Today I want to share with you some musings from last month, as I was sitting in a hotel room in Sheffield City Centre. I was due to be closing a keynote later that day, and was thinking about what I was going to do in the meantime. The answer? Not a lot, other than make sure I was fully prepared for that keynote. And that’s generally what I do before most speaking events. The reason for this is pretty simple: I don’t want to busy my mind or overcommit myself logistically. So, there are three things that I focus on to prepare, which I’m going to talk about in a little more detail. And those are energy, mood and motivation.
The Cadence Approach
Now, energy, mood and motivation are all everyday essentials. But I want to discuss them with a view of preparing for an event. Those of you who know my content will be familiar with the Cadence Approach. It’s a simple four-step process for managing energy:
Predict: When are the big events coming up?
Prepare: Start making small changes that will have a big impact over time.
Perform: Carry out the task, respecting your red flags.
Recover: Build slivers of recovery and deliberate rest into your day.
So, I’m set to perform later in the day, what can I do to prepare for that event? Often we talk about sleep, nervous system management – the specifics: how many steps we’re going to take etc. And whilst all of those things are important, thinking about those three broader categories, energy, mood, and motivation, could also be helpful.
So, from an energy point of view in this example, I went for a walk. There’s nothing particularly revelatory in that. Cardiovascular physical activity works to increase the heart rate, improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure. It also releases hormones such as endorphins, as well as circulating oxygen in the body, helping to boost energy.
To boost my mood, I took myself out of that dimly lit hotel room for some natural light (the skies were surprisingly blue for November!). Exposure to sunlight is believed to increase the release of serotonin by the brain. Serotonin is a natural mood stabiliser, and whilst lower levels have been linked to depression, normal levels help us to feel happy and calm.
Finally, for motivation, I like to think ahead. So, I really focused on what I wanted people to think and feel during my keynote. My motivation was to do a really great job for Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, before getting back on that train and heading home to London.
So, energy, mood and motivation. I propose that if you start thinking about things in that sense, you’re really hitting what it is you want to achieve, as opposed to how you’re going to achieve it. That part always becomes clear when you’re really focused on the goal: improving your energy; improving your mood; improving your motivation. And that’s it – I’d love to know what you think about this. Is it helpful to think about the end game rather than how you’re going to get there? Let me know by getting in touch on Insta and LinkedIn.
Interested in sharing this message at your next event? The Cadence Approach keynote shows your teams how to minimise risk of burnout, manage their energy and have more fun.