Breaking the Cycle of Inaction

What is it like for you when your “to do” list seems so long as to be insurmountable? Have you ever been so overburdened by the action items and the pressure to get them done that it felt almost paralyzing? If you answer, “Yes,” to either of these questions you can take comfort that you are not alone. How can you help yourself return to productivity when the feeling of

being trapped, stuck or unable to dig out from under that burdensome situation stifles you? Here are some thoughts for your consideration:

  1. Examine your attitude. Do you tell yourself, “I did not make this mess; however, I am the one left holding the bag—this will take forever?” Or, are you more likely to say, “How can I accomplish this task as completely and quickly as possible—is there a way to score big on this one?” The first attitude confesses your “stuckness” and indicates your personal commitment to remain mired in the situation. The second attitude reflects a desire to get the job done and perhaps learn something new and “grow” through the situation.
  2. Step back—problem or process. Take a bird’s eye view of what is going on. Perhaps what you see or feel as relentless, burdensome tasks are not a all a problem (with you or your company). These tasks may merely be part of the process in the grander scheme of things. When you recognize your assigned tasks as segments of a greater whole, you will worry less about

where the big project is going and more about what you need to do, to succeed in your limited part in the process. Try an experiment the next time you feel overwhelmed: Stand up on a chair in your office and look around. It will literally give you a whole new perspective on what is going on in your workspace.

  1. Consider whether what’s happening has happened before. Is that feeling of being paralyzed—the one that is cutting into your productivity—a new experience for you, or, has it happened before? If it has happened before, is it time to “grow” through it so that it will not high-center your productivity in the future? Solve the hang-up and move on.
  2. Do something, anything! Most important of all, keep moving. When you are stuck, each action you take takes you one more step away from being stuck. The more steps you take the more productive you will become. When drafting a new or complex agreement it can be impossible to begin writing, because you actually may not know where to begin. At such times, just do something—put your fingers on the keyboard and start writing. Do not worry about what you write. In short order your decision to do something will blossom into the document you need to draft.

If you get high-centered in your work on a regular basis, you need to break that cycle of inaction. Whether you grow through the process on your own, or hire a coach to help you apply a different approach, do something! You will grow and you and your company will benefit.

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