The Easy Fix When You Can’t Get Moving

The other day found me driving at – let’s just say – a speedy pace.

I was late for an important meeting. I was sweating and stressed…when I finally got there the sheepish look on my embarrassed face said it all.

sheepish dogAnd there was nobody to blame but myself.

Just 15 minutes earlier I’d been in my office chipping away at emails. I knew it was time to get my things together and go, but it was like I couldn’t help myself.  My mind just took over.

Just one more email and I’ll go

it said

it’s important I respond to this one right now…

I did this three separate times.  When I finally did leave it was too late. And so was I.

Ironically and after all of that needless shame, this very morning found me again answering emails as the clock ticked toward a pending meeting…and again, my mind rationalized why I needed to stay put.

So this time I took a different tactic. I didn’t think.

Instead I stood up.

I did it quickly. With purpose.  Then I shut my computer, grabbed my bag and left. No thinking. No sweating.

Far too often we find ourselves needing to move on to something, yet we can’t seem to…move.

  • We know it’s time to leave the office but we stay to finish the report that’s due in two days  – and we tell ourselves it’s because now we won’t have to worry about it tomorrow
  • We know it’s time to have that hard conversation with our staff but we keep surfing Facebook – and we tell ourselves it’s because it’s gotten to be too late in the day for a tense discussion
  • We know it’s well past time to go to bed, but we keep watching that junkie reality TV episode – and we tell ourselves that we just don’t have the energy to move right now

(Yeah, we all know the one I’m talking about…)

boobooThese are times when the mind is not on our side.

It knows that we either don’t want to do our next thing or we don’t want to stop doing our current thing. So it gives us the perfect reason to stay stuck.

And we allow – sometimes welcome – this stuck-ness. We lose all motivation. Sometimes we almost feel physically stuck to our chairs – as though breaking through our current inertia and moving forward is impossible.

Which is, of course, a big lie.

That’s why these situations require not trying to change our minds – but keeping our minds out of it completely. To cease thinking altogether.

Instead, it requires one simple action.

To stand up.  Literally.

Unlike our minds, our bodies have no rationalizing process. They have no stake. They don’t second guess or avoid. They just…do. Which is exactly what we need.

We need to stand up. We need to do it quickly, with purpose. Then take one more step.

  • When we’re writing that report – we need to stand up and shut the computer down, then naturally move forward
  • When  we’re on Facebook – we need to stand up and move out the door to the staff member’s office, then naturally move forward
  • When we’re on the couch – we need stand up and shut the TV off, then naturally move forward.

Even if we’re moving from one sitting action to another – like switching from a work project to balancing our checkbook – standing up, shutting down the document and stretching for 30 seconds gets the job done.

It breaks the sticky momentum of our current state and introduces us to a new option. The thing we were doing, which was so much easier to stay doing, is no longer the thing we are doing.  So the equation changes.

It’s an effective little strategy, if I do say so myself.  And when I do it…when I move forward and get things done…I feel a whole lot better about myself.

If nothing else, it makes me a whole lot less stressed and sweaty. Which, let’s be honest, benefits everyone around me. Especially those on the road.

And anyone who would prefer a happy face over a sheepish one.

happy dogThis week…

When you get stuck on the thing you’re doing – and you will – don’t think with your mind. Do with your body.

Stand up. Do it quickly. Then take another step. See how fast you move on.

And see how much better you feel when that next thing is behind you too.

Now, go do good…and do it well.


15 responses to “The Easy Fix When You Can’t Get Moving”

  1. Benny C Avatar
    Benny C

    Excellent advice! Thank you for writing this. I’ll practice “standing up” this week!

    1. Deirdre Maloney Avatar
      Deirdre Maloney

      Love it Benny! And I’ll be standing right there with you…in spirit anyway 🙂

  2. Patti Testerman Avatar

    I’ve been late for everything lately and wondering why. How did you know? Standing up now…

  3. Ken T Avatar
    Ken T

    This is a truly effective way to move forward. Great lesson Deirdre!

  4. Josee Avatar

    Much needed good advice… 🙂 I must stand now TTYL!

  5. Deirdre Maloney Avatar
    Deirdre Maloney

    So glad this has been effective for folks! Truth time – I just did it again this morning, but waited just a few minutes too long and almost made myself late AGAIN. Talk about a work in progress… 🙂

  6. Lauri M Avatar
    Lauri M

    Sometimes it is the simplest of truths that we miss. Your energy is contagious, thank you for the spark. Gotta move on now!

  7. Doug H Avatar
    Doug H

    Excellent advice and easy to implement – at least no extraordinary measures necessary, just get up! Also, well written as always. But, where do you get those wonderful, and wonderfully appropriate, images?

    Always enjoy your blog.

  8. Susan Paul Avatar

    Yes, indeed I agree it’s become too easy to lose track of time doing tasks that can wait.
    I too need to stand up more and literally go move on to what’s next. It’s about accountability and action. Thanks for these timely tips to improve our personal and professional growth!

    Stay well,

  9. Karin Avatar

    Are you living in my office?! So true, practical, simple. Great reminder, thanks!

  10. Deirdre Maloney Avatar
    Deirdre Maloney

    So glad this continues to resonate…and I swear I’m not spying in anyone’s office. 🙂 I just finally realized this “can’t-seem-to-move” struggle isn’t just mine alone!

  11. Patty Avatar

    Thank you Deirdre for the great tip that seems so simple but actually can make the difference. I tend to want to get this and that done before I leave and wind up getting a headache. I will STAND UP now!

  12. Amelie Avatar

    Thanks for this !! I find it really hard to go job seeking and you described EXACTLY how I felt ad what I couldn’t explain.

  13. Rafael Avatar

    Thank you for the advice, I will do it now.

  14. SJ Avatar

    Okay I need to do this every morning instead of giving up. Thanks for the advice.