project can be manageable if we just break it down into small sections with corresponding timelines of completion.

“Everything is figureoutable”

If the task takes longer than 15 minutes, then you’ve not broken the chunk down small enough. For instance, the steps to dealing with the performance issue with the employee could be:

  1. Compile records of grievances
  2. Speak to his Supervisor about the grievance
  3. Speak to witnesses about the grievance
  4. Write a disciplinary letter for file
  5. Speak to HR and submit the letter
  6. Make an appointment to meet with the employee
  7. Buy tissues
  8. Meet the employee
  9. Write post-meeting follow up note

As you make progress solving a small chunk of the problem at a time, you’ll soon realize that what was once a humongous and incredible undertaking is now completed. “Everything is figureoutable”, as a thought leader and entrepreneur Marie Forleo says. Figure out a way to take control of things and they won’t overwhelm you.

5. Focus on self-care

In an overworked culture where work can encroach on family time, both employers and employees must ensure that their work hours and responsibilities are kept in check. We have witnessed a workplace culture where those working long hours are recognized and rewarded and those who keep reasonable hours are made to feel inferior.

However, studies have shown that employees turn out to be more productive and creative when they are able to enjoy enough leeway to focus on building their mental and physical well-being and connecting with family and friends.

More businesses today are seeing the huge benefit of setting work-life policies ensuring their employees are not overworked and are enjoying work-life balance.

Break the monotony of negativity by indulging in doing something positive for yourself. As my friend, Linh Huynh says, “Love yourself enough to feed your body, feed your soul and move!”

Schedule and plan activities you will do, act on them and take control. This will rewire your brain and reinforce those activities to help you get unstuck.

6. Set your parameters

According to Kuhland, there are 4 answers to every question – ‘No,’ ‘Yes,’ ‘No but’ and ‘Yes but.’

‘Yes but’ is the most powerful answer that allows you to follow through with conditions….. “I can finish the report, but tonight I have my daughter’s play, so I’ll have it for you later tomorrow.

You take control over your life by making a choice to participate and give the parameters of when you can do it.

Next time you find yourself stuck, revisit these steps and take authority of your life again.

If you take anything away from this article, it is that you are not alone. There are steps that you can take and resources you can tap into to help you and your business.

Do check out the latest article, 6 reasons Why You Need a Business Coach

If you’d like support sooner than later, you can reach out to Business Consultant and HR Practitioner, Loretta Kuhland at www.askloretta.com, or book yourself a complimentary 30-minute brainstorming session with Marc Haine (https://Meetme.so/MarcHaine).

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