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The power of prevention

The No. 1 way to reduce stress

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in Office Management,Time Management

Do you feel exhausted before the day is even half over? Stress drains us of our energy, weakens our focus, our immune system and our brilliance. Research shows prevention is still the No. 1 way to reduce stress, beating out even exercise and meditation. Stop the stress from happening in the first place. Here are three ways:

1.  Stop doing one more thing. A popular stress reduction tip is giving yourself enough time to get where you’re going.  But what do you do when you need to leave? One more thing! For example, you are leaving for work, a meeting, an appointment, or even heading home and decide to squeeze in just one more email, phone call or small task. You tell yourself this will just take a quick minute. No matter how little time that one more thing takes, you end up rushing. Your heart beats faster, your breathing gets shallower and whoa-la your body is now in stress mode. The next time you are tempted to do one more thing before you go, stop.  

2.  Stop saying one more thing. The conversation is almost over and you say one more thing. The long-winded co-worker hears your last sentence as an invite to keep going instead of as a conversation close. One more quick question launches into a much longer discussion as the clock ticks and you fail to complete your other priorities. Be aware of how saying one more thing impacts you. Is your message well timed when your one last comment or concern expands the scope and length of a meeting or detours the topic?  Be conscious of how it affects your energy, productivity and reputation.

3.  Stop small annoyances. All the little frustrations add up: the cellphone that doesn’t hold a charge, the computer glitch that bugs you, the stapler that jams, the awkward conversation you’ve been avoiding at home or at work.  They contribute to your breaking point or even become the straw that breaks the camel’s back on a particularly tough day.  Take action and remove what’s bugging you one item at a time.

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