A simple method for getting unstuck (rapid activity cycling)

Here’s a simple method for getting unstuck.

This is for people who are truly stuck in a special kind of way, and desperate about it.

It’s called rapid activity cycling, and it sometimes works well for averting stagnation.

When I’ve found myself in a cycle of escapist behaviors like over indulging in videogames, for example, rapid activity cycling has helped me transcend that and get a few things done.

Here’s how it works.

Aim for a short burst of engaging in whatever the excessive escapism behavior is.

I’ll use videogames as an example, because that’s my main jam lately.

So the goal is to play games in short bursts, and then engage in a productive behavior in a short burst.

By productive, I just mean, whatever needs to be done. Work around the house, cleaning, taking care of animals, creative endeavors, art, whatever. Something that’s been getting put off.

The length of the bursts is not an exact science.

I tried this with a game called Zuma, which I could easily play 2-3 minute bursts. Then, go clean up my room for a few minutes.

I went back and forth, feeling satisfied that progress was being made on my housework, while also enjoying indulging in a game.

Ended up getting a lot done, and built some momentum with productivity.

That momentum is important, because it bleeds into other areas of life. It may have started with some simple bursts of housecleaning, but then the next day I felt less prone to hard-hitting patterns of escapism.

Well, rapid activity cycling isn’t the most reliable or ideal tactic.

If you indulge too long in the “fun” behavior, you may lose your drive to switch back and forth.

Plus, switching back and forth like that may not be ideal for various psychological reasons. Maybe it contributes to attention deficit problems…

But here’s the thing.

If you’re stuck, you’re stuck.

Meet yourself where you’re at.

It may not be the sexiest problem to address.

But if you’re at a cruddy low point, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. To make tomorrow a little better than today. To make the next five minutes more promising than the previous.

Embrace improvement, even of the most miniscule variety.

Then string a few moments of improvement together, and see what happens. See how you transcend. See how tomorrow you might think it’s silly that all you wanted to do yesterday was play the new Zelda game.

(Now I’m projecting.)

Right now, I am cycling through three activities simultaneously.

Zelda. Cleaning. Writing this.

As a result, at the end of the day I will have written something. My cat roomies and I will have a cleaner and more well-organized zone to inhabit. And I’ll have almost all 120 shrines completed in Zelda.

In an alternate dimension, all I did today was play Zelda.

I dig this dimension more. It’s a small percentage more dynamic than the alternate one, and even small percentages make a difference in the grand scheme of things.

I can improve even more tomorrow.

And eventually, I’ll be out of this rut I’ve found myself in lately.

What are some little techniques you’ve invented out of necessity, to bring about some desired results? When your mind and body just weren’t cooperating, and you were stuck in a pit of lethargy, depression, despair, or worse?

Sharing your methods is beneficial.

Some people might laugh at you for needing to do such things, but that’s their problem. Some people may simplify or not understand the nature of your crisis. To them, the solutions may be obvious and simple, but they don’t understand the gravity of the problem as it pertains to you.

So screw ’em. Let ’em guffaw.

Your ideas may resonate with one person. You may inspire someone to take a healthy step in their lives. To help them think of things in a way they haven’t considered before.

And that would be awesome.

So don’t hide your inner brilliance.

Let it shine.

Get unstuck.

In every way possible, be excellent.

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