My recent study I measured Upsets using Heartmath over 11 days, 699 total entries. I usually sat for 1 hour session where I tweeted, worked on this blog or did email. As I did so I would make an audio recording and say what was on my mind when the device said I was in a state of Upset. When reviewing the data I saw I had a really poor session on day five.

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Most of the entries were about my feeling that the work I was doing was not productive and I also saw I was trying to do too many things at once. I was constantly shifting my focus between different activities and worrying about getting other tasks done.

So after seeing that I changed how I organized my work sessions. I created simple work plans for the session where I would only focus on one thing at a time. To fill the hour I wrote a short list of things to work on so my “switching stress” would be zero. This had a significant effect on the number of Upsets where I was unsure what to do next.

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I also saw that Upsets around time pressure dropped.

 

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These are where I would work on one item and create and Upset by thinking that I should get this task completed more quickly. It was often driven by thinking I had other things to do.

So the insight for me is that the mind is quite adept at creating distractions and when I sit to engage in an activity the context I create beforehand around the goals for the activity can either worsen or improve Upsets around time pressure and the belief about productivity.

This very tactical work planning will be the basis for my next set of observations.

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