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When you’re working on a big project, taking a real break is important for mental productivity.
Stop the project you’re working on, take some real time away, and come back to it with a fresh mindset. It doesn't matter how long the break is, the important thing is to not think about your project during your time of rest.
A common reason for feeling stuck on a project is because there’s too much information to process, causing you to lose clarity on your end goal.
Mind mapping is a visual note-taking style to help you get your ideas out on paper. Essentially, you’re making a map of how all of your ideas relate to one another. Start with one central idea, like the overall project goal or just a piece of it. From there, think about the major tasks, goals, or ideas behind the projects.
Getting out of the space you associate with your project can help bring an unexpected shift in your perspective.
Try to get away from the setting you’ve been working in. Do you work from home? Try a new location like a coffee shop, library, or coworking space. Work in an office? Go offsite with your team.
Ask someone who neither works with you nor knows anything about the specifics of your work, if you can present your project up to its current status to them.
Explain your thought process, your main goals, and the questions you’re trying to answer. Ask them to take notes and to be honest with their feedback.
Take a step back and analyze the difficulties you’re having by answering these questions:
Instead of focusing on the details, sometimes it’s helpful to zone out and look at the bigger picture. So try answering the "why" questions:
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“You are not your idea, and if you identify too closely with your ideas, you will take offense when they are challenged.”
When you are feeling stuck, start writing about whatever is on your mind.
Set aside 10 to 15 minutes. It may start out as a page of gibberish, but soon ideas will start to flow.
If you feel overwhelmed by how little you have progressed, switch to working on mindless tasks that require little attention and allow the mind to wander. Wash the dishes, organize your bookshelf, or do laundry.
By accomplishing small wins, you develop momentum and confidence to overcome your mental block.
Play around with your home or office environment and discover what works best for you.