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Need Motivation to Work? 7 Ways to Get Started


I admit it … I’ve been stuck.

I’ve been so stuck that when I think about how to stop being stuck, my brain freezes up and I have to do something silly to get it moving again.

It’s called inertia.

In an effort to increase my interest in moving forward, I’ve just brainstormed a list of inertia-busting activities and time management tips to give me some motivation to work.

7 Ways to Get Started When You Feel Stuck

1. Stand up, stretch, and take a walk as a signal to your subconscious that you are in motion. When your walk is over, try again.

2. Make a bargain with yourself that if you do just one thing on your list, you can reward yourself in some way.

3. Set an alarm for 15 minutes. Sit in a comfortable chair, slowly breath in and out, and observe your thoughts. Allow them to go where they may. When the alarm goes off, stand up, shake yourself around a bit, and go back to work.

4. Do something that requires some sort of physical effort for 15 minutes. Once your 15 minutes are up, go back to your project.


5. One of the most effective time management tips I’ve learned is to set an alarm on your phone for 30 minutes. Work as hard as you can on your project until the alarm sounds. Take a fun break for a few minutes. Repeat.


6. Draw a doodle that expresses how it feels to be stuck. Then destroy the doodle in some strange manner.

  • Rip the drawing into tiny pieces and throw it away.
  • Make holes in it with a pencil.
  • Tear it up and send it down the garbage disposal.
  • Get a marker and scribble all over the drawing until you can’t see it anymore.

The wilder you get when you destroy your drawing, the better, the better chance that you’ll get a motivational bump. Let your emotions out.


7. Stand at a window and howl like a wolf.

Just kidding about this one, but if you decide to do it, invite me to the party, okay?

Do you have any time management or motivational tips you use to get you moving?


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About Rozanne Paxman

Author, blogger, graphic designer, cartoonist, doodler, thinker, do-er, entrepreneur, mom, grandma, and lover of life.


  1. Stephanie T. says:

    I make jewelry! When I’m stuck I make clasps and jump rings, always handy to have for me!

    • Rozanne Paxman says:

      That’s a good idea, Stephanie, meaning having something kind of simple and repetitive thing to do with my hands. I need to find something like that to do.

  2. As Monty Python used to say, “And Now for something completely different”. Get up from your work area and simply do something else entirely unrelated. Go for a walk, do the dishes, do some laundry, get the mail, whatever other productive thing that you need to do. Don’t think about the thing that you’re stuck on at all unless some creative idea occurs to you. Think as though you are completely done with the stuck work for today. Pay attention to the new other thing completely and when you’re done come back to the work you were stuck on with a fresh outlook.

    • Rozanne Paxman says:

      Bob, this is so good. I love the bit where you recommend that we get up and act like we are done with “stuck work” for the day. The permission to change topics is what grabbed my attention. I think i haven’t been giving myself the mental-time-off that I need. I’m going to try it, for sure.

  3. In your e-mail you asked, “Do you ever feel completely stuck – so stuck that it’s hard to get moving? What do you do to get started once it happens to you? I’d really love to know because I could use some advice!”

    Boy, that’s a great question!

    1. I recently got unstuck quite a bit by reorganizing my craft room. I was inspired by some of the stuff I found in my stash. By reorganizing the furniture, I ended up with the perfect combo of more floor space and more crafting space – without removing or throwing anything out. I think it was some sort of magic.

    Anyway, I know that won’t help you because your office is incedibly organized to begin with. But the tip may help other readers.

    2. The next thing that has helped me I hesitate to share, but we’re all freinds here, right? It’s along the lines of Bob’s advice to get the unstuck feeling out of your head. I would add, along with all the other preoccupations of life that keep inspriration out of reach.

    So here goes. I’ve had some health issues lately with no diagnosis. Yet I needed to keep up with work (we own a small business – no paid sick days). The anxiety was over it all was too much for me and the doctor prescribed clonazepam drops.

    Not only did my anxiety decrease and symptoms subside, but the calmness opened my ability to think creatively again. I lost that unstuck feeling. BTW, I have a tentative diagnosis which I can easily live with and my physical symptoms are slowly subsiding.

    Good luck getting unstuck, Ro. You are one of the most ammazing and awesomely talented people I know. God willing, there is a way for you too. Such talent should not be wasted!

    • Rozanne Paxman says:

      Oh ho… My office? It vascillates between a mess and clean. When I’m in the middle of something, I get so tired I just walk away from it at the end of the day. When I start to feel like I can’t stand to be in there, I clean it back up and start the cycle again.

      Don’t feel weird about the clonazepam drops, Eileen. Lots of us take meds. A couple of my Fibro meds also help with depression, which I think may be responsible for me remaining on somewhat an even keel. I also take Lemon Balm drops at night. They help with anxiety and sleep.

      I’m so sorry that you’ve been ill! (((((((Hugs)))))))

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