Most of us will have some sort of task list that we write down on a regular basis. I do mine weekly and just make a note of my main appointments and tasks that I would like to see completed by the end of that week.
Between the points of the task list, you might get loads of other spontaneous tasks arising that you will need to take care of. (Looking after the Computer networks at work, this is very often the case!) When it feels that you’re getting bogged down at work with hundreds of things to do the last thing on your mind will be to take a break. But, if you were hoping to get things done quickly, efficiently and with accuracy and yet you’re getting stressed and frustrated, it should be the first thing you do!
If you feel like you’re getting to the point where you are feeling stressed then you need to tackle your own stress first before you continue any further otherwise you run the risk making mistakes and being in and even worse state than when you started.
So how do you tackle the stress? Many people will have their own methods, some will listen to music, some will keep those stress toys on their desk, others will go and play sports, do some meditation, stretch, eat, drink, you name it, the list goes on and on!
Some of these methods work for some people others think that they they work but may actually be contributing to the stress in the long time e.g. having lots of coffee and fizzy drinks can cause, further stress, restlessness and hypertension. Add all these ingredients together and you become an heart attack just waiting to happen.
So how do can you relieve the stress?
Here is my 10 point strategy on becoming stress free at work, at home and in all other area’s of your life.
1. Remember what it is that you would like to accomplish for the day or week by writing things down. This serves two purposes i) It eliminates the need for your brain to remember too much information which can cause it to overload. Also if you’re someone like me who has not got a very good memory then it can make you better prepared for what’s to come. ii) Having your tasks written down can, more easily, allow you to visualise how your can plan your day.
2. If you work in an office like I do, make sure you have a good chair. I realised recently that many of my back pains were due to the chair I had at work and so I put in a request to get a specialist back chair and since then my back has been much better. Keeping the back in shape is very important as stress can also lead to back pains and vice versa.
3. If things start to get on top of you, step away from it all, take a few minutes, go outside, breathe in some fresh air and stretch you muscles, get some much needed oxygen flowing into the body.
4. After you’ve had your stretch and taken in a few valuable deep breaths of oxygen, say the following words in your head: “I am overflowing with passion and energy. I feel this passion and energy coursing through my veins. I love my choice to be here today and I will continue on the path of choosing my own destiny.” Now observe how rejuvenated you feel!
5. Go back to your desk and take a close look at you list of items that you need to complete. Even though people use the term “multi-tasking” in reality you are only actually working on one thing at any given moment. Multi-tasking means that you may possibly be working on a few given tasks over a period of time. Multi-task, but give absolute focus to the individual task at hand and complete it to the best of your ability
6. On the list of items, if you know for sure that there are going to be things that you cannot complete on that particular day, let the people/person concerned, who may possibly be depending on you, and explain to them that as it currently stands you cannot finish their task today will get to it first thing the following day. In my humble experience, when people ask for something to be done “yesterday” very often they say that in a deliberate attempt to rush you and get their needs fulfilled first. However, more often than not, the task isn’t urgent. Politely ask them and give an explanation, only if they ask for one, and I guarantee you that the majority of the time that you will get a positive response. They most important thing is that they would just like to be kept notified of your progress and that the task is being worked on.
7. If you notice thoughts creeping into your head of venom or malice, towards yourself, another person, or the task at hand, break that chain of thought before the effects spread to your body. Normally with any emotion it will have a corresponding affect on the body and so before it gets that chance, break the thought pattern and repeat the thoughts in point 4 or come up with your own “power thought” that allows you to feel more relaxed and more energised. If you feed the thoughts malice type thoughts, they will zap your body and mind of energy and leave you feeling drained.
8. Drink plenty of water! I cannot emphasise this point enough. Avoid the sugary snacks and drinks and go for the most healthy substance on this planet! I usually keep a huge multi-pack of mineral water at my desk and aim to have at least 2 litres of mineral water coupled with a couple of glasses of warm or hot water. Try to avoid cold water, have it at room temperature or above.
9. Snack! Get some fruits and keep them at your desk. I also keep a healthy supply of healthy snack bars in my desk drawer at work. These are bars that have plenty of nuts and seeds in them and will give you a good boot of energy throughout the day.
10. Keep the environment in your office or place of work, fun and light. Spread it by smiling, telling a few jokes, if you see other people stressed, offer to make them a drink, or take them to lunch, Every once in a while, bring in some cakes or doughnuts for no reason. Also bring in some unusual foods if you can get a hold of some.
There are also many other things you can do so use your imagination and just remember that no task is worth feeling stressed over.