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How to Help an Editor Who's in a Slump

Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 10:12 PM

Do you have an editor whose performance has gone from good to less than good?

By Robert W. Bly

[Editors' Note: There's the mid-afternoon slump. And there's the mid-career slump. But what if you have an editor who's just in a slump, period?

In sports, athletes sometimes go into a slump, too. According to SportsPsychologyToday.com, "Athletes are unable to break free from a slump because they become frustrated, play tentatively, and lose confidence in their ability to succeed."

The ever-changing digital reading preferences of today's readers have disrupted the entrenched work routines of many editors. That can be a significant cause of workplace frustration and might lead any editor into a slump.

Regardless of the cause, it is important to help an editor to break free of his or her slump. What advice can you pass on? Author Robert Bly offers the following tips for overcoming a slump.]

Getting out of a slump is not difficult, though it often requires persistence. The problem is that most people either don't realize what they have to do to reverse a slump, or they are not willing to do it.

I have developed a 3-part strategy for overcoming a slump that works for both business and personal setbacks. The problem is that the formula is so simple (it contains a total of only 7 words) that you may be tempted to dismiss it, even thought it has worked for me and hundreds of other individuals.

Here is the formula for getting out of a slump:

1. Do something.

2. Do more.

3. Keep doing it.

Let's examine the 3 parts in more detail:

Step 1

Do something. Do I mean do anything, no matter how random? Well, no. But almost. Here's what I mean...

Most people in a slump spend most of their time worrying, ruminating, and planning. They suffer from "analysis paralysis." They become so obsessed with making their next step perfect that they never take it.

You can only reverse a slump through action, so you've got to act -- now! Not sure whether Idea A makes sense? Do it anyway. Not sure whether to take Path X or Path Y? Pick one and go forward.

The very fact that you are taking action -- instead of getting stuck in inaction -- will automatically start you on the road to recovery.

Step 2

Do more. There are two common reasons why people fail. One is that they don't do the work required to get the results they want.

Putting into action just one or two ideas may help, but it's probably not enough to totally solve your problem.

To get out of a slump requires that you take what motivational speaker Tony Robbins calls "massive action."

How to implement this strategy: Decide how much activity you think you really need to get fully out of your slump. Then do at least twice that amount.

Step 3

Keep doing it. The second reason people fail is that they give up too early.

Not everything you try will work. If you try one thing, then a second, then a third, and they all fail, do you give up? No. You try something else. Eventually one thing works okay. Another works better. And before you know it, you're well on the road to turning your situation around.

But don't just forge ahead blindly. Evaluate the results of each effort. A corollary to step 3 is: do more of what's working, less of what's not working.

There you have it: 3 steps, 7 words. Simple? Yes. Do the work? Absolutely. Try it and see for yourself.

Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter and the author of more than 50 books. You can contact him at 201-385-1220.

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