Stuck in a rut

We’ve all been stuck in a rut from time to time. Sometimes it passes as soon as it comes, but other times it feels like you’re so stuck you just can’t get moving again. Here’s some reasons why we get stuck and some possible ways to get unstuck.

Our lives need some good habits and routines to not become a chaotic mess of chasing everything shiny that might pass your path. However, too much of routine and habit may lead to suddenly being stuck in a rut and you probably never even saw it coming. Even if you do see it coming, it might feel like you’re never going to be able to get out of the feeling of being trapped, helpless and without joy. Luckily, even small changes to your daily routine can help you overcome the rut and get the feeling of being spontaneous and living a more fulfilling life.

First things first, we need to try to find the source of the rut. Is it a rut-like routine, like eating the same set of dinners every week, or spending all spare time going to the same couple of gym classes and bingewatching Netflix before going to bed to late and repeating the same thing over the next day? Is it a job that feels unfulfilling or that doesn’t give you enough challenges? It might even be the constant chatter from television, internet, friends or family telling us how we’re supposed to look, feel, act and play.

Time passes and you might feel like those external voices is the only ones that can give you the answers to those questions you should be asking yourself, like “What do I want?”, “What am I supposed to do?” or even “Who am I?”. There’s never anything wrong about asking for others opinion, but the decision should be yours and yours alone.

Whenever I find myself demotivated or almost paralyzed by the same routine day in and day out, I try to figure out what, how and why.

  • What am I doing repeatedly, day in and day out?
  • How am I doing what I do, like the daily routines, work, cooking, training etc?
  • Why am I doing it? Has it become a unneeded habit or is it a reason I keep doing the same over and over.

These three questions makes it easier to sort out what has to be the way it is (even though most routines and habits can be changed to be more effective or more fun), and what can be changed or completely replaced or removed.

For instance, I find it really easy to eat the same stuff over and over and over again. I know what to get, how to cook it and it tastes the same as the last 200 times I ate it. This leads to me getting really bored with food and opting for easy solutions like takeaway or microwave food. However, whenever I get to eat something new or something I haven’t eaten in a while I kinda want to go to the kitchen and start experimenting!

This probably holds true to most parts of life, like working out, your job, your hobbies etc. It might be a good idea to think of ways you can make small changes to what you do or how you do it!

Here’s my favourite ways to hit the reset button:

Write down your thoughts! You can do it in a journal if you want to do it regularly, or start a blog or even vlog if that’s what works for you. The idea is that if you write down or record your thoughts you can free that space in your mind and use it for other stuff, new stuff! The thoughts that previously occupied your mind is written down and this even helps you not to forget them.

Meditate! Exercising mindfulness is a good way to become aware of all the chaos and noise occupying your mind. An uncluttered and relaxed mind will help you become more creative and spontaneous and therefore probably help you out of your rut. If you want help to get started, I would recommend https://www.headspace.com/

Try something new! Try something completely different, like horsebackriding, parkour, knitting, robotics, figureskating, salsa, martial arts, scubadiving, parachuting or maybe rapping? Trying out something that you haven’t tried before makes you think new and requires you to adapt to new situations again. What if you give breakdancing a go, but find out that it is not for you? It’s completely fine! You’ve learned something new, met new people and probably challenged yourself a little along the way. Something easy you can try at home is making Iskiate or balancing on a Rollabolla!

Being stuck in a rut is something all of us experience from time to time, but hopefully you are able to identify the reason for getting stuck and doing something about it a little bit sooner now.

Do you have a way of getting unstuck you use when stuck in a rut? Let us know in the comment section below!

 

5 tips for getting creative





Finding good ideas for projects, businesses or even for solutions at work can sometimes be a struggle. Some of us are more creative than others, and even for the most creative ones it is not often possible to force yourself to come up with creative solutions. I want to share with you some tips I’ve picked up along the way.

How to get creative

It’s always easier to get creative about things that interest you and that you’re passionate about. However, here’s some general tips.

Tip #1: Have some beer

“Write drunk, edit sober”

This advice is often attributed to Ernest Hemingway, but might not be his advice (se discussion: reddit). Now, I’m not saying selfmedication is the way to go to get your creative juices flowing. However, beeing drunk or sleepy makes your brain less focused, which seems to make it easier to connect thought and gain new ideas. You can read more about that here: http://www.wired.com/2012/02/why-being-sleepy-and-drunk-are-great-for-creativity

Tip #2: Take a nap

As with the first tip, the moment when you’re about to fall asleep thoughts are more prone to making new ideas. Allegedly, Einstein and Dali took powernaps while holding a keychain. Thus, when they were about to fall asleep, they would drop the keys and wake up from the noise. More info here: http://www.fastcompany.com/3023078/leadership-now/how-dali-einstein-and-aristotle-perfected-the-power-nap

 Tip #3: Lucid dreaming

This is not something I’ve tried myself, but good ideas often come to people in their sleep. This programmer dreams in code: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBXZWB_dNsw. Here’s some more information on lucid dreaming: http://www.creativitypost.com/pop-culture/hacking_creativity

Tip #4: Sparring with a partner

Good ideas often come when discussing with a friend or colleague. When I attended TEDxStavanger, one of the key points was keeping an “Yes, and…” mentality. This basically means that instead of limiting or declining ideas, you accept and build on them. Refinement comes in a later part of the process.

Tip #5: Necessity

What could be better than to actually solve a problem? Try to figure out what people really needs, or where you can improve on what already exist. The easiest way to do this is probably just to observe, listen and ask.

Bonustip: Write stuff down!

This should be a no-brainer, but to avoid forgetting what you thought about it is good to write it down. I almost always keep a small notebook with me, even when I’m at home. Get one with a soft back so it won’t break the first time you sit on it, toss it at a tree or drive over it with your car.

Here’s mine:

Picture of my notebook

And here’s a sneak peek on one of my notes:

Sneak peek in my notebook

Do you have any tips on how to get the creative juices flowing? Let us know in the comment section below!