At times it may seem like there is absolutely nothing you can do about stress. Bills continue to pile up, there are never enough hours in the day, and managing work, entrepreneurial duties, and family responsibilities are in high demand. But remember you are in more control than you think. Managing stress is all about taking charge: of your lifestyle, work/business, reflecting on goals, and the way you handle all the curve balls life might throw at you.
The first step in successful stress relief is deciding to make stress management a priority in your life and learning how to identify problems and implement solutions on how to juggle multiple responsibilities and how to monitor your stress level.
Knowing this is all easier said than done, we’d like to use this week’s blog post to address some common issues and suggest some tips and ideas we use when life seems to get overwhelming.
Step 1: The “To-Do List”
To-Do Lists are essential if you’re going to conquer a serious work overload. When you don’t use them effectively, it feels as if you’ve become unfocused and unreliable. When using them effectively, you’ll feel much more organized, accomplished and on top of it all. Maintaining a structured and detailed list sounds simple enough, but its shocking at how hard it can be to upkeep this list. We keep lists for everything. Seriously…our lists have lists. We recommend checking out the app Trello (free and easy).
When starting a new list, write down all of the tasks that you need to complete. If they’re large tasks, break out the first action step, and write this down with the larger task. You may find it easier to compile several lists (covering personal, study, and workplace, for example). Try different approaches and use the best for your own situation. Go through your tasks and prioritize from A (very important, or very urgent) to Z (unimportant, or not at all urgent). Knocking out the things you dread most on the list eliminates the anxiety that can haunt you all day. As you complete tasks, check them off.
The traditional paper list is an easy way to get started, but we’ve found that software-based applications can be more efficient. These can remind you of events or tasks that will soon be overdue, they can also be synchronized with your phone or email! Some apps to check out: Wonder List; iPhone note taking app; Trello; Outlook and Gmail managing tasks.
Step 2: Manage your time
On top of setting up a to-do lists, time management is also a major-key to success. Your list is a guide and the time management is how you are able to efficiently execute those tasks. It’s important that you develop effective strategies for managing your time to balance the conflicting demands. Sometimes it may seem that there’s never enough time to do everything. This can also lead to a build up of stress. There are skills and traits we’ve learned a long the way to improve how we manage our time; setting clear goals, breaking your goals down into detailed steps, and reviewing your progress towards those goals you’ve set. Once we identified those ways in which we can improve the management of our time, we can begin to adjust our routines and patterns of behavior to reduce any time-related stress in our lives. Check out Pomodoro Technique —It’s motto is to do more and have fun with time management! We’ve definitely seen an increase in our productivity. It’s easy to use and seriously saved our life!
The important thing to remember in all of this, is to not beat yourself up if deadlines or goals are not always reached at the exact time you’ve set them, don’t sweat. In the process of making plans, life happens, and constantly has it’s hiccups. Know that you can always reset goals and tasks.
We remind ourselves that we need to have to discipline. Discipline is one of the cornerstones to living a successful and fulfilling life. We’ve learned that when one is consistent in doing the things they know should be done, life seems to be a little easier and less stressful. Discipline is not a negative thing, it should empower you.
No matter how stressful your life seems, there are always steps you can take to regain control. Take some time today to assess everything going on in your life. We hope we’ve provided some great tips on how we manage to kick stress’ butt! You can do it too!