21 March 2017

Learning Styles and Anxiety

Having two small(ish) kids, I've thought about learning styles before. My oldest listens pretty well (if it's something she's interested in) and can repeat things she's heard at school that day. My youngest doesn't read yet, so I can really only observe him learning by listening or doing.

I've recently noticed that for myself, my mind is getting too scattered to 'listen' much. I recently attended a day-long meeting for my primary business (Perfectly Posh), and there was apparently a great presentation about (excuse my french) 'owning your own shit.' Basically, taking responsibility for your own actions, and the results of those action. But I have to say 'apparently a great presentation' because if it was at my location (the presenters varied a bit based on location), I missed it. Just flat-out spaced on it. Never even heard the word 'shit' uttered from the stage (you'd think that might catch my attention!).

There are a couple reasons I may have missed parts of what was happening on the stage. See, I have a hard-ish time watching videos on my computer too. I've always attributed it to the fact that I've got too much going on in my office. To sit and watch a video, and be engaged with it, I have to ignore the other piles and to-do lists on my desk, the laundry shaking the floor a bit from downstairs, and frequently my son asking if he can have a snack, or go to the basement, or...you get the idea.

But for the day-long event? I'm SO grateful we got printed programs of the days high-points. There were 900 (that would be in capital letters, if I could...), yes, 900 tickets sold. And I hate crowds. There were people everywhere. And I was supposed to find more than a dozen of them. Finding a dozen people in a crowd of 900 - oh, most of the dozen I had never met in person before - whew. I'm getting stressed out all over again just thinking about it.

Oh, getting a bit off the rails here. But I think part of the reason I don't remember what were surely valuable presentations, is that my stress level was through the roof. For nearly 12 hours straight (thanks to the three people I knew, who helped me decompress a bit at lunch ;) ). The point being, my anxiety detracted from the great learning opportunities all day. Luckily, my next big event will be with my best friend, who usually grounds me enough to be present. When alone, it's actually getting worse with every big event I attend.

So, is my learning style now confined to reading in peace? Is there something that can help me ignore 900 people and focus on what I truly hope to glean from an event or presentation (please tell me your secrets!)?


Christina Strickland said...

I try to live as simply as possible and focus on the task at hand. While some may say that multi tasking is the thing nowadays, I really find it counter-productive.

Ron Leyba said...

This sounds really great. I agree with Christina, sometimes, multi tasking is counter-productive. It depends on the person and the tasks at hand though.