Posts tagged: Mini-quiz

How to start planning when you’d really rather not


October 29, 2015

What’s the plan?

Well, if you tend to get stuck acting like an Ad Libber, there isn’t one. That’s because, more often than not, things work out for you on the fly. You rely on luck, a quick mind, and the fearlessness to wing it. With minimal effort the world usually works in your favor.

Until it doesn’t. Until that luck you count on stops meaning off-the-cuff charmer and starts requiring a fully prepared person.

Yes, planning is hard. There’s a whole bunch of career disciplines devoted to it, for Pete’s sake. But, on occasion, even the most brilliant of us need to chart out a course before diving in.

Fortunately, not all planning requires spreadsheets and Roman numerals and gobs of research. When your back is against the wall, start by identifying your planning kryptonite — what is it that makes you so adverse to it?

It just so happens that Unstuck’s mini-quiz can
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Why can’t I finish what I started?


August 28, 2015
Idle Achiever

There’s great satisfaction in getting things done.

We get involved. We learn things. We find order in chaos. And the ultimate reward: We make progress that is appreciated (even if it’s just by us).

This kind of soul-nourishing effort rates as high as money, if not higher, when it comes to motivation. It helps define purpose and give us the ambition to stick with it.

But every so often, almost unwittingly, our ambition withers and things languish half finished. At Unstuck, we call this acting like an Idle Achiever. We’re unable to commit to the project or the person or the mission at hand. Instead, we start and stop like we’re driving a stick shift for the first time.

To smooth out this herky-jerky moment, it helps to understand how we got there in the first place. Take our mini-quiz to find out what type of Idle Achiever you tend to be. Then,
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How to get at that idea stuck in your head


June 5, 2015
Fuzzy Forecaster

Eureka!

When a great idea flashes in our brain it feels astounding. Startling. Energizing. The adrenaline makes our eyes open wide, our hands clap together, our spine straighten. We might even let out a whoop of joy before we rush off to tell someone.

But sometimes — between the thinking and the telling — we get a little stuck. The solution that was crystal clear in our head minutes ago is sounding more and more like Dumbledore speaking Gobbledegook when we say it out loud.

This is when we get stuck acting like a Fuzzy Forecaster. It comes with its own special brand of frustration because we can see the possibilities, we just can’t fully grasp them. On the upside, reaching clarity is usually more streamlined than other types of stuck moments. Once we know what’s blocking our communication, there are some pretty easy fixes to adjust our thinking.

To fine-tune your
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You’re overwhelmed — so why won’t you ask for help?


February 26, 2015
Lone Leader overwhelmed

Leading by doing — we could write the book. We see the big picture, organize the details, meet the deadlines, and never let them see us sweat.

Yep, we’re on top of it all the time…except when a task veers beyond our arsenal of expertise. But that rarely happens. And since we’re so good at figuring things out, we soldier on, on our own. Until we can’t.

Sometimes the task is too foreign, the time too short, the energy too finite to pull it off. And then we’re stuck acting like a Lone Leader, trying to operate without the necessary support.

There are at least three reasons a Lone Leader prefers to operate solo, even when overwhelmed. Knowing which one you’re prone to is the first step toward being able to issue an SOS. Take our mini-quiz to find out your
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What to do when you can’t decide


December 3, 2014
three faces of indecision

In the days after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, many of us focused on what was missing. The New York City skyline felt bare. The world felt altered. And, in the quiet Brooklyn neighborhood of Prospect Heights, an out-of-work actor named Delissa Reynolds sought comfort in the ways she knew best — food, friends, a sense of belonging.

“It was a very tender time,” says Delissa. “People in the neighborhood really drew in together. We’d have weekend gatherings, usually at my house, where anyone could come to hang out, sometimes just over rice and beans.”

