The difference between peak performance and poor performance is not intelligence or ability; most often it’s the state that your mind and body is in.
Stress can really mess you up. It can slow you down. It can cause you to make bad decisions. It can even make you sick. Fear and other strong emotions can have a similar detrimental effects. Not far down the line – unless you take action – is burn out. When you’re stressed, afraid, or otherwise upset it shouldn’t be ignored, instead you need to control your reactions via the right emotional trigger. At the heart of stimulating the right reaction is utilising the power of reset. Resetting your mind is both a necessary short and long term response for managing stress.
Resetting your mind is a powerful short and long term response to stress.
Long Term Reset
Long term reset refers to the process of getting away from the stresses and strains of our work life for long enough that you feel the power of renewal. Many start up entrepreneurs, or leaders in high power positions, underestimate how much our bodies and even more so our minds are in need of this renewal process. They often get into negative reenforced habit of thinking that the only way of getting by is to keep on going but this approach in the long haul is unlikely to win the race. Contradictory to what many young leaders like to believe, our motivational and decision making energy is not limitless, rather they are like a resource or fuel, meaning eventually they run out. The Formula 1 car that wins the race is not that which never stops, it is rather the car which does the right amount of pit stopping – refueling and changing tyres – in order to maintain over the entire race the highest total optimum speed. Success at work is similar to this, if you pigheadedly keep going for 12-14 hour days without ever resting, your alround performance descreases by a % each week, with the impact over a month bigger still and over a year huge. Eventually you reach a point where decreased productivity is a bigger long term impact than stopping and taking time off. This isn’t a fanciful concept work efficiency decreases over time without “mental refueling”.
Just because you don’t stop and take a break, doesn’t mean you have done more effective work time than someone who did stop, refresh and renew and as result cam back at a higher level of productivity.
The key to doing long term mental reset is to schedule it as an anchor event, something planned out ahead of time to be a reward moment at the end of an intensive period of work. At its most effective it is a wedge between an intensive hands on work period and one where more creative thinking and planning is needed. This is because thinking and planning effectively requires even more mental freshness than just “keeping going“. It is a foolish managers who ignores the fact that best new effective ideas are made with a revitalised mind. Indead underestimating this fact is one the main reasons many “busy” people keep on doing things the exact same way, even when change is needed. Scheduling your reset moment – your vacation or way of disconnecting – can join together the months before and after, giving reasons to keep pushing yourself now and a stop moment to regain energy before the next slog. Done right it increases motivation levels and ultimately productivity. In short you can turn the long resentful slog of a marathon into two more enjoyable halves with pit-stops (reward and reset moments) along the way.
Long TermReset moments are ideally structured as a wedge between an hands on intensive work period and a planning and creative thinking moment.
During the reset moment itself it is vital to have real distance and seperation from your day to day strains. Ideally you change your physical surroundings and immerse yourself with new stimulae as the optimum setting is one which provides both mental rest yet still stimulates your creative you seeking parts of your mind, functioning you have doubt been holding back at work. It is important to not replace one type of stress and strain with another type i.e. you don’t rest from work by starting another alternative work project 🙂 . Likewise doing nothing is not the optimum setting for reset as to have best renewal you want you mind to have been active. Go on a cooking or creative writing course or just use your mind spending time planning out all the fun activities you will do the next day.
The optimum reset moment is one which gives your real mental disconnection from work strains but likewise stimulates the creative joy seeking parts of your brain.
Short Term Reset
Of course long term reset is neither always possible nor, more imporantly, does it act as an immediate response to right now issues caused by stress. The reality is that great leaders no matter how good they are will still often need to continue working despite stress and other problems so this is where the value of short term mental reset comes in. By itself it won’t solve your issues, so it should never replace a long term reset, but it will keep you going for longer and reduce the impact not dealing with stress and strain can have on your business or management goals.
Short term reset can keep you going for longer.
Short term reset is when you react to a negative emotional trigger by disconnecting your mind from a problem orientated mindset and instead redirect your mental energy onto solutions and positive emotions. For example you walk into work to find a stressful situation or you realized that an error was made, which you have to correct. In that moment, you’re probably going to be frustrated and if don’t do something about it that emotion “frustration” can fast turn into the even more negative emotion of anger. Therefore instead of allowing your emotions to control themself, which could result in you saying something rude or reacting negatively, you can choose to focus your mind somewhere else and do mental reset. There are many techniques but one of the most common is to close your eyes and count to 10 really slowly. Over that 10, you should think about resetting your emotions, leveling your head, and focusing in on the solution over on the problem. A good mental reset stops the negative emotional chain of frustration turning into annoyance and then into anger and can help you turn a negative feeling into a positive reaction.
Short term mental reset redirects negative emotional energy into positive actions.
There are many actions we can take to help maintain our positive mental energy levels and make “short term mental reset” more effective when needed. Tony Robbins for example argues: “emotion is created by motion”. Argueing to change your mood, you can do something as simple as adjusting your posture. Adding eye contact, smiling and walking every hour can all help put our minds in a more positive “solution orientated” mindset. It also helps to manage your daily energy levels as being tired at work, undoubedly increases negative emotional reactions. It is hence important to get enough sleep. Beautifying our surroundings or playing the right music can also help boost positivity levels as can planning in mini achor events into our daily work schedules, like a longer lunch with friends or leaving early on a set day. Of course exercise is also vital to our mood set as an active body is an active mind. Mediation and prayer (in what other form) can also be itself a form of mental reset or renwal. The key is to all of this is not just to react to low positivity levels via reset but to see it as preventative process too.
It is important to see a healthy mindset as something you create as well as something you react to when issues.
The power of mental reset to work productivity is huge. An anchor event gives renewal in order to be ready for the next challenge. Short term reset also gives an immediate response to break the negative emotional chain and turn a neagtive feeling into positive response. Stress and strain are real but we don’t have to be their servant instead we can be their master by first preventing and then when needed stopping: resetting, realigning and regenerating mental energy in order to be working at our most effective. Great managers understand the value reset and renewal plays in their success and that of their the team they lead.
Mental reset and renewing our energy levels plays a vital part in work success.