We’ve all been here… right? Time has been ticking ever closer to the deadline and between that pressure and those ever present distractions… you find yourself absolutely stuck. I’m writing this blog post because it’s happened to me – more than I’d like to count – and I’d like to share some of the tricks I’ve found to help unstick me from my creative-problem solving – situation.

Step One: Stop whatever you’re doing.


It should be obvious that you’re not doing something right. So stop. Stop writing, designing, discussing and take a 15 minute break. You’ve got to give your brain a break from the problem sometimes so it can draw the connections and point you in the right direction. It’s more amazing than you give it credit for sometimes!

[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”tiny” image=”icon-arrow-right”]Check out: “The Brain That Changes Itself” (It’s what I’ve been reading lately)

And by break… I mean break. No texting, or checking emails. Go get some fresh air, grab an iced latte – if that’s your thing, walk down the block and notice the bees buzzing and the feel of the sun on your face. Feels great hu? Now… 15 minutes have past. You’re safe to try again.

Step Two: Sneak up on it from behind.

For the past 5 hours, or days or weeks you’ve been working on X problem relentlessly. What’s that saying… oh yeah….

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

So let’s veer away from the tendency towards insanity and approach the problem from the opposite site. That could look like listening, with your eyes closed, to someone reading the messaging outloud if you’ve been working on a design solution. Or looking at the long-term goals of a project rather than the short-term ones. You never know what connections you’ll make out of the blue by just approaching the problem from a different angle.

Step Three: Ask for help.

Now… don’t just choose anyone to go over your problem with. Choose someone whose opinion you trust and that you’ve worked with before, maybe it’s your business consultant or your friend who’s also in the biz. Walk them through the end goal, the big picture and what you’ve tried before. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes will catch on to something that you haven’t yet.

Unstuck Yet?

No matter what the problem is. know that you have all the resources on hand to solve it. Don’t be afraid to take some time away from it, look at it from a different angle and walk through the problem with a trusted teammate. If you’re still stuck, don’t be afraid to reach out for some help from us! We’d love to talk.

What solutions have you found that work for you when you’re feeling stuck? Let us know in the comment section below.

By |2018-12-08T12:59:02+00:00February 6th, 2014|