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7 Ways Successful People Deal With Stress and Stay Productive

7 Ways Successful People Deal With Stress and Stay Productive

Dealing with stress and facing your failures are a regular part of any career, especially if you’re a young entrepreneur. It’s perfectly normal to fail and nothing to be ashamed of. It’s an obstacle all successful people such as Steve Jobs and Richard Branson have had to face. On your journey to success, you’ll need to learn how to stay productive in spite of stress. Lacking focus means you could easily make the wrong decisions and sacrifice your efficiency.

1. They always ask for help

In his book “The Virgin Way”, Richard Branson says that you should ask numerous people about your idea before saying “We’ll give this one a miss,” or “Let’s do it.”

Many new entrepreneurs and business people make a big mistake when it comes to asking for help, because they think that they should do certain projects on their own. You simply cannot do everything on your own, however. You’re not an expert in every field – leave certain tasks to professionals. If you only rely on yourself, you’ll end up stressed out and won’t finish every task properly. All successful people hire experts in various fields in order to get certain jobs done right. This will help you stay productive and focused on your job, while guaranteeing that everything else will go according to plan.

Whether or not you are sure of something, always seek a second opinion (and even a third). However, make sure you ask the opinion of a professional and not a random person. That way, you won’t waste your time over-analyzing it and wondering if it’s a good decision or not.

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2. They share their experience with other professionals and reflect on their past steps

“This is the key to life: the ability to reflect, the ability to know yourself, the ability to pause for a second before reacting automatically. If you can truly know yourself, you will begin the journey of transformation.” – Deepak Chopra

You’re probably asking yourself why you should share your experiences with others. The main reason is to get feedback from other experts, who will certainly share their stories with you as well. You’d be surprised how many of them went through the exact same things you did at the beginning of your career. This is a great way to learn something new, and to avoid making mistakes that someone before you already made.

Successful people tend to write blogs in order to vent their constant stress and pressure. By sharing your thoughts and even failures, you’ll not only get needed feedback, but also relieve some of the stress that has been piling up.

Likewise, when you document your story as an entrepreneur, it will be a lot easier to reflect on your previous experiences and learn something from it. Before you go to bed, evaluate your day and make sure you write everything down. At the end of the month, write a blog post to help you evaluate your month and assist other new entrepreneurs in their careers. This will also make you more productive, as you’ll be better able to reflect on your entire business journey.

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3. They learn all the time

No matter how old you are or what job you are doing, learning is a lifelong process. Knowledge is a precious and powerful tool in business world. If you want to be successful, then follow this timeless advice from experts, and don’t forget to keep building your knowledge.

When you strive to keep learning new things, challenges will seem easier and decisions will come more quickly. If having a blog isn’t important for your business but is for you, then you’ll need to learn how to install WordPress and start your journey on this simple and elegant platform. Staying interested in new subjects will only help you stay on track in life, because there is no such thing as unnecessary knowledge. But remember: Don’t do someone else’s job! Always stay on top of your duties and know what results are expected of you.

4. They make their gadgets work for them

Gadgets are there to work for you and help you perform everyday tasks. You need to learn how to make the best of them and use them properly. Having a quality smartphone enables you to do much more than just tweeting, posting, and taking photos. Use your phone to make a detailed schedule and organize yourself.

Moreover, instead of going to the bank or using a laptop, you can download your bank app and manage your transactions easily and quickly. There are many applications for both smartphones and computers that save you a lot of time, so learn to use them to your an advantage.

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You can even receive your phone notifications on a computer. If you’re in an office or working on a laptop, it is a lot easier to manage your bank account, schedule, and e-mails if your notifications are sent directly to your PC.

5. They know what motivates them and keeps them going

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz

In order to stay stress-free and stay productive, you definitely need to find out what keeps you motivated. Some are driven by the end goal, whereas some people just cannot cope with huge problems and find their motivation in simple things.

No one can tell you what will motivate you to keep going, but you need to find out by yourself by not giving up. Walt Disney was told that he had lacked imagination and was fired over it, but that did not stop him. Later he started many other businesses that ended in bankruptcy. However, he eventually found the right way. Most importantly, he didn’t give up; he was motivated during the whole journey to keep on going and didn’t stop.

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Motivation plays a huge role in everything you do, so whatever you feel will motivate you and make you happy at that moment – do it.

6. They clearly separate their work and personal life

Many people dedicate their whole life to their career and success. However, there has to be a clear distinction between personal and business life. The fact is that you cannot be productive the entire day, and you won’t finish all of your tasks successfully if you work on them all the time. You need to establish clear working hours and not needlessly work overtime.

When you set clear working hours, you invest most your energy during that time on your projects. Working all day long, on the other hand, won’t get you anywhere. You will only be tired, stressed out, and unprepared for the next day. In order to be productive, you also need to be happy, and there is no better way to be happy than spending the other half of your day with your family and friends.

Moreover, the best ideas come to mind at a time when you aren’t thinking about them. Don’t let your personal life suffer – have fun with your family, travel, and enjoy your hobbies.

7. They relax and stay calm

“The idea is that one’s temperament improves with age; that you learn to deal better with people and become more benevolent and loving. That’s not necessarily true. I try to stay loose, but sometimes the best thing to do is get yourself away and take a good nap.” – Robert Duvall

It’s extremely important to learn how to relax and dispel negative thoughts. Some people need a physical activity such as jogging or the gym in order to blow off some steam. On the other hand, some people enjoy doing yoga in order to achieve their desired state of mind. However, all of us need to learn how to relax and take a deep breath while at work. If you’re stressed out, it’s less likely that you’ll be productive, so you need to learn how to cope with stressful situations in order to stay focused.

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Katarina Milovanovic

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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