Plunger designed by Maria Melkosyants from the Noun Project

We all get stuck. The idea well dries up, and we are left struggling to move forward. With creative projects especially, making progress is crucial to building up consistency that pushes you towards breakthroughs. Author and “creative arms dealer” Todd Henry explains the 3 ways we often get caught in a creative ruts:

Definition: You Don’t Really Know What You’re Doing

It’s hard to solve a problem you haven’t defined, yet we try to do it all the time. We jump into the work, but don’t make the effort to ensure that we understand the problem we’re really trying to solve.

Motivation: You Don’t Really Care, Do You

Well, maybe you do care, but only because your paycheck (or reputation) is on the line. However, this isn’t always sufficient to keep you bringing your best to the work. You have to have a well-established through-line that provides baked-in motivation to keep working when things get tough.

Systems: Old Dog, New Tricks

Finally, your progress may simply be limited by your existing system or workflow. Things like standing meetings and organizational hierarchies tend to stick around for years after they’ve served their original purpose, but so do personal productivity habits.

Getting unstuck takes uncomfortable questions and difficult conversations, usually with yourself. The solution, according to Henry, is all about perspective:

Stuckness” is, in many cases, a choice. You may not come up with the optimal solution, but if you stay diligent and commit to progress, you can always re-direct to a better place.

Read Henry’s full article to grab his insights on climbing out of creative ditches and emerging victorious, here.

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