He was the king of Corinth and a brilliant man. In the Iliad Homer described the king as “the most cunning of men” (Iliad, 6:153). Sisyphus was so cunning that he cheated death twice. Sisyphus tricked Hades and Thanatos. Sisyphus got his comeuppance at the hands of Zeus though and was condemned to push a boulder up a hill for all eternity. Every time Sisyphus neared the end of his task the boulder will and does roll back down hill. Today any task that feels like it will never end or is stuck is often described as a Sisyphean.
We have all been there. The project is rolling along swiftly we are making our deadlines and then we hit a brick wall. There is one task or part that seems to never end. What do we do now? How can we handle a task that seems to never end or what do we do when we are stuck?
When you feel stuck it is important to understand what you are stuck on and why. Not why you are stuck but why the project is taking place. What business problem are you addressing? Often the answer will change the direction of a project sometimes it will not. Sometimes it will reinforce the importance of the project. The most important thing that why does with projects and life is refocus.
Write down. When you write something down you use the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is the part of the brain for movement, reasoning, judgement, planning and problem solving.
Talk about it. When you speak you also use the frontal lobe. Speaking and writing will help with problem solving and reasoning.
Finally reach out for help. Sisyphus didn’t have the support structures that many of us have today. Friends, family and colleagues are often looking for ways to help and want to help we just often do not ask. Never be afraid to swallow your pride and reach out for help.