Practical actions to combat everyday stress and face daily challenges.
"It's not work that kills people, it's worries."
Henry Ward Beecher.
Over the past few months I have faced periods of relatively intense work and unfortunately the blog has also suffered: I take this opportunity to apologize for the reduction of posts published and comments to which I was able to respond ... it will not become a habit ;-).
But let's go back to stressful days and how to best deal with them. During periods of intense work, I found that 7 actions are particularly effective for weathering the storm without getting too wet:
- Simplify. Appreciate intense periods of work / study because it is during these periods that you can take advantage of them to simplify your life, eliminating what is not necessary and focusing on what really matters. When the time available for ourselves is reduced to the bare minimum, it is important to identify and focus on those habits that create value in our life, abandoning those that worsen the quality of our days.
- Find the right relaxation technique. There are dozens of relaxation techniques, but not all of them are equally effective. In this case the only solution is to experiment: to start you could try some breathing techniques, or rediscover the pleasure of a morning run.
- Worries are the real enemy. Have you ever turned a hill into a mountain? Worries about future situations create stress: Stress is hardly ever tied to the present moment. In reality as human beings we are denied to make realistic predictions for the future: numerous studies have shown that we are unrealistically optimistic when we make predictions for the long term and terribly pessimistic in the short term. This is also a major cause of procrastination. Solutions ?! Focus on the present moment and give your worries the space they deserve - none.
- Set limits. Limits are extraordinary personal productivity tools, just think of the well-known Parkinson's law. But limits can also help you navigate the troubled waters of stressful days: set time limits for the work / study you need to complete, limit the number of times you check your email, limit the information that comes into your life , etc.
- Remove the plug. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, idle periods are a key element in improving our personal productivity. In fact, our productivity must also respect a cyclical trend, in which the work peaks are followed by moments of rest, in which to regenerate. After all, the "always on" myth has gone out of fashion for almost 20 years now ...
- Do one thing at a time. I am a fan of single-tasking, and even though new technologies sometimes require us to distribute our attention in a thousand streams, I believe that I will continue with the healthy habit of doing one thing at a time. Focusing on one activity at a time allows us to be more productive, reduce stress and avoid that unpleasant feeling of incompleteness.
- Solve a problem. As mentioned, a lot of our stress is often related to worry; one of the classic concerns is an unsolved problem. Unresolved problems are like software running continuously in the background and clogging up our operating system (our mind). The more problems you solve in the bud, the more resources you will have to face everyday challenges.
What techniques do you use to deal with your stressful days? Leave me a comment if you like. Thanks.