Given the current state of the world rapid, relentless change has become a way of life. Change saturation is at an all-time high and a risk to innovation, productivity, and even basic civility. When the amount of change exceeds a person’s capacity, they are saturated. A change hangover is the result of change saturation. Symptoms of a change hangover range from exhaustion and burnout to irritability and malaise.
- Name it to Tame it – change impacts each person differently. Pause to identify the emotions (energy in motion) you are experiencing and name them. The simple practice of voicing what’s going on helps the brain shift from a state of hijack to a more reasoned, thoughtful state. For example, if a change has made you angry, say that! It doesn’t make the change dissipate but it does tame the internal response.
- Focus on a Goal – one of the key triggers for accessing a flow state is establishing clear, challenging goals. It is a struggle to achieve optimum concentration and focus if you are unclear about what you want to accomplish. Whether you are goal oriented or motivated by solving problems, the outcome of your focus is what you need to be clear about. How will you know if you are successful or exactly when you’re finished with your project if there’s no clear outcome? When you don’t define the goal or problem to focus on, you are at risk for mind-wandering, procrastination and quitting to work on easier tasks. You get more of whatever you focus on, so choose wisely.
- Celebrate Success – even small amounts of encouraging celebration activates the reward circuits in the brain and creates the motivation for what’s next. This is why transformational, multi-year changes need small celebratory wins along the way. We suggest that you make a celebration list. Write down all the ways that you can celebrate, from small to significant. Then reference the list regularly to choose different ways of incorporating intentional celebration.
Change is part of life and navigating it is not getting easier. Take control of your saturation point and conquer a change hangover by naming, focusing and celebrating along the way.