A lot of productivity comes down to state management.
It sounds goofy, but if I’m ever really struggling, I may stop work for 5 minutes to watch a few fight scenes from my favorite action movie, The Bourne Identity. That’s state management.
If you’re a Tony Robbins fan, you may know he jumps on a trampoline while shouting affirmations to himself for a few minutes before he rushes on stage to greet the crowd. That’s state management.
If I’m feeling sleepy before hopping on a coaching call, I’ll do 50 push-ups, or step outside for two minutes without a coat during the winter. That’s state management.
Thinking can only take you so far. Sometimes you need to change your state first and then the right kind of thoughts begin to emerge with less struggle.
Before I learned this truth of human nature, I used to try to fight drowsiness by thinking my way out of it. I’d be driving during the midafternoon slump, my wife asleep in the passenger seat and my two sons with headphones on in the backseat. The fuzzy, drifting sensation would set in and I would shake my head a little and try to focus on the road.
I remember thinking to myself at one point, “Todd, you are about to kill your wife and kids if you give in to that sleepy sensation. Don’t be a fool, wake up!”
The next thing I know I’m drifting off the road and jerking the steering wheel, only to repeat the process again five minutes later. That’s not state management. That’s idiotic.
Now that I’ve learned to power nap, I can pull over anywhere, recline my seat, and be completely focused and alert 10 minutes later by quickly clearing the adenosine receptors in my brain. That’s state management. (My family is used to this by now, in case you were wondering.)
What do you do for state management?
Do you have a plan in place for these types of scenarios?
It’s not a good idea to wait until you need it before you form a plan. Because you won’t be in a state that is conducive to spotting the way out.
Take a moment to consider the mental or emotional states you sometimes get into that are not conducive to peak productivity. Then brainstorm two or three ways to quickly shift into a more conducive state for getting things done.
This is one of those simple activities that pays huge dividends over time. It’s the 80/20 rule as it applies to self-mastery. Five minutes of state management can yield several hours of more productive work.
Got a minute? Reply to this email about a mental state you’d like to short circuit. If I know a good state management hack, I’ll suggest one to add to your list.