17 December 2012

Working Smarter – Action Triggers

A number of years ago I attended an NLP weekend.  One of the things I found  interesting was anchors.  An anchor is a trigger that leads to an emotional response. 

Hearing and smell are senses that link very strongly to memories or emotional states.  Think of the times you’ve heard a record and you're instantly back at an event in your past, or a particular scent recalls an experience.  Anchors are similar, except you are deliberately associating a particular stimulus with a specific feeling or response. 

We can create our own action triggers for writing.

For example: sitting down to write at the same time each day (once you’ve discovered your best writing time), using the same scented candle each time you write, or using the same pen and notebook for your creative writing (and not for anything else). 

Some organisations have dress codes for work.  The rationale behind this is that if people are dressed smartly, they have a more professional attitude at work.  I haven’t seen any research for this, and don’t have any strong feelings either way, but it’s something to take into consideration when discovering what works best for you in being creative and productive.  You may turn out your best writing dressed in pyjamas, or prefer to work after having a shower and being comfortably dressed.

Having goals and a schedule, and finding out where, how and when you are most productive and creative will help you on those days when you don’t feel like writing, and can increase your chance of success – it certainly won’t harm it.

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