Often stress is caused by a lot of tasks and matters which demand our attention and time. By becoming more effective and productive, we will suddenly find ourselves with energy, which in return reduces our stress levels.
There are some simple steps which can be taken:
- Dedicate yourself
- Don’t delay doing things
- Divide big projects into small manageable steps
- Do the most important first
- Take action instead of thinking too much
- Positive thinking and stop complaining
- Reduce the number of distractions
Once you have decided to do a thing, don’t let excuses distract you or cancel your appointment. By being there and dedicating your time and energy to what you planned, you not only feel better about yourself for actually getting out and doing it, but also get things done you had planned. Keeping your decisions and getting out is essential for recharging and growth, as well as for stress management.
Don’t delay doing things is very important. If you have a task that needs to be done, then do it at once. Delaying it will only cause you more stress, not only physically because you then have less time to do it in, but also emotionally since you will feel guild and possibly chide yourself for not getting things done. Once a project is over, it is one less stress factor in your life.
If a project or task is too large it becomes overwhelming. When you’re overwhelmed you lose sight of the end and only see how difficult it is. Divide large projects into smaller manageable sub-goals and focus on one sub-goal at a time. Forget the end result but focus only on the next step taken. This way you will gain a lot of small victories and see a clear progress which in itself is motivating and de-stressing. A lot of stress comes from seeing no end to our challenges and problems.
When you have many tasks that need to be done it can hard get started. Where to start is just one question, but also that we have a tendency to do the smaller tasks first and postpone the larger and more difficult ones. Prioritise the tasks and find out which one is the most urgent and important. Get the biggest and most important task done with first, even if it’s the only thing you get done that day. Once you’ve completed it it will be a major victory which can carry you on a wave of positive energy to solve the other smaller tasks.
You can spend and waste a lot of time and energy on over-analysing a problem. By thinking too much about possible consequences and outcomes, of what can go wrong and how it can be done the best. Often we’ll be well of by limiting the time we think about a thing and just take action. Too much thought can and will cause stress, not to mention it delays when we actually start solving a problem or finish a project.
Think positively. That’s essential. Focus on the things you did get done and not what you didn’t get done. Celebrate the small victories and the tasks you completed. If you start to complain about how much work you still need to do, how hard it is, how unfair things are and so on you’re again wasting a lot of time. Time you could instead have spent completing your task or solving the problem.
Getting distracted by other things is a huge time consumer and lack of time leads to stress. So, when you have important projects that needs to be done, eliminate as many distractions as you can. Shut of the phone, turn off your IM program, decide to only check e-mail thrice a day, don’t answer the door, don’t check your favourite news-webs etc. A lot of time and energy is wasted just keeping an eye on things eve if it’s passively.
Inspiration: 7 habits of highly ineffective people