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6 Ways to Crush Writer’s Block

6 Ways to Crush Writer’s Block

Every writer knows that at some point they will stare at their computer and wonder what to put on the page. Even high-school students get writer’s block when they have an essay assignment due but have trouble thinking of what should be written.

Unless writers move past the blockage quickly, they could miss deadlines or become stressed, which will lead to heart issues. Here are some tips you can try to crush writer’s block and get back to writing that paper.

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1. Brainstorm

Often, the problem is not knowing a good idea. To solve this problem, writers can open a new document and throw anything on the page whether it relates to the assignment or not. Brainstorming ideas can get your creative juices flowing by allowing your brain to relax. You should keep adding to the list until you find the idea that works the best for your paper, article, blog or marketing. The process also might give you ideas for other projects as well or help you solve a problem you might be having.

2. Exercise

Taking a break from writing to walk for 20 minutes or visiting the health club does two things. First, you are not worried about work or stressed. Second, you are doing something positive for your health, which also will reduce your stress. After a good exercise routine, you are ready to sit at your computer again. You will be able to write again. Sometimes, fatigue interferes with our thought processes. Exercising gives us more energy and eliminates fatigue.

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3. Do something else

If you are stuck on a project and have no idea what to do, try moving to another project? When you switch projects or try something simple, your brain has to revamp how it operates. This will get a project done that would have been in jeopardy if you let the writer’s block continue. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment that you achieved something on your To-Do List or reached your goal. Then, you go back to the project causing the writer’s block, you will be more inspired to finish and ideas tend to flow.

4. Take a break

Besides exercising, you can take a break and do something you enjoy. You can read, watch television, listen to music or whatever interests you. Taking a break from the assignment will help you relax and not feel the pressure, which can cause the block to become worse. After a long enough break, you can go back to your computer and attempt the project again. You also might want to go out the door and do something, such as visit a store or public building. The drive to and from the location can lull your brain enough for you to think of a way through the document.

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5. Bounce a ball

It might sound crazy, but it works. Bouncing a tennis ball or rubber ball against a wall or floor can release your writer’s block. The muscle movements and repetition of bouncing a ball allows your brain to switch gears. Your senses are dulled, and you can begin to visualize how the page should look. You get ideas to write.

6. Think hard

If the deadline is near, you might not be able to do any of the above ideas. Therefore, you will have to think hard for a solution to your problem. While this is not as effective as some of the other techniques, it does work. Ask yourself, “How can I solve this problem?” or “What do I want my readers to know?” Answers will begin to fill your brain. Even students can use this technique. For example, a high school sophomore had a history paper to write about the French Revolution. Asking her to describe the topic for the essay, she was able to begin thinking about the problem. Asking her other questions eventually found the points she wanted to cover in the paper.

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As you can see, writer’s block happens all the time, but how you deal with your writer’s block is important. You don’t want it control you or make you miss your deadlines or due dates. Take time to figure out how to break the block will pay off in the long run.

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Last Updated on October 13, 2020

How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

Have you been stuck in the same position for too long and don’t really know how to get promoted and advance your career?

Feeling stuck could be caused by a variety of things:

  • Taking a job for the money
  • Staying with an employer that no longer aligns with your values
  • Realizing that you landed yourself in the wrong career
  • Not feeling valued or feeling underutilized
  • Taking a position without a full understanding of the role

There are many other reasons why you may be feeling this way, but let’s focus instead on learning what to do now in order to get unstuck and get promoted

One of the best ways to get promoted is by showing how you add value to your organization. Did you make money, save money, improve a process, or do some other amazing thing? How else might you demonstrate added value?

Let’s dive right in to how to get promoted when you feel stuck in your current position.

1. Be a Mentor

When I supervised students, I used to warm them — tongue in cheek, of course — about getting really good at their job.

“Be careful not to get too good at this, or you’ll never get to do anything else.”

This was my way of pestering them to take on additional challenges or think outside the box, but there is definitely some truth in doing something so well that your manager doesn’t trust anyone else to do it.

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This can get you stuck.

Jo Miller of Be Leaderly shares this insight on when your boss thinks you’re too valuable in your current job:

“Think back to a time when you really enjoyed your current role…You became known for doing your job so well that you built up some strong ‘personal brand’ equity, and people know you as the go-to-person for this particular job. That’s what we call ‘a good problem to have’: you did a really good job of building a positive perception about your suitability for the role, but you may have done ‘too’ good of a job!”[1]

With this in mind, how do you prove to your employer that you can add value by being promoted?