These “Sunday dinners” helped transform the experience of loss into a celebration of togetherness. And, for Delissa, they became the spark for Bar Sepia, a pioneering neighborhood bar and restaurant she’d open three years later. Next month, her dream project turns 11 — a milestone unimaginable back in those “tender”
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How to deal with change you didn’t ask for


October 9, 2014

Stuck moment: Wait, you changed the process? But I’ve never done it that way before, and I can’t guarantee that I’ll be much good at it. Yeah, I’m not really warming up to this idea. You all have fun with that — I’ll just stick to what I know.

* * *

Sure, there are thrill-seekers who feel most alive when they’ve got one foot dangling off the edge of the known universe. And then there’s the rest of us. Reluctant Adapters. Creatures of comfort who quite enjoy the feeling of steady ground beneath our feet.

When change is afoot, it’s the ambiguity that gets us stuck. How will the change affect me? Am I losing something as a result? I don’t understand how this will work. Consequently, our reactions don’t mirror our best selves. We cling to what we know, avoid what’s coming, and generally start hating what we wish weren’t inevitable.

There’s
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Is it okay to let someone else call the shots?


August 11, 2014

Stuck moment: I guess I stopped caring enough about what I want. Everything seemed to be going fine, so it was easier to nod and go along with stuff — even if my heart wasn’t in it. But now it feels like I have no say, and that’s kind of cruddy.

* * *

We get stuck as Drifters when we stop acting in our own best interest. Life’s twists, turns, and demands can weaken our resolve, and in those moments we convince ourselves that things shouldn’t be so challenging. At least that’s our reasoning for taking the path of least resistance. Before we know it, the easy way becomes a habit. So instead of directing our lives according our own wishes and hopes, we just borrow someone else’s. Or we reject the idea of wishing and hoping at all.

However you got derailed — there are at least four main ways
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You’re the fixer — but you can’t fix it. Now what?


May 28, 2014
Tunnel Visionary

We are the problem-solver, the fixer, the emotional handyman of our tribe. The world runs more smoothly and smartly because we’re in it.

Keen understanding is the secret to our prowess — looking at all the information and knowing what to do with it. But, on rare occasion, a few pieces of the puzzle are missing, and then we’re stuck. It’s an unfamiliar sensation. We don’t have much practice at this stuck thing, so we feel like we’re stumbling in the twilight, unable to see what we need to make sense of it all.

In this half-blind moment, we’re acting like a Tunnel Visionary, operating without enough information to give us wider perspective.

How do we open our aperture? First, we need to understand the current mindset that we can’t seem to shake. Are we guarded? Fiercely determined? Unduly influenced?

Take our mini-quiz to find out.

Tunnel Visionary mini-quiz
First, think of a time when you were
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What do you do when the system stops working?


April 11, 2014
Perplexed Planner

Stuck moment: You love when things run smoothly — some say you’re a master at it — and right now it’s the opposite of that. As far as you can tell, nothing has changed. Still, you’ve started over…several times. Checked and rechecked. Even referred to the manual. Why. Won’t. This. Work! 

Such is the frustration of Perplexed Planners. So full of determination to make it work that they can only see what is, not what could be. And that’s a major handicap when it comes to solving a problem.

We’ve all been there from time to time, but not always in the same way. There are at least three shades of Perplexed Planners. To find out your tendency, take our mini-quiz below. We’ll follow up next week with tips for each type of Planner.

MINI-QUIZ:
Think of a time when a tactic that’s always served you well stopped working. It might be how you
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When motivation plummets: What kind of Deflated Doer are you?


February 14, 2014
Deflated Doer

Stuck moment: Your motivation has gone missing. It was here just the other day, helping you dig in, think bigger, and high-five with everyone. But now, well, you’re feeling kind of flat about things. Take it or leave it. What does it matter, anyway?

These are the telltale signs of a Deflated Doer — the once-and-future go-getter who needs to get re-stoked. Like most things human, there is more than one path to this point. And how you got there determines how you get unstuck.

To zero in on your deflated moments, take our mini-quiz below to find out what kind of Deflated Doer you tend to be, plus the approach that will best help kick you into gear again. We’ll follow up next week with exercises tailored for each type of Doer.

MINI-QUIZ:
Think of a time when you lost your motivation for something that you usually enjoy. It helps to have
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