Think about that dark, overly hot, musky backroom after 8 hours of research. Think about those unresponsive, difficult respondents who are trying to get their check and get out! Think about the clients that have the most fantastical requests. Finally, think about that project that just seems to be falling apart as the finish line creeps further and further away. In some cases, completing a project to high standards can be no easy task.

The main reason is due to stress and not all those variables, bumps in the road, or unforeseen mishaps. Stress is a sneaky thing, it slowly seeps its way into your behavior, into your decision making, into your judgment, and, worst of all, into your gut (feeling). Before you know it, the level headed individual that you once were starts making decisions based on stress and clouded judgement.

It is this state that can create critical and pivotal mistakes during Market Research. Keep in mind that I am not talking about big, massive chaotic situations, I am talking about the small tiny ones that often don’t hold much weight. The issues arise when those start piling on top of each other.

People deal with stress in different ways and different people can identify stress in certain circumstances. However, I can guarantee you that you won’t be able to identify your stress all the time and you won’t be able to comprehend that this type of stress is affecting you until decisions have been made.

That’s why during every project it’s incredibly important to STOP, DROP and ROLL. Except instead of ROLLING, just try and MEDITATE (you don’t necessarily have to DROP either).

For those of you who know nothing about mediation or have a “fantasized” view of a Buddhist monk, on a mountain, cross-legged with his thumb and middle finger touching then I would recommend doing a little more research on the concept.

Meditation is much easier (sometimes) and much less “romanticized” than the stereotypical version you see in movies. Oftentimes it’s just a matter of sitting quietly during the day and taking a moment to reflect and be introspective. Take a moment to observe what is going on around you, what is going on within you, focus on your breathing and focus on all the small things that usually pass you by without notice. This will help clear your mind, and while it won’t cure your stress, it will often give you the perspective to overcome it.

Often all we need is to take a moment to ourselves, forget about the next deadline, forget about the mistake you just made, forget about the muddled report you are writing, and forget about the people invigorating your stress.

I will say it once more because you probably think I am some hippie and this won’t work. All I ask is that you try it. Try meditating.

Photo courtesy of Moyan Brenn on Flickr Creative Commons.

Patrick Brunell is an Associate Consultant at Vivisum Partners.

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