What to do When You Are Stuck
There are countless tactics to get more stuff done. However, maybe for you…it’s not the strategies but it’s something else?
What if you are stuck? What if you have the best of intentions, what if you really want to become more productive but for whatever reason, you just can’t get yourself to do so?
“Do you want to play a game?”
That’s a classic line from the 1983 movie, WarGames. A 1983 American Cold War science fiction film starring Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, John Wood, and Ally Sheedy that follows David Lightman (Broderick), a young hacker who unwittingly accesses WOPR (War Operation Plan Response), a United States military supercomputer originally programmed to predict possible outcomes of nuclear war. Lightman gets WOPR to run a nuclear war simulation, originally believing it to be a computer game. The computer, now tied into the nuclear weapons control system and unable to tell the difference between simulation and reality, attempts to start World War III.
If you’re not familiar with this movie, go rent it and see how far we’ve come with our technology.
What does WarGames have to do with you being stuck?
The premise of the film — playing a game — is a concept that can help you get unstuck.
When you gamify something, you have a much higher chance of actually doing that which you need to do but for whatever reason don’t.
Here are some examples.
Let’s say you are always late to appointments because you fail to leave on time. You don’t account for traffic, the weather, whatever.
Whenever you are on-time, you reward yourself in some small way. Notice I said small way. We’re not talking about buying a boat just because you were on-time once. Perhaps you just keep score in some way.
The feeling of the achieving the reward should make you want to be on-time more often. To build a habit.
Streaking your way out of stuck-ness
Oh, get your mind out of the gutter, dear reader! ;-)
I’m not referring to that kind of streaking but rather an app called, Streaks. This is an app (currently available only on iOS) where you can set up to six goals or habits you want to do (or not do) and whenever you are successful, you get to mark them complete.
For example, here are my Streaks daily goals as of this article:
- Complete my Spanish lesson on Memrise
- Complete my Mandarin Chinese lesson on Memrise
- Do one push up a day
- Play a game with my wife
- Eat less then 200g of net carbs each day
The whole point of Streaks is to build good habits by gamifying the process.
I’ve changed my Streaks goals as my goals have become habits. And, in looking over the list above, I need to do that again.
The challenge here is that sometimes (oftentimes?) we are our own worst enemies. We are in our own way of getting stuff done!
It’s real easy to put lame goals on your Streaks goals (or whatever app you use), but that won’t grow you.
So, what goals do you need to create for yourself (and they need to be your goals and no one else’s) to help you get unstuck?
A better question: what goals will force you to make the change you really need to make but that will feel very comfortable?