You are having a full day at work, a few more words with your partner last night, kids being demanding this morning, an extra-large bill that appeared in your inbox, create a nice little firework which is ready to set. Yet, you still have that presentation coming up in 15 min, wouldn’t it be nice to defuse and avoid a random explosion at the first challenge from your stakeholders?
Following MacGyver’s footsteps, here are some tips to quickly defuse a bomb and set yourself for success with tools you have already at hand.
Put your social media to good use. Go on Instagram, hit the search icon and search for the hashtag ‘Cute Animals’. Here is the direct link. Spend 3 min looking at cute pictures and continue your day happier and with more focus.
When you look at cute pictures, babies, animals, your brain rewards you with dopamine, a chemical that makes us feel happy. Researcher Hiroshi Nittono concluded that cute images can support improved performance on detail-oriented tasks that require concentration.
In your brain there is a Director managing which thoughts are on your head’s main stage, at all times. Studies have shown that you can juggle up to 3 thoughts simultaneously and that’s even a stretch. Your Director needs to be strong to manage things on demand. His recharge happens when he has nothing to do: when you clear your mind of thoughts, even for a few minutes.
Prepare your favourite tea or coffee, go to your comfortable spot in the garden, in the house, in the bathroom if you have to and gift yourself a few moments of peace. Close you eyes and focus on the rest of your senses, your breathing, your sense of touch, your smell, what you can hear. Open your eyes and focus on details around you, how you can see every detail of that leaf or the texture of your rug. It is a simple form of Meditation. If a few more minutes are available, why not take a 10 min meditation session? You are certain to win that meeting.
Your brain works in patterns. Once you have performed a mental task, it is recorded and you brain looks back to it. All your meetings, good and bad, are recorded and revisited on demand. It’s Netflix for the tasks you perform frequently.
You can help your inner Netflix by setting it up to filter only the good shows, the ones you have succeeded. Set it up by remembering as many successful relevant meetings as you can. Remember all the good tactics you used, all the compliments . This will light up the existing paths in your brain and when the time comes during the meeting you will remember easily how you managed to be successful.
15 min before your meeting prepare yourself with some excitement coming from chocolate. Chocolate also contains caffeine, another booster. Make sure you eat only a small piece, you wouldn’t like to start jumping up and down during your meeting due to sugar rush! Almonds contain good fats which are proven to contribute to calming and focusing the mind. Almonds & chocolate will give you the right balanced boost you need to feel energised, yet controlled.
These four tips are sure to prepare you and set you up right before you head into your next meeting. Try them out and be the boss in every meeting.