THUNDER BAY, ON --- November 24, 2012 ----- Under any pressure lately? That’s good news, according to Dr. Greg Wells, an Olympic Coach whose theory applies as much to leaders as it does to top notch athletes. He says, that in order to focus, you need to apply a simple equation.
Pressure over Performance = Focus.
In my own practice as an Executive Coach, leaders frequently tell me about waking up in the middle of the night because of unresolved issues. Their workdays have little flow. Teams and their managers are caught in a whirlwind of meetings, which compound the results of poor decision making in a high stress climate with an overflow of busy-ness and conflicting priorities. Work is a blur. Life balance seems out of reach. You get the drift.
How do you get out of the stress and the stuck at work and in your life? Think first about how to recover from the pressure, and your performance will increase. The skill you apply is “focus”.
1. Breathe. On purpose. As athletes will remind you, your performance increases with the quality of your oxygen intake.
2. Check your posture. Crouched and slouched, your appearance projects clues about the state of pressure, not the extent of performance. Your internal compass also fixates on the fear, so stand tall, sit straight, and most importantly, smile with genuine ease. A change will affect your brain’s response to the pressure. Act – Think – Feel – Act – Think – Feel – etc.
3. Exercise. A 10 minute walk creates refreshed neurons which turn on your learning, problem solving, concentration, memory and creativity. Your mind is activated in a positive direction. Even a quick 20 second stand-up for every 20 minutes at your desk, will improve your focus. Anger is just one letter short of danger; take a walk.
4. Nutrition. Choose proteins over caffeine and sweets. Try a chicken avocado sandwich with a drink of water, rather than a muffin and coffee, which will let you down within 3 hours. Athletes time their food. Leaders, take note?
5. Sleep. Athletes know that this is their number one concern. Do you boast about how little sleep you get or need? Stop! During a solid sleep, your growth and renewal hormones are activated. You require time to regenerate. Dr. Wells recommends turning off all screens – television, phones, computers – one hour before bedtime. No lights, dark room, for at least 7 to 8 hours per night.
When you are tired, poorly nourished, sedentary, and scattered are you flourishing?
In the long run, the focus about focus is to increase your rate of recovery regardless of what the issues and the work may be. You can’t increase your performance by concentrating on anxiety and fear.
When you apply focus to these five positive elements, you are in control.
“Concentration is a fine antidote to anxiety.” - Jack Nicklaus.
Maggie Chicoine’s company, The Idea Sculptor specializes in Strategies to Think Ahead. As an Executive Coach, Speaker and writer, Maggie bases her presentations on solid, current research and adds a twist of ingenuity and experience to the content at hand. Reach her at 1-800-587-1767 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also welcome to connect through LakeSuperiorNews.com. Permission is required to reprint this article in your newsletter or online. iCopyright 2012.
Superbodies by Dr. Greg Wells, 2012. Available at Amazon.com