Unstuck in Action: Pushing toward completion

Name:  Sameedha Mahadkar

Age: 30

Location: Loughborough, England

Family life: Single, lives with a friend

Occupation: Researcher for HaCIRIC, which is funded by the European Physical Sciences Research Council. She is working on a project aimed at developing a framework to support and improve healthcare infrastructure planning and integrated service provision within the healthcare sector through optimizing decision-making processes.

Sam is also in her fifth and final year as a part-time PhD candidate, building on her degree in civil engineering. “I want to become an expert in strategic asset management—how to manage and optimize a healthcare facility." 

Interests: Works out at the gym every other day and bakes at home (“It’s a way of relaxing and trying different things”). Until recently, she also served as subwarden on a college campus, looking after 300 undergraduate students. “It took a lot of my time. Students would call in the middle of the night saying ‘I’m drunk and lost my keys.’ I stopped because I wanted to focus more on my PhD.”

How did you hear about the Unstuck app?

I was searching through the app store, looking for gardening apps, but did not find a good one. From gardening, I went to lifestyle apps and came across Unstuck. I was just curious to see what it is. I had a go at it, but wasn’t keen on it from the start. A couple of weeks later I was stuck at work; I would sit and procrastinate even though I had a deadline and needed to get on and do stuff. So I thought ‘I’ll play a game.’ But then I thought I’d try Unstuck to see if it works.”

What were your thoughts after using the app?

“I like how it’s laid out: impressive yet simple and organized. I like the fact that it’s casual in a way. I could think about the actual issue. In my case, I’m the Deflated Doer, and I know that’s the problem.

“It helped put things into perspective. I started noting very simple things, and tried to place my everyday activities into perspective by crossing out what is irrelevant. This process motivates you to get on with what you need to work on.

“I might get stuck with a simple, mundane task like going through data. Unstuck helps me visualize things and prioritize my tasks. It makes me define my emotions.”

How do you know when you’re stuck?

“I’m the type of person in the night who thinks about what I’ve done and what I need to do tomorrow before I go to sleep. If I think it’s been an unproductive day and why that is, when I have that dialog with myself I know I’m stuck.”

What’s it like to get unstuck?

“It’s a relief. If I stop looking at emails an hour in the morning and can use that time productively, that’s being unstuck. Things are back on track, things are in order. I get stuck once or twice a month [on my PhD thesis]: How do I progress further? What do I do with this? How do I create the framework now?”

If you could change one thing about Unstuck, it would be:

“I’m quite happy the way it is. But I might add more things to it. Add more personalities, or add more questions and answers about how I’m feeling. It’s a really good app generally. In an academic environment, an app like this would be really, really useful.”

If you would like to be interviewed for the Unstuck in Action series, contact us at ideas@unstuck.com.

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