An interview was going on. In the final round, the interviewer asked the candidate to jump off if he was selected, and the candidate agreed. The candidate answered all the questions accurately and the interviewer told him to jump off immediately. The candidate thanked the interviewer and jumped off.

Wait! Surprised?!

The phrasal verb “Jump off” has two different meanings; set off quickly, usually with success, and jump down from an elevated point.

Imagine what could have happened if the candidate was dumb to decipher what the interviewer meant.

He was able to keep his cool and thought calmly and took action accordingly.

This deed accounts for his presence of mind!

Presence of mind can be defined as the ability to think and act calmly in stressful situations, without losing the self-control. Presence of mind comes to rescue as a tool to tackle nerve-cracking circumstances that augments making a proper decision.

Not all in a sample of people will be bestowed with natural presence of mind; it is a trait to be cultivated through practice. The essential constituent to develop the presence of mind is to stay focused and calm, be it dealing with personal or professional affairs.

Einstein said, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” Hence, in reality, it is evident that what we see is not always what actually exists. Mostly, our brain infers what we see, hear or sense; but there are instances in which our well-developed brain grapples to decipher the situations.

Presence of mind is essential when we are present in official meetings, listening to instructions, announcements etc. Being careful at such instances would prevent us from incurring an irrevocable loss.

Here are some tips to develop the presence of mind:

Intent Listening:

Listen closely like this is the very last time you are listening to the matter. Never jump into arbitrating with the very first words you hear. Understand that whatever someone talks to us, they don’t just share how they view something; it could be important information also. Above all, keen listening will enable us to do something with utmost clarity.

Observe:

Observing something isn’t a cakewalk. Distraction and lack of focus end up in lower presence of mind. Moreover, none on earth could come with conviction to observe the environment with a new eye out of the blue. To observe new things around is not as easy as said; however, higher levels of observing skills could be obtained through various regular practices. To start with, try observing people’s appearances, behaviors, transactions in crowded places. If that doesn’t work with you, observe a collection of unique objects in the surrounding. One more matchless practice could be to note down whatever you observe.

Prioritize your tasks:

Kill all the tasks of priority right there; this would free you from the guilt of things pending at hand, which eventually steals your attention while involved in other tasks. Further, switching between tasks of high attention to low attention for short intervals (5-10 mins) will help revive the brain from falling tired. It could be good if you could split the jobs into small slices to run for 1-2 hours, with a break of 5 minutes sandwiched between two jobs.

Emotional Balance:

Never let personal problems occupy your mind, which may hinder your concentration towards important jobs. Concentrate on work-life balance; a bit of extra effort and a lot of self-discipline will facilitate mastering the equilibrium.

Tactics to improve Presence of Mind

  • Play mind games that enhance the brain poles to some extent.
  • Never be biased with what you experience (Halo Effect).
  • Involve in self-potential review. Find out your wants and needs, values and preferred way of life. Evaluate your skills and interests and learn how they match with work-related tasks.
  • Reading amplifies cognitive skills and ultimately the presence of mind.
  • Engage in Productive Multitasking; productive jobs along with routine tasks.
  • Sangfroid /sɒ̃ˈfrwɑː/ - presence of mind