I described my embarrassing moment meeting our new Chief of Staff in my post The Mortified Elf earlier this month.
A few days after the holidays, I was called in to a last minute meeting, and the new Chief was there.
The Churn, described in last weeks post, didn’t have time to hit me for a sleepless night, but I was nervous about dealing with him unexpectedly in this meeting.
Let’s call that the mini-churn.
I would have liked to use the process described last week, but life just doesn’t work that way, does it?
Sometimes we blow an event up in our head and it’s staring us right in the face. With no preparation.
So I wanted to address that type of scenario with a short Part II of The Churn.
What to do when we need to change the focus away from counterproductive thinking to focus on the task at hand?
The answer is <insert drum roll> play a quick mental game.
The purpose is to provide a quick distraction from the thoughts in your head, so you can enable greater concentration and effective work.
Here are some examples of great mental games:
Math games – count down backwards from 1000 by 7s
Alphabet games – Work through the alphabet, coming up with a sentence that most words start with that letter. For example: Aunt Anna ate an apple. Burly Bob broke Betty’s bowl. You get the idea!
Category games – Choose a category and give yourself one minute to name as many things that fall into that category as you can. For example: NFL quarterbacks, Samuel L Jackson movies, Taylor Swift songs, etc.
Lyric games – recite the lyrics of a song that really picks you up
Positive Imagery games – picture the perfect place to vacation, and describe to yourself all the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes to make the image as vivid as possible.