Managing your state is incredibly important. Not just for work, but for life in general – particularly in terms of being creative and bringing freshness to what you do.
But what is your ‘state’?
To put it simply, your ‘state’ is how you are at any given point. You can break down ‘state’ into four main categories: the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. Being aware of your state and what is influencing your state is incredibly important, as being in the right state can let you access your subconscious – that hugely powerful part of your brain where all your best ideas come from. If you are ‘in state’, you are going to be at your creative best. It is like being a golfer and being in the zone – everything is just so easy. On the other hand, if you aren’t in the groove, it is time to employ a ‘state breaker’ to get yourself back in the flow.
And here are my personal Top 10 State Breakers:
The ultimate (and least practical) state breaker
1.Walk in the park – according to Taoism (and I’d recommend Daniel Reid’s ‘The Tao of Health, Sex & Longevity‘ for more), it is the negative ions which carry the vital charge of chee in the atmosphere, and this energy is more predominant in natural areas. So a good way to do this is by walking through a park barefoot – if there is early morning dew, even better! Go on, energize yourself.
2. Stretch – I’m a fan of yoga – but even standing up from your desk and subtly (you probably don’t want to attach too much attention…) stretching your neck and improving your posture can give you a renewed sense of vigour.
3. Take a different route to work: this is a suggestion directly from Chris. It is amazing how you can break up your routine by the smallest of changes to it. Last week I took a slightly different route and unearthed this awesome work saying: ‘Life is Beautiful’ – and I don’t even like the monarchy!
4. Play some music that doesn’t match your mood. If you are stuck in a rut, don’t match your mood with some really depressing music. Go for something upbeat, something funky, maybe some reggae to make you laugh – and play it loud!
5. Watch a film you’d never heard of. My favourite way to do this is to go into my favourite video store in the world where the guys who work there are real film buffs – and simply ask them to choose a film for you. Note of warning though: don’t do this if you are watching a film with your girlfriend or on a first date!
6. Go surfing – the least practical on my list but also the most powerful. Nothing cleanses the mind like the physical immersion in the ocean and feeling the pulse of the swell. Instant sense of perspective restored.
7. Take the stairs instead of the lift at work: not only will the physical exertion lift your heart-rate, but people who take the stairs are more congenial: you never know the connection you might strike up!
8. Go for a swim. It is amazing coming back to your desk after lunch and feeling 100% fresh, even better than you did in the morning.
9. Eat sushi. It just works for me!
A shelf at my favourite video store
10. Do what you have been putting off. Generally things that you have been delaying doing are actually much easier than you think. And the feeling of accomplishing the task always gives you the go-ahead to go out and have a really productive day.
So, did you find this useful? And what are your favourite state-breakers?