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How to emotionally survive a hackathon
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How to emotionally survive a hackathon

Hours of work, not enough time to rest, a nap or other, research, studies, experience exchange, energy drink, project submission, pitch, codes, programming, UX, prototype…a hackathon is formed by many factors that require some level of calmness to avoid possible outbreaks.

It’s implied that people who participate in a hackathon are intellectually intelligent, but how many of them have the so-called emotional intelligence?

Besides being an important skill for your professional and personal development, having emotional intelligence ensures that you know how to manage your emotions in a positive and healthy way and overcome conflicts in a much chill way.

The benefit comes when we succeed in conciliating our emotional and rational side of the brain, being resilient and focusing on positive thoughts and emotions, craving expected results. Therefore, it is extremely important to know how to control your emotions, to motivate yourself, to empathize and to know how to relate to the people and the environments that you coexist with.”

Annelise Gripp – Consultant and specialist in digital transformation

But, how to do this on an environment that, for many, is a huge trigger of stress? How to manage your emotions during a hackathon?

Some key skills can help you develop this mindset that prioritizes focus and connection to yourself and the people around you.

Check out:

Self-awareness

You have to understand how you feel about different situations. Knowing exactly what kind of reaction you would have in different scenarios, puts you one step ahead of the what can happen.

A simple example: being hungry drives you crazy? Always have a snack at hand! This way you don’t even give yourself a chance to feel hungry, let alone go crazy for it.

Are you cranky when you’re sleepy? Take a nap for the sake of the nation!

Paying attention to who you are and how you act is essential to always be ready for everything (or almost).

Assume your hits and mistakes too!

I know, I know! It is much easier to put the blame on others when things get bad. “Oh, but I only did this because so-and-so did that,” the truth is that no one can force you into anything (maybe your parents), so everything you do IS INDEED YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

For example, as rude as A teammate without a dash of emotional intelligence might be to you, the way you respond to his/her behavior is your choice and yours alone.

At these moments we breathe, hold the urge to scream and continue hacking!

Reply >>>> React

Do those words look the same? It seems! But their meanings are very different. “Reaction” is the quick response that your body gives to the actions of someone, without much thought, without analyzing anything. It’s more spontaneous and, therefore, much more “dangerous”.

Reply requires a filter! Besides that, a good reply always comes with empathy. When you respond to someone, you put yourself in the shoes of other’s, ponder the words, and avoid prolonging the conflict.

The word is silver, the silence is gold

Ever heard that proverb? No one here is asking you to become the Charlie Chaplin of the hackathon. But, developing your ability to listen is a life hack, especially in times of crisis.

Listening is the best way to understand the other and what the other has to offer. Imagine how many good ideas are wasted because, in a team, there aren’t dialogues, only monologues!

If the hackathon premise is the experiences exchange, how will you absorb something if you talk all the time?

Enjoy yourself

With everything going on around you and everything you need to do, it’s easy to forget to enjoy the moment. Whether it’s your 1st or 546th time in a hackathon, each one is different, so take a few moments to sit down, take some pics and enjoy the ecosystem!

Even though your goal is the victory (of all participants, right?), to let go of that for one moment or two and enjoy a little this enriching atmosphere, it will help you relax and may even give an up on your creativity.

Reading about emotional intelligence is a good first step, but it does not solve the situation. You need to put theory into practice in hackathons and in all areas of your life. The result is a guarantee of improvement to you and to the people who live with you.

Did you like our tips? Do you have any technique to avoid stress during hackathons? We want to know!

Photo by harunyigit on Adobe Stock

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