What would it take to…….

by Michele on October 20, 2011

Get your project done?  Get you unstuck?  Get you to what’s next?

Working alone means you get stuck sometimes, here's how to get moving

One way to nudge you forward when you need it

Last week, I shared some ideas on the value of getting things done vs. getting them perfect.  Of course, we always want to do our best, but sometimes done really is better than perfect.

Today I want to share one of my favorite tools for getting unstuck and getting a project done.  Here’s the question I use:

What would be good enough to move forward?

Note that the question is not “how great can I make this” or “what else can I add.”  Both of these are great questions to use in some settings.  They may help you to really increase the value of a project or product, but they are not the right questions to ask when you are stuck.  When you’re stuck and overwhelmed, the last thing you need is to be thinking on adding even more to the project.  What may help is a narrowed focus with a realistic idea of what you need.  This question will help you get that.  You can use this question to just get you moving forward – you can always change your mind at a later point in the project but this will let you get to that later point.

I first heard this question from one of my teachers Lisa Sasevich.  I was at a 3-day event where we were composing a talk to use in business promotion.  The event was a working bootcamp, and by the end she promised we’d be ready to speak the next day.  At one point, we were doing some heads down work, and she asked who was stuck.  About a third of the hands went up, and she said those people were not focusing on “good enough to move ahead.”

The people who need your work aren’t looking for perfection and you can’t provide it anyway.  What they want is your help, so offer it sooner rather than later and focus on getting it done.  When we get stuck in the midst of something, we can get caught up in a trap of not knowing how much to do or what to do first.  It all seems important to get exactly right.  But by focusing on this one question: What would be good enough to move ahead? you just might pare down that huge list of things you still need to complete your project into a neat, do-able task list.

What techniques do you use to get unstuck?


  1. Techniques, ha. I didn’t even know I was stuck until I read this. I will certainly try what you have suggested.

    1. Michele says:

      Mike, I know that feeling well! I’ve been so mired in “stuckness” that I didn’t even know I was stuck. I think most people in heart-centered businesses really want to do great work for others and that drive can get in the way of getting things completed.

  2. Alicia Ziff says:

    When I feel bogged down and overwhelmed I often hire a friend to come over to help me to see the trees from the leaves. Although my friend has offered to help out for free I insist on paying her. This assures that after an initial [quick] cup of coffee we get right down to business, as I know myself well and would thus otherwise feel I ought to be being a good ‘host’. And because I pay her by the hour she in turn is then quite strick with me, keeping me on track and not getting too tied up in details. This tactic has really helped in jump-starting me into action when things seemed to have become insurmountable.

    1. Michele says:

      Hi Alicia, nice to see you here and thanks for the comment!

      That’s a great strategy to get unstuck in so many areas of life. I love your idea that even though she is a friend, you pay her in order to formalize the arrangement and keep on purpose. It’s a resourceful way solution where you both benefit.


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