One person who I really admire (but don’t tell him nearly enough) is my brother.
He is a full-time investment banker who is also currently completing his masters in finance. During Monday to Friday, his time is consumed at the bank and over the weekend (including Friday evenings), he is attending class. Combine that with regular runs, socializing, studying and mundane daily chores, I’m amazed how he gets it all done while still remaining sane…somewhat ;). Even though this isn’t the story of all our lives (thank GOD! 😆), I bet we all share one thing in common: STRESS. That’s right, to some degree there’s always something overwhelming us. As much as we cross tasks of our to-do lists, it seems to constantly grow.
My reaction to stress varies: some days I thrive on the adrenalin, other days I want to cry out of frustration. Gah if I’m like this now, I dread to imagine what kind of nervous wreck I’ll be when a husband & kids come along. Actually I take that back because, you know, obviously my kids will be gorgeous academic geniuses who excel in sports and play various musical instruments…obviously ;). Till that day comes, here are some ways I handle my stress…or at least try to:
- Plan each day: Fight stress before it starts. Taking the 2 extra minutes the night before undoubtedly helps me accomplish more daily. Whether it’s writing it down in a nifty Filofax, setting alarms in your Blackberry calendar or just mentally going through your day, make a schedule and STICK TO IT. Because I’m a sucker for quotes: fail to plan and you’re planning to fail!
- Prioritize: Although I swear by to-do lists, I am guilty of ticking off the less-priority tasks first because they’re ‘easier’ to get done. On a scale of 1 to however many tasks you’re faced with, list them according to their importance and then get tacklin’!
- Do not multitask: be honest- how many of you have an Excel spreadsheet opened? As well as a Facebook window in the background…and a Skype chat …and iTunes? Ok so do I but honestly, and this is from woman to another, we CANNOT multitask: rapidly switching between tasks costs mental efficiency and time. Instead try mono-tasking: do one task well, while being fully present and attentive. You’ll be amazed at how much quicker you complete your tasks.
- Write/type it down: if I lost my Blackberry today, I’d turn into a fish out of water, or in other words: LOST. Every day is filled with various reminder alarms because let’s face it: despite how important something is, I am not going to magically remember to do it 5 days from now.
- Step away from the situation: regularly unplug & unwind. A clearer perspective and fresh energy may be all it takes to help you tackle a situation.
- Allocate time for socializing: although it’s one of the easiset things to let go of when the going gets tough, engaging in good company serves as temporary relief. A UCLA study actual prove that socializing is key to stress management: when women are stressed, they experience a surge of oxytocin, the ‘bonding’ hormone. This hormone encourages us to ‘tend & befriend’, which produces more oxytocin, a cycle that ultimately has a calming effect. Plus isn’t laughter the best medicine?
- Ask for help: why do u think big companies like Nike are cashing in the millions? They OUTSOURCE. While it may not earn us a buck or 2, delegating can help us get more done and cash in on our health i.e. REDUCE STRESS
- Technology: notice I didn’t say what to do with it. Technology is a blessing yet a curse. I love being able to communicate with people all over the world but at the same time, being accessible 24/7 only increases the likelihood of stress…and don’t even get me started on how distracting that darn blinking red light on Blackberry is. On the flipside, if I spend too long without my computer/phone, I feel lost (yes I said it but I know you feel me ;))! So I guess the tip I’m going with is “manage your technology”: stay connected but every so often, switch off for a bit.
How do you keep your stress levels at bay?
**Complete off-topic: who tweets? I just joined so still getting my head around it @KhushbooThadani