Whether you love what you do or you hate it, one things for certain – at some point, you’re gonna feel the stress!

Whether a Project Manager with a big caseload, a Sales Rep with an ever increasing call list or Web Developer with test cases to crack, we all have a mental capacity that needs to be nurtured.

Unfortunately we all have deadlines to meet and bosses pushing tough targets; if you’re not too careful, the pressures will take their toll and leave you in a state of inefficiency and eventually, breakdown. Looking back on April, whilst we came to the end of Stress Awareness Month, the strains put upon us from our busy schedules continue to linger on into May and beyond.

It’s not all bad though; without even realising it, our interconnected, busy lives may be a biggest contributor the the pressures which weigh on our mind! With that said, let’s take a look at some easy tips to beat the doom and gloom…

 

# 1 – Introspection –  What’s Really Going On?

 

Firstly, it’s good to take a minute to assess what’s going on in your life both inside the workplace and out. It may not be the workload that’s stressing you out but a combination of external factors such as relationships, health, sleep or finance. Failure to get the right balance can leave your mind and body out of kilter, causing a previously manageable working day to seem like a nightmare!  

There are so many studies out there linking poor diet and lack of physical exercise to a more up-tight and stressful lifestyle. Unfortunately for those that hate getting a sweat on, it really does have so many merits, so invest some time in finding the workout that best suits you,

Financial worries are often cited as the number one reason for adults to experience high stress level – constantly worrying about whether they have enough to last the next paycheck!

Action Point – List the following key areas of your lifestyle and identify where any shortcomings, fears or anxieties are present, often getting things down on paper helps to rationalise them!  – Work/Education, Relationships, Health (Mental & Physical), Fitness, Sleep, Finance, Trauma & Security.

Struggling to think on the spot? Keep a bullet point diary of what you do in a day, identify where you’re time is being spent and where you may be falling short in other areas.

 

# 2 Prioritise – Cut The Crap That Doesn’t Matter!

 

You’ve got everything down on paper, now it’s time to work out what is actually important to you and what is bloating out your life. Many of us take on a lot of different responsibilities in life, afraid of saying no to something that lands on our plate. With only so many hours in the day and a limited amount of mental capacity, taking on too much can be a disaster waiting to happen!

This applies to both your work balance and your life in general. Identify the tasks on your to-do list which aren’t time critical and either put them out of the way, pass them on to someone else or the best option, just eliminate them! Sometimes you just have to simply cut the crap; eliminate the things that simply don’t matter to create rooms for things that do.

Action Point – With your lifestyle shortcomings, fears or anxieties identified it’s time to rank them; 1 being the most important all the way to the ones that simply matter the least. Getting the priorities set can you to start focusing the mind on the areas which need the most action.

 

# 3 Get Scheduled – Structure Your Way To Success.

 

With the priorities set, it’s time to get to action. Take a look at your lowest priorities and decide whether they are really important. Taken on an additional workplace duty or getting caught up in family feud? Get those things out of your life to free up time for clearing the things that really matter.

With the schedule clear, it’s time to put a plan in place to action what’s left over. It’s often thought that the way to beat the stress is to work, work, work! This is not the case – overwork kills productivity, slows down action time and allows the stress to begin to build!

Create a schedule that prioritises the tasks that matter whilst slotting in frequent breaks to keep your mind in the best shape!

Tony Schwartz from the Energy Project, an expert in Human Energy and Stress is a huge advocate of workplace breaks:

“If we have intense concentration for about 90 minutes, followed by a brief period of recovery, we can clear the buildup of stress and rejuvenate ourselves.”

Action Point – Create a schedule that allows you to get stuff done, whilst taking the breaks your mind and body needs. Start off by clearing the things that don’t matter, be honest to those around you and explain why you want to adapt your schedule. Once a little more manageable, take those priorities and schedule your day in a way which maximises your potential by resting often.

 

I’ll round this off with a great video I found online from Rory Valden an award winning Action Coach who’s take on multiplying time really hit home with me and inspired this article…

 

Enjoy!