Example: You work as an architect in a software project. Customers bombard you with new requirements every day. You have series of meetings with different groups of them in the same project, each meeting series has a different subject and of course, each group of customers to whom you talk thinks that their particular subject is the most important and urgent in the project.
When you walk into too many such meetings without thinking about it, your state of mind could more and more easily be described by „confusion“. (You will say: „OK, Matthias, everybody else knows that but: what should an architect do in that situation?“).
First of all: Accept that as an architect’s normal condition – don’t become „agitated“ but keep as cool as a Vulcan (just to quote T’Pol, the super-cool).
Before you enter a meeting:
- Unload the current state of your mind completely. Your mind should be a stateless server so that you can switch context more easily.
- Next, open the minutes document of this meeting series, read it and meditate about the goals you achieved or did not achieve during the last meeting of this series. Thought after thought, your mind will slowly reload the state it had at the end of that last meeting of the same series.
- Go to the toilet and relax.
- Get the meeting room key, open the room and make sure the air is fresh and the projector works.
During the meeting itself:
- Welcome the people.
- Run the meeting as if it was the only one on the world! Be present, 100% of the time, don’t use a computer unless it is the main computer which is connected to the video projector in the room.
- Drink enough water; your brain needs it to digest new ideas and dissolve deprecated ones.
- Fifteen minutes before the end, enter the decision phase. Do not leave a meeting without any decisions – try to avoid meetings without decisions altogether.
- At the end of the meeting, record all decisions made, i.e. let the server called „your brain“ save its state to disk (whatever file format seems appropriate to you and your guests).
After the meeting:
- Forget about the contents of the meeting. Have a coffee. Relax your brain. (You will notice that you cannot really forget, that’s normal).
- Make sure that you have enough time to unload state and prepare yourself before you go into the next meeting. DO NOT RUSH INTO THE NEXT without a break.
- Open the windows and let fresh air come in. Close the windows after some time.
- Lock the room and return the key to the secretary.
- Return to your workplace to see what happened in the meantime.
You may ask: „Why all those rituals?“
Well, this is how a human brain works. The rituals will help you to improve your performance significantly and effectively reduce the level of confusion. Executing those rituals will help you to focus and stay in a most active, receptive, communicative state of mind, almost without becoming tired. People will admire you: Hey, this is the architect to whom I can always come with anything in the world! How does he do it? 🙂