The “I’m Stuck” section offers questions modeled after the Getting Things Done (Allen, 2015) methodology: Look at your projects and see what can be delegated or deleted. This could help you get a better sense of what actually belongs to you. Another suggestion is to break down your project into smaller steps. For this, use the checklist function in Arena to write down the small steps or milestones. These smaller, more manageable chunks will seem easier to tackle individually rather than trying to take on too much at one time.
The final question in this section takes a look at communication and asking yourself who would be best to reach out to regarding your task. If you’re stuck on a project, the #1 thing you can do is talk to someone about it. Getting into communication helps to pause the swirl in our brain and recognize it. Find a co-worker, teammate, or co-conspirator who will help you sort our your brain jumble and get back into action as quickly as possible.
The “I’m Unwilling” section takes a different approach, encouraging you to take a closer look at exactly why you are avoiding a project. These questions are straightforward, asking into what part of a project cannot be done, why it cannot be done, and who might need to know as a result. The best advice from this section focuses on you choosing a task, adding a checklist (with at least three steps), and setting a timer for 25 minutes. That’s it - 25 minutes! That’s all you need to give to this task right now. If you’re making good progress, then keep going! If you’ve hit another wall, then take a break and try it again later. Just keep chipping away at your task in manageable pieces… you’ll get there.
The “I’m Distracted” section is the trickiest. We all have a tendency to let the tiniest of things pull us out of a project we don’t want to be working on. The best advice in this section is to close out of everything that does not pertain to your current project. Not just minimize - completely close out programs, browser windows, etc. Leave only the files that are needed for that project. This will allow you to focus on one thing and one thing only.
The other tips here are more for helping your mind reset. Do you have time to meditate, even for a few minutes? This could help you clear your mind of whatever is bouncing around in there. Or more simply, could you close your eyes, take a breath, and countdown from five to help give your mind a quick reboot? If you have a flexible schedule, you could even take a short break and go for a walk. Choose anything that helps clear out the clutter in your brain that insists on keeping you from focusing can help you move out of your distracted state.