Every few months I make an effort to travel. So right now I’m sitting in London sipping an Earl Grey tea. Being in a new (or different) place is one of the only ways I can get out of my own head and get a fresh perspective. I’m one of those people who loves routine because it helps me get shit done but after a while, it starts to do the opposite. I get bored, lazy, stuck and all my ideas dry up.
Travel gets me moving again. It pushes me to leave my comfort zone (aka my home office). It encourages me to make new friends. It challenges me to think differently and solve problems. It also makes me question my way of doing things.
We all need a kick up the bum every once and a while.
When I come home, I notice little things I hadn’t seen before like my wardrobe is overflowing with clothes I don’t even wear anymore or writing my ideas on scraps of paper may not be the most efficient way to keep track of my pitches, and I spend a lot of time at home in my PJ’s writing and not an enough time networking with my peers.
Now, I know most of us don’t have the time or money available to fly across the other side of the world to get a fresh perspective on life. And I don’t most of the time either.
Which is how I came up with these easy, practical and affordable ways to get myself moving again when I feel stuck. I know they will help you too.
Schedule a mentoring session
While it’s good to chat with friends, sometimes it’s better if you chat with someone who’s been in your situation and has overcome it. Either choose someone who’s in your field but a few steps ahead of you if you want specific industry advice or pick someone who’s working style you admire so you can get help on the behind-the-scenes type stuff.
Go to a networking event
You never know who you’re going to meet while you nibble on mini quiches: A potential client? A new friend? A business partner? If you’re afraid to go alone take a friend along just don’t stand in the corner gossiping all night. The best networking events are the ones with ample networking time, drinks and nibbles included, and guest speakers because these events cost money, therefore, attracting people who are there to network. Just pick your events wisely to avoid a huge drain on your bank account.
Speak at an event
Talking about who you are and what you do to a crowd of people is the best way to figure out your personal brand and see if you have any holes in your story. While you can prepare your content you can’t always be prepared for the weird and wonderful questions you’ll be asked. If you’re lucky, you’ll be asked a question you’ve never thought of. Maybe it will even give you a business idea. Speaking at an event is a fun and quick way to test your market.
Shadow a boss or colleague
If you’re thinking of a career or job change because you’re bored at work, shadowing your boss or a colleague for the day is the quickest way to know if your new direction is right for you. Ask them to take you through their average day and show you what types of tasks they spend most of their time on. Join them in meetings to see who they work alongside in your organisation and how their role fits within the company structure. Most careers look fantastic on the outside but in reality, they are made up of the same things: meetings, emails and bureaucracy. The experience may even help you to appreciate your current job and give you some ideas to improve it.
Ask for feedback
Don’t know what step you should take next? Want to try something different but not sure what? Ask your community for good old-fashioned feedback. It’s hard to get out of your head and see potential opportunities when you’re feeling stuck. That’s why having the guts to ask for constructive feedback is important. You can’t be expected to know everything, all the time. Why not create a quick survey and send it out to your community explaining you’d like their help. You’ll be surprised how many people come to your aid.
Take a day trip
Hell, just get out of your suburb. Why not take a train to the other side of the city to grab your Saturday coffee? Who knows what you’ll see on the way. And if you can take a day trip make sure it’s at least two hours away. There’s something in the act of getting in your car and driving to a new place. When you can, stay overnight in a hotel. Nothing screams holiday and adventures like Pay TV and mini mandarin scented soaps.
Join a class
Do something you’ve never done before. Or you’ve always wanted to do like joining a dance class, learning a language or doing a certificate in email marketing. Taking up a hobby or doing an activity is a great way to do the things you love that perhaps you don’t get the opportunity to do at work. And it’s a great way to challenge yourself if the rest of your day is so-so.
Check out free exhibitions and tours
When you’re strapped for cash and ideas head to a free exhibition in your community or take a tour of your city. It’s funny how heading to the museum or art gallery is a holiday must-do but you forget your own city has an inspiring history and culture too. You’re also bound to meet tourists who are keen to explore and chat. Seeing a place through someone else’s eyes is one of the easiest ways to get a fresh perspective.
Has your business has hit a snag or are you being held back by an ongoing personal problem?
If you’d like help figuring out what to do next, check out my Instant Clarity coaching package. I’ve been told I’m the right balance between a great listener; give-it-to-you-straight talker and get stuff done coach.
Featured image from Pexels.