3 Mood-Busting Tricks for Intrapreneurs
Let's face it. It doesn't matter how intrinsically motivated we are, some days we have more mojo than others.
On our good days, we've got a contagious energy that fuels our mission to do good. On our not so good days, we feel down and beaten by the ‘man’.
So how can we turn a ‘blah’ day, into a ‘yay’ day?
I’ve got 3 scientifically proven mood-busting tricks to share with you. The techniques may feel overly simple, but science backs them up.
So take a leap of faith, and try them out. Adding your own unique spin to them will make them more impactful and stickier. Then commit to doing them this week, and observe the difference. Make some tweaks, then continue on doing it next week, and the week after!
Here goes… 3 ways intrapreneurs and change agents can turn their ‘blah’ days into ‘yay’ days.
# Make a drink for a colleague.
I warned you these would sound simple.
When you’ve heard ‘no’ one too many times in a given week, chances are you’ll be emitting a not so pleasant energy that your colleagues will pick up on. And chances are, the good people that they are, they will offer to make you a nice warm drink.
Most of us would respond with, “Aw, thank you. That is very kind of you,” and continue on feeling frustrated sitting at our desks.
Change your response! Instead say, “That is very kind of you, allow me to go and get us a drink”.
How come? Well research shows that the person doing the act of kindness is benefiting more greatly from enhanced positive emotions than the person on the receiving end. Given that we are the ones in need of a positivity lift, it is pretty clear that we should get up and make them a drink!
Alternatively, if you find yourself in need of a caffeine break, and no colleagues to be kind to, you can always go out for a drink and buy one for the person behind you in line!
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." Dalai Lama
# Laugh. And better yet, do it out loud!
"Laughter is the best medicine".
We are strategic all the time. Crafting business cases… Navigating internal politics… Staying under the radar… But what about in the way we use laughter?
A good hearty laugh can release stress and tension, improve our mood, and enhance our resilience. Plus, it's contagious.
So why not consciously start your day with a good laugh?
Newspapers and their comic strips are hard to come by these days so you’ll need to consciously devise a different morning laughter strategy that works for you.
Where do you go now when you need a good laugh? A colleague in the office? A website? A friend’s Facebook posts?
Decide how you can quickly and easily access the person or content that gets you laughing, and then integrate it into your morning ritual.
Plus, allow yourself to laugh outloud and you’ll also be boosting your colleagues’ moods. For those of us who work from home, we can email the funniest stuff to our remote colleagues, clients, and friends!
Warning! YouTube can quickly turn into a productivity abyss. Plan for this! Don’t be greedy – one good laugh is all you need.
# Write a different kind of list
Why on earth do we think it is sensible to start our days writing to-do lists that involve writing out things we should have completed yesterday or even last week?
Not exactly an inspiring start to the day.
Try this instead…
Visualise yourself at the end of the day – and it was a great day!
How do you feel? What are you thinking? What are you saying to your colleagues, friends and loved ones? How are you behaving?
Now work backwards.
What did you accomplish during the day that led you to feel this way? And remember, even small things can make you feel great if you allow them to.
How did you respond to stressful moments during the day? Did you remember your visualized outcome for the day and that kept you on track?
Now you can start your to do list.
What do you want and need to get done in order to achieve your vision for the day? Write these down.
Then ask yourself, is this all realistic? Rework your list if you have to. For me, when I compare how I feel at the end of an over-ambitious, unrealistic to-do list day, and an ambitious but realistic day, I'm naturally speaking a lot more positively to myself on the realistic days.
If you find that you like visualisation activities, then it’s worth exploring how they can enable you to achieve goals that last beyond a day. I work with my clients regularly to do this for anywhere from the length of an important meeting to their lifetimes. There are also a number of resources online that can help you, and it could be worthwhile reading Stephen Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as he describes the 2nd Habit to be "Begin with the End in Mind".
Your turn to share!
# What mood-busting tricks do you practice?
I'd love to learn what you do. And when you try out the ones I’ve suggested, I’d love to hear how they worked for you. You can comment here, email me at Heidi @ heidikikoler.com or tweet me @HeidiKikoler.
Hope you have a fantastic day!
This is part of a series on Intrapreneurship and Personal Resilience, authored by Heidi Kikoler.
Heidi Kikoler is a Resilience and Effectiveness Coach for Internal Change Agents. Having been a social intrapreneur herself at Sir Richard Branson’s corporate foundation, she is uniquely placed to understand the mindset and unique challenges faced by employees seeking greater meaning in their work, and those on a mission to change their businesses and organisations into forces for good from the inside out. She has spent over 6 years working with social intrapreneurs, innovators, corporate responsibility professionals, and third-sector employees. She applies proven personal development and coaching techniques to help change agents find solutions to the challenges they face in staying effective, resilient, and feeling fulfilled. Heidi regularly explores this often unspoken, but incredibly important area, in her blog We Are Good Rebels.
She is an advisor to the League of Intrapreneurs, and a member of The International Coach Federation and The Human Agency. Heidi has honed her niche skillset in, and deepened her passion for coaching, social intrapreneurship, and corporate social innovation through working closely with many leading thinkers, brands, and change agents, including: The University of Oxford, Virgin Unite, Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic, The League of Intrapreneurs, Ashoka, Shell, BP, Imaginals, and Burton Snowboard’s Chill Foundation.
She has trained with Coaching Development in London, earned a MSc from Oxford in Environmental Change and Management, and a BBA from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto, Canada.