From Miller’s insight, she talks about building your personal brand and becoming known for doing a particular job well. So how can you link that work with a position or project that will earn you a promotion?

Consider leveraging your strengths and skills.

Let’s say that the project you do so well is hiring and training new entry-level employees. You have to post the job listing, read and review resumes, schedule interviews, make hiring decisions, and create the training schedules. These tasks require skills such as employee relations, onboarding, human resources software, performance management, teamwork, collaboration, customer service, and project management. That’s a serious amount of skills!

Are there any team members who can perform these skills? Try delegating and training some of your staff or colleagues to learn your job. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea:

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  1. Cross-training helps in any situation in the event that there’s an extended illness and the main performer of a certain task is out for a while.
  2. As a mentor to a supervisee or colleague, you empower them to increase their job skills.
  3. You are already beginning to demonstrate that added value to your employer by encouraging your team or peers to learn your job and creating team players.

Now that you’ve trained others to do that work for which you have been so valued, you can see about re-requesting that promotion. Explain how you have saved the company money, encouraged employees to increase their skills, or reinvented that project of yours.

2. Work on Your Mindset

Another reason you may feel stuck in a position is explained through this quote:

“If you feel stuck at a job you used to love, it’s normally you—not the job—who needs to change. The position you got hired for is probably the exact same one you have now. But if you start to dread the work routine, you’re going to focus on the negatives.”[2]

In this situation, you should pursue a conversation with your supervisor and share your thoughts and feelings to help you learn how to get promoted. You can probably get some advice on how to rediscover the aspects of that job you enjoyed, and negotiate either some additional duties or a chance to move up.

Don’t express frustration. Express a desire for more.

Present your case and show your boss or supervisor that you want to be challenged, and you want to move up. You want more responsibility in order to continue moving the company forward. Focus on how you can do that with the skills you have and the positive mindset you’ve cultivated.

3. Improve Your Soft Skills

When was the last time you put focus and effort into upping your game with those soft skills? I’m talking about those seemingly intangible things that make you the experienced professional in your specific job skills[3].

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Use soft skills when learning how to get promoted.

    According to research, improving soft skills can boost productivity and retention 12 percent and deliver a 250 percent return on investment based on higher productivity and retention[4]. Those are only some of the benefits for both you and your employer when you want to learn how to get promoted.

    You can hone these skills and increase your chances of promotion into a leadership role by taking courses or seminars.

    Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need to request funding from your supervisor. There are dozens of online courses being presented by entrepreneurs and authors about these very subjects. Udemy and Creative Live both feature online courses at very reasonable prices. And some come with completion certificates for your portfolio!

    Another way to improve your soft skills is by connecting with an employee at your organization who has a position similar to the one you want.

    Express your desire to move up in the organization, and ask to shadow that person or see if you can sit in on some of their meetings. Offer to take that individual out for coffee and ask what their secret is! Take copious notes, and then immerse yourself in the learning.

    The key here is not to copy your new mentor. Rather, you want to observe, learn, and then adapt according to your strengths.

    4. Develop Your Strategy

    Do you even know specifically why you want to learn how to get promoted? Do you see a future at this company? Do you have a one-year, five-year, or ten-year plan for your career path? How often do you consider your “why” and insure that it aligns with your “what”?

    Sit down and make an old-fashioned pro and con list.

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    Write down every positive aspect of your current job and then every negative one. Which list is longer? Are there any themes present?

    Look at your lists and choose the most exciting pros and the most frustrating cons. Do those two pros make the cons worth it? If you can’t answer that question with a “yes,” then getting promoted at your current organization may not be what you really want[5].

    The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain

    Here are some questions to ask yourself:

    • Why do you do what you do?
    • What thrills you about your current job role or career?
    • What does a great day look like?
    • What does success look and feel like beyond the paycheck?
    • How do you want to feel about your impact on the world when you retire?

    Define success to get promoted

      These questions would be great to reflect on in a journal or with your supervisor in your next one-on-one meeting. Or, bring it up with one of your work friends over coffee.

      Final Thoughts

      After considering all of these points and doing your best to learn how to get promoted, what you might find is that being stuck is your choice. Then, you can set yourself on the path of moving up where you are, or moving on to something different.

      Because sometimes the real promotion is finding your life’s purpose.

      More Tips on How to Get Promoted

      Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

      Reference

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