3 Tactics for Busting Out of a Slump

Take immediate action to avoid imminent death.

Winners Avoid Slumps Like the Plague

When winners sense a loss of momentum, they immediately spring into action because they know it’s going to lead to a slump, and a slump is a very bad thing—much worse than most people realize.

Winners know that in life you are either growing or dying. There is no middle ground. You’re either sinking or swimming.

When you’re in a slump, you will likely unravel very quickly.

Even the most successful people you know have been through their fair share of devastating slumps, and they will fight like crazy to avoid it happening again.

If they ever get stuck in one, they will triple their activity to turn things around as fast as possible!

Winners fight like crazy to avoid slumps. If they ever get stuck in one, they will triple their activity to turn things around as fast as possible! Click To Tweet

Winners Pay Attention to Their Progress Daily

Cyclist riding a bike on a road through the mountains.

Yes, winners love winning, but they also enjoy the process of winning by making daily progress towards their goals.

They pay attention to daily victories, and they enjoy seeing the smiles on people’s faces that come from daily achievement.

By constantly knocking out small goals and riding the flow of momentum, they use the multiplier effect that comes from momentum to their advantage.

Overcoming inertia is hard. It takes time. That’s why they dread losing momentum and starting over.

If things were to grind to a stop, they would have to go through the start-up phase all over again.

To avoid this, they keep their eyes on their progress. At all times, they know their rate of growth. When things start to slow down, they go on alert.

It’s much easier to turn things around at the first sign of a slump than later when all progress has come to a halt. 

It's much easier to turn things around at the first sign of a slump than later when all progress has come to a halt. Click To Tweet

Slumps Happen to Everyone—Regardless of Experience Level

When I started out in my sales career, I wasn’t very good.

Actually, I was awful.

I worked daily with my mentor “Bullet Bob” Turley, the Yankees baseball legend, to expand our business in Atlanta.

I gained a lot of skills and knowledge, tested hundreds of ideas, and eventually branched out and opened my own office in North Carolina.

My experience was certainly helpful in building a new organization. But, guess what? It didn’t keep me from coming very close to failure and being tempted to quit.

Experience didn’t keep me from having slumps.

Slumps happen to everybody. At some point—whether you’re working toward a career goal, a personal goal, a family goal—a slump will happen to you.

Respond Immediately to a Loss of Momentum

Person using magnifying glass to identify a problem.

When you’re about to have a slump, your momentum will slow down and possibly even reverse.

You will feel stuck and confused.

In that moment, you have a choice:

Are you going to sit by and watch as your progress enters a death spiral?

Or, are you going to take immediate action and turn it around?

Serial winners—those who win again and again—know that growth is a long process, but, if you aren’t careful, death comes quickly.

A slump is a red light alert. You have to bust out of it to avoid imminent death.

This is particularly true when it comes to personal development.

It’s easy to avoid dealing with a slump when it comes to the hard work of personal change. Don’t fall into that trap!

3 Tactics for Busting Out of a Slump

What do winners do to turn everything around—to rebuild momentum and break gravity?

Here are 3 tactics they use that you can implement into your life as well:

1. Refocus on your goals.

Woman writing and planning out her goals.

Most great things take time to accomplish. And, we’ve got to get the great things done in the middle of all the other things we have going on in our lives.

We all face a constant, complex battle of maintaining our priorities as we move through life. You want to make sure you get the big things done, but you also want to make sure you get the big things done on time.

It’s much easier to get the big things done when you have reminders in place.

Charting your progress, tracking the numbers, and writing things down can be helpful, but once you start to lose your way or get off schedule, you need to refocus immediately. It’s like rebooting a computer. 

If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, how will you ever get there?

If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, how will you ever get there? Click To Tweet

Try asking yourself these three questions:

  • What do I want?
  • Why do I want it?
  • When do I want it?

Do you have clear answers? The more specific you can be, the more likely it is you’ll discover a better path forward, or at least the next thing you should try in order to turn your success rate around.

If you have multiple answers, set priorities for what’s most important to you.

Keep Your Goals in Plain View

There is a reason why so many people write down their goals and stick them in plain view—it’s to keep them on track.

