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Beware the Microwave Mindset!

Are you busy, in a hurry, a tad pushed for time at the moment? Most of us seem to be, as we rush around with lengthening activity lists and seemingly unrelenting requests for our time and attention. “I want it now or not at all”, makes perfect sense in such a busy world, after all pace is everything as the ‘Nike’ approach to work; Just do it’ seems very appealing and pervasive.

Exhausting isn’t it!

The ‘Microwave Mindset’ was first coined as a phrase to represent how fast moving entrepreneurs get things done! However, this somewhat frazzled state  has some obvious dangers, a build up of low level, consistent background stress being the most dangerous to your health. So, how can you tackle this?

Like all mind-set challenges the starting point is to heighten your sensitivity to the condition. Here are some tips that will tell you that you may have developed the mindset. Do you:

  • Push a lift button or pedestrian crossing even though it is already lit up;
  • Push a lift button more than once;
  • Hear yourself saying to people that you are too busy to talk to them, even though you just did!
  • Wake up worrying about what you have to do today;
  • Make lists of things to do and never complete any of them;
  • Exclaim out load ” Is THAT the time!”
  • Constantly look at your emails, texts and / or social media conversation streams.

These are all classic symptoms of the ‘Hurryness Disease’ and if you have any, or all of these, then it is time to act. A good friend of mine said there are only two states you can be in; ‘a’ right state or ‘the’ right state so choose wisely….

To shift a Microwave Mindset you need to build a few new and more productive habits.

The first is simply to breath. It is amazing what impact breathing can have on your mind-set. Try this:

  • Breath in slowly over 7 seconds making sure you fill your lungs to capacity.
  • Then hold your breath for 7 seconds and
  • Then take 7 seconds to slowly breath out.

This exercise takes less than 30 seconds and can dramatically change your state and can go a long way to help you tackle the microwave mindset.

The second habit is to deliberately slow down. Move a bit slower, if you are sitting, stretch out your arms, pull them over the top of your head, ease them down and rotate your shoulders. This simple exercise releases pent up stress and can help slow you down.

The third habit to work on is to schedule a break and then take it! Busy people rarely take proper breaks and they are the ones that need them the most. It is counterintuitive to break when busy but it is often the most productive way to tackle a meeting that is overrunning, or solve a problem that will simply not be solved. Make the body and brain do something else, even if only for a few minutes, then whatever you are doing will be done more effectively.

Finally, recognise the microwave mindset for what it is – a short term blast to get you through a blockage. It is not a way of life!