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How to Get Unstuck

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There are days when that feeling akin to writers block applies to your entire life: you're unsure why you're doing what you're doing and you don't know how to move forward with your to-do list, let alone begin. Writing for Lifehacker, Mike Vardy has a process to clear your head and identify what tasks are most important. 

Big Paper: Write Down What You're Doing

He first suggests you find a big piece of paper (bigger is better, Vardy says). On it, write out what your tasks are, who you're doing the task for and why it's your responsibility. Then grab a cup of coffee or tea, and meditate on it--stare at what you've written and really think it over until you're done with your drink. 

Small Paper: Everything That Doesn't Matter

Next, begin crossing out the stuff that doesn't really matter to you or feel urgent. Now, take the items you crossed out and write them on a small piece of paper (smaller is better, Vardy says).

Big Paper: Everything That Does

Take the items you didn't cross out and write them on a large piece of paper. Then...

Compare the two pieces of paper. While doing this, you should (hopefully) realize that the smaller stuff shouldn’t get in the way of the bigger stuff. The small paper represents stuff of little import, the big paper represents stuff of bigger import. 

Read more about Vardy's method at Lifehacker.

What methods do you use to get unstuck?

(Image via Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com)

Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.

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