I have been reading the book High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard.
One of the habits that I have been using from the book to help increase my energy and focus during the day, which I have to say that I love, is to master transitions.
What do I mean by transitions?
When you first walk into the office, sit down, and start working on your first task, that’s a transition.
When you finish talking to a player and now go to check email, that’s a transition. You’re going from talking with somebody to email mode.
When a meeting ends and you walk back to your desk, sit down, and make a recruiting call. That’s another transition.
You get the idea, our days comprise a series of transitions.
According to Burchard, every day, people lose tremendous amounts of focus, will, and emotional energy by managing transitions poorly. They also lose the benefit of greater mental and physical stamina throughout the day.
I love the idea that you need to be more aware of that a transition moment is happening and then if you can change the way you shift from one activity to the next, you can significantly increase your ability to focus, reduce your stress, and improve your productivity.
Before reading this book, it never occurred to me to improve my transitions from activity to activity.
Here is what you do. As you move from one major activity to the next, try this:
- Close your eyes for a minute or 2.
- Repeat the word RELEASE in your mind over and over. As you do, command your body to release all the tension in your shoulders, in your neck, in your face and jaw. Release the tension in your back and legs. Release the tension in your mind and spirit. This doesn’t have to take long, just a minute or 2 repeating the word RELEASE.
- When you feel you’ve released some tension-move to the next part: SET INTENTION. This means think about what you want to feel and achieve in the next activity you’re about to take on when you open your eyes. Ask, “What energy do I want to bring into this next activity? How can I do this next activity with excellence? How can I enjoy the process? These don’t have to be the exact questions you ask, but these are the kinds of questions that will prompt your mind to be more present in the next activity.
For example, imagine that you’re about to finish up replying to some recruiting emails. Your next activity is to start planning practice. In the transition between the two, push yourself back from your desk a bit, then close your eyes for a minute or two. Repeat the word RELEASE until you feel the tension lift and you find a moment of peace. Then set an INTENTION for how you want to feel running your practice and for how you want it to turn out.
I’ve started to do this release tension, set intention activity before and after workouts, before I pick up the phone to call a recruit, before I start doing email, before I go to practice, and right after practice before I go and pick up my kids.
Now that you know how this practice works, you can imagine dozens of transition to apply it to.
This simple activity, practiced deliberately throughout the day, can help you better manage stress, and gain more presence, and improve the quality of work that you are putting out. It’s remarkably powerful.
I’d love to know what you think about this after you try it. Or if you want my help setting this up for you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.