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7 Reasons Why You Get Stuck Even When It Seems To Be So Close To Success

7 Reasons Why You Get Stuck Even When It Seems To Be So Close To Success
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You’ve got a deadline on the horizon, but you’re not worried because you’re on top of your game. Until, suddenly—you stall. What happened? Why can’t you make any progress when you were just trucking along? Check out these reasons why you get stuck even when it seems to be so close to success, and hopefully you’ll get to the root of your problem.

1. Your goal seems too daunting.

Even if you were initially making progress with your task, maybe you got cold feet and realized your goal was too daunting. Does it seem like too much? It might be time to take a step back and see what you’re trying to tackle. Even if it doesn’t seem like too much, break your major project into manageable tasks that you can accomplish more easily. You can do them quickly, and before you know it, the entire project will be complete!

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2. You’re sticking to the same approach.

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut if you’re always trying the same approach. It’s especially hard when you’re trying the same thing and expecting different results, like the same answer will work for every problem you have. Instead, think outside the box. Try to see the end of your project and envision different ways to get there. The more creative you are, the more fun you’ll have working on the task! And also, you’re less likely to get the same result as anyone else you might be competing with.

3. You’re not focusing on long-term results.

Are you stuck because you don’t see the point of your project? Even small tasks can have great importance in the long run. Look at every project as a building block towards something bigger. If you see the impact your project will make, it might inspire you to get back on track.

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4. You’re not being patient enough.

You want to have everything done right now, right? It’s a common feeling, but you have to be patient. Getting impatient just makes it harder to focus on what you actually need to accomplish at this moment. It might take a lot of time to finish something major, so know you need to put in a lot of effort to see the results. It’s going to be worth it in the end, even if it takes awhile to get there!

5. You got distracted.

You let your project sit on the back burner for too long, and now you have no desire to come back to it. Remember how involved you were in the project before you lost focus, and try to harness that energy again. Jump back in!

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    6. You’re procrastinating.

    This is the opposite of not being patient—you’re being too patient, and not making any progress at all! Don’t sit around and put your project off until the last minute. Even if it seems daunting, or you don’t have the drive to work on it, push yourself to start with a small part of the project. Look back at the tolerable steps you broke the project into, and start tackling it. Once you make a little bit of progress, you’ll be inspired to continue, and you’ll get the project done before you know it!

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    7. You’re a perfectionist.

    Who doesn’t want their work to be perfect? You don’t want anyone to find holes in your project, so you’re stuck because you’re working so hard to make it just right. It might be hard, but sometimes you just have to let it go. Do your best work and have faith that it will be close to perfect, because it’s your best! You just might be surprised at how good your work can be when you just do it, instead of being preoccupied with how it’s going to turn out.

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    Last Updated on July 21, 2021

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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    No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

    Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

    Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

    A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

    Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

    In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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    From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

    A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

    For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

    This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

    The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

    That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

    Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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    The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

    Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

    But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

    The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

    The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

    A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

    For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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    But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

    If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

    For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

    These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

    For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

    How to Make a Reminder Works for You

    Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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    Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

    Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

    My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

    Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

    I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

    More on Building Habits

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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