Processing next steps when stuck

Does this happen to you? You’re working on something — possibly, an unfamiliar task — and you get stuck, not knowing what to do next.

What do you do? Wallow in frustration? Come up with excuses of maybe this is too hard and to start over again on something else?

Instead of getting frustrated, I’m practicing to make sure I’ve fully captured what my outcome was and the various steps I took, which lead me up the point of knowing I don’t know something.

I now have a couple choices: 1. Give up, because this is too hard. 2. Figure out a next action of where to review reference material; post question on a forum; ask someone I know; continue hacking around some menus in case I fall into the answer.

The frustration goes away and I feel good knowing that I’ve acknowledged I don’t know something, but am willing to continue seeking an answer – delaying the answer-gratification to a bit later.

Of course, Option #1 is not ideal, but could typically be the answer, if there is not some immediate questioning forthcoming. What’s the next action?

Author: Paul

CERT Coordinator, Ham Radio Operator, GTD Fan; Photographer; Domino/Notes Administrator

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