The alarm goes off. Blindly, you reach to hit the snooze button. You get up, have some coffee, and start your day. Go to work, rush to get ahead, come home, and go to bed. Rinse and repeat. You’re definitely doing things, but are you actually going anywhere? Or are you just spinning your wheels?
When pursuing your ONE Thing, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. But finding fresh perspective and new purpose within your work can breathe new life into even the most mundane activities.
But don’t worry! Unlike Phil from Groundhog Day, you don’t have to spend 30 to 40 years doing the same thing over and over. Getting out of a rut is easier than you might think.
The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. If you’ve been trying the same things but not getting the results you want, maybe it means there’s a problem. Getting lost or stuck on the road to accomplishing our goals isn’t an uncommon problem. The important thing to realize is that we are stuck – and that being stuck isn’t the end of the road.
In many cases, the real problem is picking a priority. We need to figure out what must get done so that everything else on our plate gets easier or unnecessary. Responding to every email isn’t a good use of our time, and many of our daily tasks could be leveraged out to an assistant. When we do small things that are outside of our most important work, it can seem like we’re accomplishing a great deal. But when it comes down to it, doing things others could be doing is not a beneficial use of our time.
This is where the 80/20 rule comes in! The 80/20 rule helps us hone in on the 20 percent of work that will actually help us get ahead – and save the 80 percent for later. Reevaluate what you’re spending your time on. If it’s a task that can be delegated—delegate it! Time block around the activities that will make you the most productive. That way, you can focus on the tasks will actually help you make some headway.
Try something new
Change can be scary, but sometimes shaking things up is the only way to get out of a rut. There are times when, despite our best laid plans, things just don’t work out. That’s okay! We are all naturally inclined to dislike that notorious “f” word – failure. But we shouldn’t.
Failure is a key part of the growth experience. If you don’t allow yourself to fail, you will also hold yourself back from making progress. However, if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and not going anywhere – that you’re failing to make a goal come to fruition – maybe it’s a sign you need to move on. Letting go of a goal or an idea can be intense, but sometimes it is the best thing we can do.
Keep Track of the Steps and the Results
Let’s be honest – not every step on our journey is going to be a fun or exciting one. Sometimes the day to day routine will still feel like a grind. Things can start to feel monotonous no matter how engaged with our growth we are. That’s why it’s important to keep track of our results.
Think of it like going to the gym. You may be going and doing the same thing every day, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t getting stronger. Instead of squatting 100lbs, you’re squatting 150. It’s the same exercise, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t getting somewhere.
Instead of despairing when you feel stuck, take a moment to reflect and reorient. If you need help deciding what to do, fill out our handy My Purpose workbook to examine where you’re at and what you actually want to accomplish.