Are Your Buttons Getting Pushed? Try These 3 Tactics

Earlier this week, I had one of my hot buttons get pushed. Technology issues!

I’ve learned over the years that this is one of my top struggles in managing my composure. I love technology when it works, but when I waste a day (literally 7 hours on the phone with Microsoft) of productivity dealing with technology that isn’t working, I’m on the ragged edge.

That day I tapped into the three tactics I’ve found helpful for me and thought you might find them useful.

Tactic #1 – Get up from the desk and get moving outside

Ideally, find some green space in nature where you feel the breeze, hear birdsong, and see the simple beauty you can’t enjoy from your desk. My surroundings greatly impact my mental state, so getting outside is usually a good thing. MOVEMENT is also critical for me. Something magical happens when I can take a brisk walk — my knees don’t like it when I run. I can think more clearly by getting oxygen to my brain and muscles. Breathwork makes a big difference in both my mental and physical state.

Tactic #2 – Seek out silence

When you’ve gotten up from the desk and gone outside for a walk, or just stepped away from your work zone, leave your phone behind. Resist the temptation to listen to music, a podcast, or return calls. We have so much noise in our lives that we forget the power of silence.

A quiet place enables us to really notice what is happening. The noise distractions are gone, so we can pay attention to what’s happening inside—an opportunity to think and reflect on WHY the thing that happened triggers you. Even if you’ve not been triggered, silence allows for great think-time.

Tactic #3 – Apply the “10 question.”

You may have heard about this rule for managing your time, energy, or emotions. When we get spun up, stop and ask ourselves, “Will I care about this in 10 minutes? Ten hours? Ten days? Ten months? or Ten years?” 

If the answer is NO – particularly to 10 months or ten years – it’s a sign to let go of the frustration and angst. It’s incredible how many hot-button issues can be cooled off with this simple set of questions.

What are the hot buttons that trigger you?

It’s helpful to identify them when you’re NOT in the heat of the moment. Having that awareness can be beneficial so that you can employ one of these tactics quickly and move forward. If you have others that work for you, I’d love to hear about them!

Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResutls. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or email her your tactics for dealing with your hot-button issues to