It seems that I always come up with great ideas in the most inopportune moments — in the shower, right before I fall asleep, walking the dogs.  I always wish I had something to write with.  I do have a voice recorder now.  You smart phone has one, but this one’s one click away from getting your ideas captured.  Now I need to figure something out for the shower.  Do you have any ideas?
Now what if I told you that we may be able to condition ourselves and predict when those ideas are about to occur? Would you be interested?  If so, this blog post if for you.
Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems
Okay, dipping back into our neurology, we have two different nervous system at work, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.  The sympathetic system regulates our fight or flight resources.  It elevates our heart rate, increases our sweating, increases our respiratory rates and elevates our awareness overall.  It also does something else that is important to note, it “_… also shuts down many parasympathetic responses in order to utilize more energy for the fight or flight response.” (Link to reference)
What does the parasympathetic nervous system do?  In short it regulates our “rest and digest” resources.  It decreases our heart rate, increases digestive enzymes in our stomach, and relaxes our muscles.  This system is important because it regulates our overall health.  It’s the parasympathetic nervous system that helps us innovate, since we now have more resources available to devote to such ideas.
It makes sense that we have great ideas right before bed, in a warm shower, or out for a walk.  These are all scenarios in which we are in a relaxed state, and it’s when our parasympathetic nervous system kicks into full gear.  It also borrows resources of your sympathetic nervous system.
Time to Innovate
Okay, so now we know what kicks in those creative juices, the ability to be relaxed and allow the parasympathetic nervous system to take over.  If you know that, can you then proactively get into that state of mind?
There is a very real state of productivity called the flow state.  This occurs when the parasympathetic nervous system is in full gear, that you are producing deep work at will and time flies when this is happening.  You are not aware of your surroundings as you are completely immersed in your work at hand.
What does this have to do with sales?
Really, are you really asking me that?  Imagine your ability to move into flow state, summoning your innovation super powers at will.  Could that helpful?  Flow state does not mean that you are zoned out in some kind of zen state; it means that you are relaxed and about allowing your parasympathetic nervous system to take over and let the innovation flow.
As a sales professional, this state is excellent for events like ideation and discovery sessions with your customers, working with your engineers to come up with the best demo, and lastly, getting creative with win/win negotiations with your prospect.
Next Steps
It’s time to build the system or habit that you can call up.  When was the last time you had that flow state?  What were you doing?  How did you know you were in that state?  Can you recreate that process?  Work with it and hone it so that you can summons that psychological state at will and watch your performance soar!