How to Get Unstuck: Breaking Free from Barriers to Your Productivity released yesterday. Here is the beginning of the intro.
If you’ve ever been stuck, you are in good company. Mark Twain got stuck when writing The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Einstein got stuck when developing the general theory of relativity, and Martin Luther got stuck trying to grasp the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
Even the apostle Paul got stuck on his missionary journeys (Acts 27:20; 1 Thessalonians 2:17–18).
We all hate being stuck. But it happens to everyone in various ways—sometimes in big ways and very often in smaller ways. You can even be stuck in multiple ways at once.
You likely are stuck in some way right now. You might feel like you don’t know where you are headed in life, which is certainly one major type of being stuck. Or you might know where you want to go but keep running into obstacles—another way of being stuck.
You might be trying to do something large and important that you just can’t push forward. Or the ride to accomplishing your goals is just plain bumpier than it ought to be because of various “sticking points” in your productivity approach, workplace environment, or time-management tools. You know there are ways to do things more effectively, but you just aren’t sure what they are.
The encouraging and surprising truth is that it’s okay to be stuck. Being stuck can be a mark that you are doing important things, because important things are often hard. And when things are hard, we are likely to get stuck.
Further, God meets us where we are stuck. In fact, it’s when we are stuck that he often meets us most deeply. David often prayed things like,
Rescue me from the mud;
don’t let me sink any deeper!
Save me from those who hate me,
and pull me from these deep waters. (Ps. 69:14 NLT)
Now that’s being stuck.
We’ve all been there, and all is not lost when we are. It’s okay to be stuck. But we don’t want to stay stuck.
None of us enjoys being stuck. And it sometimes puts crucial, important things at risk. There are things we want to do, things we need to do, and things that make a difference in the world that won’t get done if we stay stuck.
The good news is that it is possible to get unstuck and overcome the obstacles to doing great work and getting the right things done. David prayed for deliverance and got unstuck. Paul never became passive, in spite of his many obstacles. Mark Twain finished The Adventures of Tom Sawyer after taking a year off to replenish. And Einstein got the help he needed with the math to bring the theory of relativity all the way through to completion. (Yes, Einstein needed help with math! — of a very advanced sort, of course.)