6 Steps to Getting Yourself out of a Rut

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Do you ever feel like you’re just stuck in rut? Like you’re trying to work on things but it’s not going anywhere. You feel unproductive and if you’re anything like me, you start to feel depressed.

While this is still work in progress for me, here are six steps that I use to help me get out of a rut.

Step 1: Define Your Problem

The first step to getting over an addiction is to accept that you have a problem. This is similar except you know you have a problem but can’t pinpoint what it is.

You have to try.

You have to reflect and give it some thought. As with any project you need to figure out why you’re stuck in a rut and what it is you want to achieve. You need to define where you want to be.

You cannot find a solution without first understanding what’s causing it.

Step 2: Write it Out

There are a great many people who advocate the power of writing things down. I think they’re right. There’s a reason we still have whiteboards in offices to brainstorm problems.

Once you’ve realized why you’re stuck in a rut. Write out what you think the reason might be. Better yet, map it out. By putting your problem down on paper or on a board, it becomes real. It becomes a concrete issue that you can now tackle and start to find solutions to.

I have a problem with facing my fears and my struggles. I have had years o practice ignoring really tough situations which helps me cope. But I have increasing begun to realize that we need to face our problems head on.

So as soon as I convince myself to write out fears, I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders. The problems won’t seem so scary anymore and you can start taking steps towards a solution.

Step 3: Review and Update your Goals

Maybe you’re not stuck in a rut at all. Maybe you feel like you haven’t been productive or haven’t achieved what your wanted because you set the wrong goals.

This is where you need to review your accomplishments against your goals. Doing a review of your goals help you in two ways:

1) It helps you realize that you have made some accomplishments. This give you a morale boost and may be just what you need to get back to work.

2) It helps you understand whether you actually fell short. If there’s a pattern, you need to realize that may be your goals are too aggressive.

For example, there are writers who publish up to 3 or 4 posts a day even though they have a full-time job. I think they are amazing, but I know wouldn’t be able to do that right now. If I set a target of 3 posts a day, I will fail miserably right now, and I know I feel so overwhelmed.

Step 4: Revise your Game Plan

At the moment your plan isn’t working which is why you feel like you’re stuck in a rut.

So, it’s a no-brainer that you have to change your plan.

By now, you should have first grip on what’s keeping you in this rut. You’ve revised your goals (if needed) and now you need to adjust your game plan to go with it.

Step 5: Take a Break

Burn out is a very real thing. Sometimes the reason you’re stuck in a rut is because you’re simply exhausted. Your mind has hit a roadblock, and everything is fuzzy.

It’s not a bad idea to slow down and take a break.

Taking a step back can help you “come at the problem form a different angel” as they say.

You may think you’re wasting time but trust me, you’ll actually be gaining time because you won’t be wasting your energy on unproductive work.

Step 6: Power Through

There’s no sage advice or magic potion here. When you’re stuck in a rut, you may just have to power through.

The previous 5 steps swill help you through the process but in the end, you simply have to muster up the courage and will power to get thought it. I am a firm believer in mind over matter.

I constantly feel like Wile E. Coyote, going back to my drawing board after every failed attempt. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from him, is to never give up!



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Ayesha Tariq

Ayesha Tariq


Mother | Finance & Investment Strategist | Co-Founder, Traderade.com | Love finance, writing, coffee, reading and rain...