Some people carry a list of their goals around in their wallet, some put a sticky note up on their bathroom mirror, others have a list in their car where they will see it every day.

Offices have banners, flyers, signs, buttons, pins—you name it—with their goals and mission clearly stated. They do this to keep everyone unified and moving towards the same target.

If we don’t remind ourselves constantly where we’re headed, we will get off track. 

Instead of focusing on problems and obstacles, winners stay laser-focused on what it is they’re trying to achieve.

Instead of focusing on problems and obstacles, winners stay laser-focused on what it is they’re trying to achieve. Click To Tweet

2. Clean up your schedule.

Colorful push pins on calendar to avoid slumps.

If you’re in a slump, your schedule has probably been filled up with trash—worthless activity and unimportant projects, commitments, and tasks.

I call this rocking chair activity—gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.

There’s a big difference between being busy vs. being productive. One gets you results; the other prevents you from getting results.

There's a big difference between being busy vs. being productive. One gets you results; the other prevents you from getting results. Click To Tweet

Kick out the clutter and time wasters!

When you start your day, week, month, you’ve got to have a plan for your activity, or you’re going to fumble and stumble around.

Focus on smart time management by packing your schedule with the most important things—things that produce the best progress and results, things that have worked for you in the past.

If you don’t have a plan, you’re not going to accomplish near what you could have if you had a plan. You’re wasting time.

When you do have a plan, don’t allow yourself to get knocked off track.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the most important things you need to get done to make progress towards your goals?
  • What are the time wasters in your life that are preventing you from getting more done?
  • How can you set boundaries to protect your time?

Use your answers to these questions to clear out the clutter and take control of your schedule.

Protect Your Time

Putting time in a piggy bank to protect and save time.

Sometimes the time wasters are people.

You hear CEOs and other leaders bragging about their open door policy—being approachable by everyone in their company.

What a wonderful thing. How proud we are of them.

But, what if it backfires and turns into a free-for-all? If people feel comfortable interrupting the main leader, they might not be able to get anything done.

I’ve always thought the open door policy was a great idea as long as you didn’t actually have an open door all the time. You have to respect your time—even if it’s just you.

Yes, we all need to build relationships and have friends. There will be times we need to support them and times when we need their support.

But, you can’t let that cause you to operate in a way that takes advantage of your time by allowing just anyone to call or “pop in” at any time—like your office is Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment. Sometimes that’s okay, but most of the time it’s not because we have very little time to get the important things done.

The same is true for downtime. When we’re home, we usually have plenty to do, and we still need to find time to rest and relax too. While it’s nice to have company and spend time visiting, it’s not nice to have people barging in unannounced, interrupting you constantly.

Don’t allow just anybody to show up and chit-chat about nothing important or draw you into some personal nightmare they have created for themselves. It’s up to you to protect your time.

3. Triple your activity.

Three darts hitting the bullseye

Make up for lost time or progress by overdoing it for a while.

I devoted a whole chapter in my book Serial Winner to overdoing because overdoing is one of the biggest contributors to early success. It’s also crucial when you’re trying to turn things around.

If you don’t get back on top of things now, they will just pile up and create an even bigger problem later.

Just make sure you’re overdoing the positive, productive activity, or the worthless activity will sneak back in.

Build strong habits, challenge yourself, and make sure you’re really out of the slump before you pull back.

Shareable Slideshare Presentation

Here is a Slideshare presentation I created so you can easily share this information with your team or anyone you know who might benefit from learning how to stay focused on making daily progress toward their goals and how to bust out of a slump.

 

Remember, it doesn’t matter where you are. What matters is where you’re headed.

It doesn’t matter where you are. What matters is where you’re headed. Click To Tweet

If you feel stuck, change something quick! Get moving again, get focused, pick up your tempo, and get back in charge of your life.

What do you do when you’re about to slump? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below. 

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  • Sonia Bending

    These are great insights into coaching principles.for many life situations, pfs team bldg., raising a highly hormonal 14 year old freshman, and multi-tasking maniac (me), love your fresh, original style of mentoring ♡