Working Visually to Get Unstuck

Subscribe to Working Visually on LinkedIn to get the newest monthly edition delivered straight to your inbox!

The end of January is often a tricky reflection point; although a new year holds promises of a fresh start, many of us can feel stuck under the weight of resolutions or time constraints as 2024 gets underway. To kick off this new year of Working Visually, we’re sharing some of our favorite ways to get unstuck and keep the creative momentum flowing into February.

At Throughline, we place considerable value on the ability to explore a challenge, environment or idea before envisioning and executing solutions. That same moment of pause pays dividends when setting yourself up for personal progress before charging ahead. While it is tempting to muscle your way out of feeling stuck, this can result in progress for progress’ sake rather than meaningful strides towards your goals. Injecting a moment of pause to reset and review your perspective can ensure your valuable time and energy are spent on the right things.

Below are our favorite visual methods and tools to help make the most of your productive pause.

  • Stop and observe: At its heart, working visually begins here. Observe your challenge. Sit with the discomfort. What is it that’s making you feel stuck? Can you put a finger on it? A great example provided by author Adam Alter comes from the world of sports:
Tennis great Andre Agassi used a similar approach. In the late 1980s, Agassi lost his first three matches against Boris Becker, a young player with a massive serve. “His service motion was something the world had never seen before,” Agassi said later. During their fourth match, Agassi stared closely at Becker as he served, sacrificing a couple of points in pursuit of an edge. By slowing down, he discovered that Becker’s tongue flicked out of his mouth in the direction he planned to serve, and so Agassi went on to dominate Becker’s serve and win nine of the next eleven matches they played against one another.
  • Goal Maps: Are you more of a pen and paper person? Goal mapping is a great option to stimulate productive thought about your next steps. Set aside uninterrupted time on your calendar, write your focus on the center of the page and start plotting your priorities. Begin broad and drill down to detail. There is no right answer to this method—see where your brain takes you!

  • Individual Development Plan: A Miro template we’ve shared before, this visual tool really does serve as the baseline for personal growth at Throughline. By stopping to think through goals and plot them in various ways, our team members are better prepared to turn ideas into reality. The IDP is only one of thousands of free templates available on Miro to individuals, teams and businesses alike.

The beauty of working visually lies in the ability to create a solution that works best for you now and remains flexible to future changes. Today, you might benefit most from quickly jotting down a chart of your daily priorities. Tomorrow, you may hold time to fill out an entire IDP. Try some of these methods the next time you're feeling stuck in 2024 and let us know what works best for you!

'Til next time,

The Throughline Team