We’ve all been there. Writer’s block, designer’s block, whatever sort of mental block, we’ve all experienced it. Perhaps you’re feeling unmotivated. You might be afraid to take the next step, or maybe you’re just not sure what the right decision is and so you’re not moving forward.
Whatever the reason, we’ve all had a moment where we’re just feeling very stuck. For those moments, Unstuck is the app for you. Unstuck aims to help you uncover the reason that you’re feeling stuck in that moment through a series of questions and decisions. After discovering the reason you’re stuck, it takes you through one of several exercises to help you find whatever it is that you need to move past that moment.
Unstuck is an incredible and free application. Whatever the reason is that you’re feeling stuck, Unstuck will be able to help you out. Read on for a more detailed description, a sample exercise and some thoughts on the app.
Getting Started – Your First Stuck
When you first open up the application, you’re presented with the home screen. This is where you have access to all that the application has to offer. You can start a new Stuck, or open any old Stucks you might have done. You can also access the tool-kit, to try out any of their exercises. Finally, you can provide feedback and share your Stucks on Facebook and Twitter.
Of course, the most important part of the app is creating your personal “Stuck” moments. The first question the app asks when determining what type of exercise is appropriate for your Stuck, is “How are you feeling in this moment?”
After thinking about it, you swipe to the next screen where you’re presented with a variety of images and emotions, and you’re asked to pick three that best describe your current Stuck. Each card provides a more detailed explanation of the card when you click on it. Once you’ve confirmed that it’s correct, you’re also asked to rate how strong that emotion is.
The next step is to explain the “type” of stuck, be it personal or professional, and also who is involved. You’ll note in the following screenshot that at the top left of the screen, there’s a crumpled up piece of paper. Touching it at any time will pull up a summary of the Stuck thus far, a tool I find useful in tracking my progress.
The next step is where the true introspection and typing begins. The next step is to answer “What are you stuck on right now?” The way to do this is to type out a 200 character maximum answer to “I’m stuck because …” You answer the question yourself, but you also get to see some sample answers from other users.
The next question is “What thoughts are you having in this stuck moment?” In this step, you sort a series of cards with statements such as “There’s only so much I can do on my own,” or “I can’t get others to understand my idea” into two separate piles. The piles are self-explanatory, labeled “so me” and “not me”
The final question is this diagnosis period is, “What are you doing in this stuck moment?” The activity for this question involves picking three things that you’re currently doing as a result of your Stuck. There are options like “Second-guessing yourself” or “resisting change.” You have to pick the three that most closely match you, and then it’s onto diagnosis.
The diagnosis is quite in depth. In the first section, it tells you what you’re acting like (an idle achiever in my case) and explains that in greater detail. It also tells you a few famous folks who had some infamous moments like you’re having. Apparently Mark Twain is also an idle achiever! You can read their stories and see what great things they were able to do after getting over the Stuck.
The second section tells you what you need to do and how to do it. It tells you first what to do, and asks if you believe this matches your current moment. After reading through that, you’re given your diagnostic tool. It’s whatever tool they have designed to best fit your current moment of Stuck. The next step is to use the tool, so we’ll take a look at that next.
Solving My Stuck
As an Idle Achiever, I needed to learn to “Believe in a new way so I can commit” and apparently the way to do that is with the “Explain Away Your Procrastination” tool. This particular tool is referred to as the “Tell Me Why” tool in the toolkit. It’s purpose is to figure out what’s blocking the path to motivation and then figure out how to put a plan into action.
These tools tend to involve a lot of typing, a lot of asking the same questions and often a bit of frustration that comes naturally with introspection. You might find yourself asking if it’s worth your time, but I urge you to use the whole tool. It will pay off. For example, the first step in my tool is figuring out what’s holding me back in my stuck moment. You keep answering “why” over and over, and it can get dull but keep going! You’ll realize something new by the end that will really help.
The next step is to find the solution to the root of the Stuck. The question of the day here is “what are you going to do about it?” This one is a simple, one time answer. After that, you’re presented with a summary of that tool. Unfortunately, this is not the most exciting of the Unstuck toolkits, but we’ll take a look at a few others next. The summary provides you with your answers, your final solution and some tips on what to try next.
Sometimes the tool that you’re given doesn’t really do the trick. Maybe it wasn’t the right type of activity, or maybe you just didn’t feel like the solution was right for you. If that’s the case, you can go directly to the toolkit from the home screen. In the toolkit, you can skip the diagnostic phase and try out any of the different tools available. There are different activities, so with time you might discover a tool you really like to use regularly. This is the place to access those tools at any time.
The “Shake up Your Routine” tool is one of my personal favorites. Here, you’re taken through a series of steps to figure out what your routine is. Using a series of interactive tools, you write out your daily routine, and then figure out exactly what it is that’s holding you back from being successful in your routine. You use the tool to pinpoint the exact moment that’s impeding you on a day-to-day basis.
No matter what your problem is, or style of motivation, you’ll certainly be able to find a tool that works for you. Definitely try the diagnostic tool first, but then feel free to try as many tools as you like. No harm will be done!
I think that Unstuck was a moment of brilliance on someone’s behalf. I personally use it all the time, and find that it really helps me. It’s great, because it works both short term (immediately) and long term, at least for the next few weeks. I find that I don’t need to use the app that regularly, because I’m feeling more introspective and in-tune with whatever is holding me back. I don’t need to rush to the application to find out for myself, I am able to work through it on my own.
The application is a pleasure to use. The color scheme wakes you up, but is tasteful and well-designed. They take care to make sure that you’re understanding everything each and every step of the way, never feeling lost or confused. The plethora of tools assures something for everyone. I really can’t think of a single complaint, because even the shortest tools are able to help me dig deep and get Unstuck. I think that every iPad user would benefit from having this app installed, and I urge you to give it a shot, especially at the low price of free.