Wednesday, January 02, 2008

stressed out?

So what is stress?

Stress comes from your misperception that everything is equally important and needs to be done right NOW. The truth is life will go on whether or not your perceived emergency is done right now or later. 

When you feel stressed about what's not getting done, remind yourself that you are actually wasting time [by stressing] to get things done.

The first step in reducing the stress in our lives is to learn how to be productive. And although lots of things get in our way when we are trying to be productive, most of these are easy to spot and tend to boil down to being distracted from our goals -ie. we want to get something done, but the dog needs to go to the vet, the grocery shopping can’t wait, the car needs an oil change, etc. And then 'we get tired just thinking about' what we have to do so everything seems like too much to do. So instead we don’t do anything by avoiding everything.

The reality is that 
not much can be done about the daily minutia of our lives. Those things exist and we have to come to terms with the fact that there will always be “little things” to distract us from the things that we want to do. However, there are answers. There’s a little secret to being productive.

The “secret” is that we actually do have enough time to get our tasks done [and we even have enough time left over to enjoy some relaxation]. The secret is that we only think we don’t have enough time to get stuff done because we don’t actually know how much we need to do!

Most people keep their task list in their head, when our minds just aren’t very good at keeping lists of things to do. We very quickly perceive that we have too many things to do, so we become discouraged. 
The easiest way to get control over your own productivity is to start, and use, a simple to-do list. Keeping it simple is the key & not clusters of sticky post-its as this clutter is just as bad as keeping it cluttered in our minds. 
The next step is to keep a to-do list functional, so you need to get rid of items when they are done. If you are using paper, then cross out the items after you have completed them and then re-write your to-do list every night, leaving out the things that are done, so you have a nice, clean list the next day to work from. 

Once you get into the habit of keeping a clean to-do list, you’ll find that it’s not overwhelming to get your tasks done. The reason is simple: you’ll be able to just look at your list to know what you need to do NEXT instead of being overwhelmed by thinking you have to do everything at the SAME time. Tackle each task, one at a time, and remove it when it’s done. Before you know it, you’ll be in control of your own productivity and will be a master a time management.

Stress is what you feel when you are unprepared & don't have a plan or in other words a to-do list!

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