We've all experienced rut time. Whether it's brought on by stress, confusion, an intense work schedule, or simply a lack of motivation, a rut is no place to camp. Here are seven things you can do to escape from a rut:
1. Recognize You're in One - Ask yourself if you're feeling bored, unmotivated, listless or stuck. Because of my task-oriented, nose-to-the-grindstone personality, it sometimes takes me a while to become aware that I'm in an overloaded work rut. Once we're aware of our rut status, change can begin.
2. Pray - Ask God to help you get back on track. Whether we need a break, divine motivation, or direction, we need the Holy Spirit's power to grant discernment and show us the next step.
3. Rethink Your Priorities - In today's multi-tasking world it's easy to allow less important things rise to the top of our do-lists, causing everything else to shift. A wise woman uses wisdom, seeks balance, and asks God to establish her priorities--every day.
4. Create a Plan - Relax! It doesn't have to be an elaborate, 10-page, alphabetized document. But sometimes, just honestly writing down a couple of prayerfully considered simple steps and goals can help us get on track--and keep us there.
5. Reach Out - Nothing puts a fresh light on things and encourages us like meeting with a friend to share our hearts. Laughing, relaxing, and discussing the issues we find most challenging with someone we trust and respect will stimulate and relieve us. Just hearing another person's perspective is often all that's needed to get us moving.
6. Give Yourself Permission - Whether you need a day off, a lighter work load, the opportunity to pursue a fresh idea, or a self kick in the pants, allow yourself to do what you feel is necessary to help you move in the right direction. It's okay. Really.
7. Spend Time Worshiping - Never underestimate the power of God's presence at a time like this. I've been amazed at the difference time with the Lord makes when I'm stuck in a rut. When we put on the garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness (see Isaiah 61:3), our entire countenance and perspective are transformed.
How about you? Have you felt like you're in a rut lately? Do you think you need more of a break or a kick in the pants?