Pick a gear. Pick neutral
Lost focus? Running around a lot? Moving quickly from task to task? You might be stuck in fast gear.
Being stuck in a fast gear means that you go from meeting to meeting without 're-setting'. You take the baggage and the momentum of the previous meeting into the next one and keep building it up throughout the day. This can impact on your ability to focus fully, and could lead to you being reactive rather than responsive.
Choose neutral. Once you're in neutral you can then select another gear for your meeting, if you choose to do so! Here's how .........
1. Sit with your feet squarely on the floor. Use this as an opportunity to check in on your posture and notice any tension. Do your shoulders and/or neck feel tense? Give your shoulders a few shrugs and move your neck from side to side.
2. Take a few deep breaths. Proper belly breaths! Notice the extent to which this calms you. Do you notice that you have been doing a lot of shallow breathing?
3. What three things can you hear? This is an opportunity to separate out the sounds you can hear rather than sitting surrounded by a wall of sound. What do you hear? Focus on paying attention to the sounds that you hear. Do you notice the sound of your own breathing?
4. What two things can you see? You could look straight ahead to see what’s directly in front of you. You could use this as an opportunity to look around and notice what you don’t normally see. What do you notice? Focus on paying attention to what you can see. What detail do you observe?
5. What one thing can you feel? This could be one thing that you physically feel (e.g. your desk, a pen etc.) as this may help you to feel grounded in the present. Alternatively, you may choose to focus on a feeling. How are you feeling right now? What’s the feeling? Pay attention to what you are feeling.
6. List all these items in your mind or make a note of them if this helps you. Notice how you feel now. Do you feel in a neutral space and ready for your next task or conversation?
I'm hoping that these are small practical tips that you can build into your work/life whether you're working from home or in an office. Let me know how it goes.