The pandemic forced everyone indoors and elevated stress. But that is not quite what this blog is about.
Stress is simply stress and you cannot totally avoid it. What you can do though is minimize its impact by keeping a few things in mind. You will still be stressed some – but it won’t get you down the same way – or even to the same extent. You will find yourself able to deal with it and get things done.
One thing we neglect when overwhelmed with work is making lists – who wants to waste time right? But making lists helps you prioritize your tasks. Prioritizing will help you get the most important things out-of-the-way so that you are less stressed about them. You can then go about the remaining tasks at peace. If you are habituated to making lists, it won’t take much time either – and you will quickly go about your business and be done with it snappily.
Don’t “hit the ground running”
That is to say don’t plunge right in. Yes it can be a good thing if you are trying to overcome your fear – but then fear and stress are two different things. Plan your tasks – every last one of them – before you begin. That way you know exactly what you need to do at any point – no fretting and wasting time figuring the next step.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Are you the type of person who always says ‘yes’ to everything? Are you the one people always turn to for help? That’s great! Mind though that if you take on more than you are capable of doing, you might end up with a few dissatisfied people around you. Take care what you commit to and leave enough time for you to rest and recoup.
Understand your work and strategize
Like we said, plan before you begin. Understand what you need to do. Break it up into smaller tasks and take it one step at a time. Focus only on what you are doing currently and rest assured that the way ahead has been chalked out for you – remember the lists? That way you won’t turn into a worry pot and mess things up completely.
Know your limitations
We all have them – limitations that is. So, know yours well and work around them. When you make your lists and plan your tasks, bear in mind what you can or cannot do. Look for work-around for things you cannot do. Seek help if necessary – it’s not a crime!
Don’t wait – Do it now
Enough of planning! Once you have everything blue-printed, get to it instead of procrastinating. Get started and simply polish off one task after another. Your wok will get done in a jiffy – trust me.
Indulge in “Unconscious Work”
Yes we said focus on the task at hand. But while this is important, it does no harm to think about the next task as long as it does not interfere with the current one. This type of “unconscious work” helps you get organized for the next task quickly. So for example while buttoning your son’s shirt, you can mentally check out the refrigerator – and ask hubby to order in. Oops! Sorry ladies – let the cat out of the bag there!
Plan your day
Makes sense right? Even when you are not overwhelmed, take a few minutes – that’s all it takes once you are accustomed to it – and plan out the next day. Maintain a diary and look at it frequently, trust me you can’t go wrong with that!
Turn off your phone
All those Whats-app jokes about making a money by turning off the phone, stem from our habit of frequently checking our phone to see what’s happening with others. But when you are bogged down with work, your phone acts as the stone that can drown you. Turn it off and set to work. Less distracted translates to less stressed.
Did we say seek help if needed? Delegate as much work as you can – especially if you have a whole lot to do. You will have to share the credit – but you will also share the responsibility – and trade in your stress. Don’t you think it is worth it?
Stress will come and go. How you deal with it is entirely up to you. You can choose to live a life full of work and anxiety – bereft of fun – or you can choose to pace yourself and live a full life of fun and joy while you work. Think about it….