Bust OUT of "Stuck!" -- 3 Steps That Release Your Brakes!
By Linda Feinholz

Is this you? You have customers to satisfy,
professional goals to  deliver on and
your personal goals shoved to the back
burner... and you and your friends,
colleagues, clients and vendors are
already talking about 'this' year.

Decisions aren't getting made because
too many of them feel like they're all the top
priority... and you find yourself
with a task list that is incomplete, messages
unreturned, and lists growing


I had a call from one of my clients this week. She was overwhelmed and anxious.
And she was sitting at her desk getting
nothing done. Her deadlines were looming
and her team was clambering for her attention. As we spoke it became clear that her
stress was triggered by her chewing on last year's results, her uncertainty of the results
she's targeting, and her frustration over results that have slipped away. ALL at the
same time! It probably sounds familiar?

The truth is, you will always be bombarded by more information, more ideas and
more opportunity than you can follow through on -- that's success!

I'll admit, I've had a few of those pauses that stretched to days with my foot jammed
down on the brake. I found myself sitting in overwhelm last month, as I was trying to
get my newsletter launched, I got in the same old black magic state of overwhelm...
and pulled out my 3-step process to bust out of being stalled.

If you cannot get a handle on the tug of war for your attention, your future is at risk!

I don't want you to spend even one more day sitting at that red light. So how do you
get out of overwhelm and back on track? Here are 3 steps I use that are guaranteed to
work for you personally, for your team, and for your organization:

1.  List EVERYTHING That's Incomplete

Rather than trying to decide anything, sit down and make a list. That's all, just make a
thorough, complete list.

Scientists have shown that people cannot make decisions when their heart rate is over
90 beats per minute. So the first order of business is to get your heart rate down, and
as you focus your attention on a task, your heart rate will drop.

In this instance the task is making a list of every single thing that is incomplete. You
can do this in writing or on your computer, in a program that will let you list each
item on a separate line.

The items may be on other lists, on Post-It notes, in your PDA, on scraps of paper on
your desktop, on the bottom of meeting agendas, in your wallet. You might find them
on phone messages you've "saved" in your voice mail, on receipts you put in your
"in-basket" or pinned to your bulletin board. And don't forget to look on the white

2.  Sort Them and Tag Them

Your next task is to sort out your list and identify the key reason each item is
incomplete. The question you'll ask yourself is "What is the single most important
reason this is incomplete?"

Some quick and easy sorting criteria to use include:

1 - I don't have the information I need to make a decision
2 - I have the information but I don't like the form the decision will take
3 - I have the information and I like the form, but not the timing
4 - This conflicts with another item on the list

Create YOUR list of criteria, and then tag each item on the list with ONE of those
criteria. Once they are tagged regroup the list so that all the items that need further

3.   Prioritize Them and Act on the 1st One

Within each group, put a priority on the items in your list. This is another form of
sorting, but this time it's within a group that already has a common characteristic.

You'll want to use a new set of criteria for sorting this time. The criteria might be
"easiest to get done" or "easiest to delegate" or "needs to be completed in order to do
other things on this list." Set your criteria and sort away!

Once you've sorted all the groups, select one group and the top item in that group and
take action on just that one thing. Here's a hint - you might want to start with the
"Delegate This" list if you created one. As you systematically turn those incomplete
items over to others, they become a list of things you'll follow up on, rather than things
you need to "Do!" and you'll have even more attention left for the things you've kept
on your own list.

As you keep your attention focused, you'll retain control over your attention and find
each item is dealt with much faster than you had anticipated. In turn, you'll find the
sensation of overwhelm and being 'stuck' will be gone!

About the author: Management expert, consultant, and coach Linda Feinholz is "Your High
Payoff Catalyst" If you're ready to focus on your High Payoff activities, boost your professional
and personal results and have more fun, get her FREE audio mini-course "7 Quick & Simple
Steps to Increase Your Focus, Ease Your Effort & Accelerate Your Results" and the free weekly
newsletter The Spark! Visit

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