September 23, 2019
Do you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally drained at the end of the day? Maintaining focus and drive is not an easy thing to do; our brain is always on and working in overdrive. It's no wonder that as time goes by, we tend to experience burnout, lack of focus, low energy, and uncontrollable emotions. We get it, and so do leadership consultants and executive trainers, Bonnie St. John and Allen P. Haines. That’s why they developed the five frameworks of micro-resilience. They found that making small adjustments to your daily routines—like food and drink consumption, thought patterns, and rest and movement—can produce big changes in your life. Micro-resilience offers "powerful, science-based techniques to boost focus, drive, and energy."
1. Refocus your brain.
It’s *so* important to conserve the prefrontal cortex, the most advanced part of our brain. Try creating zones to block out distractions while trying to concentrate. Your zone can be physical—like a secret workspace—or blocking out time on your calendar to avoid interruptions when you’re really trying to focus. You can sign Karen’s birthday card later.
2. Reset your primitive alarms.
Sometimes, the logical part of our brain is hijacked by the more primitive parts. That’s why we feel a little crazy under super-intense stress. Your primitive mind thinks you’re being chased by a tiger but actually your boss just gave you an unrealistic deadline. Try slowing things down and labeling your feelings. By saying “I’m angry” or “I’m feeling frustrated”, you separate yourself and put your emotions on hold. This can restore some of the energy lost from getting emotional.
3. Reframe your attitude.
Focus on the positive, not the negative. Brighten up that negative attitude with the Reversi reframe. Write down a limitation on one side of a card. Next, write the opposite statement on the other side. Even something this simple can trick your brain into seeing opportunities you’ve never considered before.
4. Refresh your body.
Increase your brain’s efficiency with hydration and proper nutrition. The brain is made up of more than 70% water, so without hydration, it’s not going to work very well. According to some experts, you should drink water before feeling thirsty to keep your hydration levels up.
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5. Renew your spirit.
Uncover your overall purpose. Prioritize your goals by making a list of 15-20 things you’d like to do, be, or have. (And no—“Become Beyoncé” doesn’t count.) Then, circle what’s most important to you on the list. Keep doing this until you have your top five. You might be surprised by what you discover.
John, Bonnie St., and Allen P. Haines. Micro-Resilience: Minor Shifts for Major Boosts in Focus, Drive, and Energy. Center Street, 2017.