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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 January 2, 2019

Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

The end of the year is the time when everyone tries to give you advice on how to live healthier, look better, and earn more money.

It’s understandable if you find yourself lost among all the tips and opinions. Sometimes you no longer know what you truly want to achieve next year – and what’s just imposed by society.

To help you out, we’ve made this article about the things you should remove from your new year’s resolution list – instead of adding to it – to make your daily life more harmonious and peaceful.

So just make sure you cross these off your New Year’s to-do list – your body, mind and soul will be thankful.

1. Stop Buying Meaningless Gifts

We all know the sense of obligation – when we have to buy a gift for an event or celebration that’s already tomorrow, but we still have no idea of what to give.

Take these tips close to heart for all upcoming holidays, including birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc.:

Stop focusing on the material objects

Instead of focusing on what material object to give, think about the emotion you want to evoke[1] in the gift recipient, and then pick a symbolic gift that can support or represent that emotion. For example, you can gift coziness by presenting a “comfort set” with warm socks, tea, candles, etc. Or give motivation by presenting a beautiful planner or notebook.

Plan gifts in advance

We know this is easier said than done. But if you try to plan which gifts you’ll need in the upcoming months (try making a list three or four times a year), ideas will more likely come to mind and you’ll avoid that last-minute shopping. Not to mention, you’ll be able to keep an eye on sales to get the best prices.

Suggest a better way

If you’re tired of exchanging gifts for birthdays and holidays, initiate a different approach. For example, draw names among family members and agree that each one only buys a present to that one person they got. Alternatively, you can agree not to share gifts among adults, and only give presents to kids of the family. Or, ask friends to donate to charity instead of buying a gift for you.

Go for common experiences instead of exchanging gifts

You can agree (with your partner or the extended family) to go on a common trip, dinner or another activity, instead of spending money on gifts.

Sometimes you’ll have to be the one who initiates breaking the rules that have been accepted in the family for years. But if you suspect that you’re not the only one in the group who’s tired of gift-hunting, you’ll surely find support for your suggestions.

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2. Don’t Exaggerate with Diets and Fitness Resolutions

It’s no secret that TV shows, article headlines, and ads (not to mention our healthy diet-obsessed friends) make us feel like we need to look better, slimmer and younger than we actually are. But going on yet another diet or starting a fitness plan with the wrong motivation rarely leads to great results.

If you are like many people, you have probably signed up for an annual gym membership at least once in your life – only to drop it one month later.

How do you balance a good resolution for a healthier life without pushing yourself into commitments that won’t last?

Here’s what you can do:

Set a healthier pattern

For example, do meat-free Mondays or reduce meat consumption to three days per week (less saturated fat for you and better for the environment). Or choose to eat only healthy food at least three days a week or only on weekdays (e.g. make sure your meals contain vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, and protein). This way you’ll already have a healthier diet while still being able to treat yourself with a snack on weekends or parties.

Get a fitness watch

Fitness watches like Fitbit or MiBand are tiny accessories that will count your steps, calories burnt and will serve as an excellent motivator to move – or to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Find a physical activity that you enjoy

Even if you are not that fond of doing sports, you can definitely find an activity that you’d do with pleasure. Think about what you’d like – from taking up Nordic walking to pilates or even exercising at home.

Try intermittent fasting

This is an alternating cycles of fasting and eating. For example, stop eating at 8 pm and restart not sooner than 12 hours later. This approach has been proven to have numerous health benefits, in addition to weight loss.

Skip cabs or driving to work and opt for cycling or walking instead

You’ll burn calories, breathe some fresh air, and save money – win-win!

3. Put a Cap on Your Daily To-Do List

In today’s busy world, planning your day in a stress-free way is actually an art in itself. It’s natural to want to be a loving parent, a diligent employee, an active member of the local community and probably several other individual roles.

But playing all these roles requires energy and meticulous planning. How not to lose yourself amidst all the appointments and responsibilities? And – most importantly – how to still find time for relaxing and recharging yourself?

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These daily planning tips will help you have more stress-free days:

Leave bigger intervals between meetings

If you schedule too many appointments or chores in a day, you’ll probably end up late at some point, and as a result – more stressed. There are many different reasons why people are late, but poor planning is a major factor too.

Plan time to relax

As weird as it may sound, you should try and schedule your resting time. For example, if you only have one free evening this week, and a friend tries to squeeze in a meeting, feel free to say no. Don’t feel obliged to specify the reason for your refusal, just say that you are busy.

Try to be a little pessimistic

We’re often packed with plans or running late for errands because we tend to be overly optimistic – about the traffic, the time it takes to do things, etc. Instead, try an opposite tactic — assume you’ll hit traffic or the meeting will take longer.

Try waking up earlier

Sometimes even waking up 30 minutes earlier can give you the much-needed head start for several errands of the day. But remember to get enough sleep every night, even if it means going to bed earlier.

Plan your day the day before

Chances are your day will be much better organized if you pack a lunch and lay out an outfit before going to bed.

Designate a time for checking emails and social messages

If you start checking your messages between appointments, you risk getting lost in a sea of messages that need replies. Designate a time for this activity or do it in case you arrived early to a meeting.

4. Let Go of Unhealthy and Time-Consuming Habits

If there’s one thing we should get rid of in the new year, it’s the habits that steal our time, provide instant gratification but don’t offer any value in the long term. Or even worse, leave a negative impact on our health.

Here are some common (and pointless) habits along with tips on how to get rid of them:

Binge-watching TV series

Even if most online television platforms offer you lists of “Best TV Shows to Binge Watch”, being addicted to series is a major time-waster.

You can manage this addiction in several ways, for example, watch one episode per day (or a few per week) as a reward, only after you’ve finished an assignment or done a house chore. Or try replacing this habit with exercise or reading a book – this will be hard at first but should stick after a few weeks. You can also try to track how much time you spend on TV or movies – seeing how much of your life you are wasting might urge you to do something about it.

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Running on coffee

Being a coffee addict is kind of a stylish addiction nowadays, but it’s not that innocent as it may initially seem. Besides addiction being a problem in itself, drinking too much coffee (more than 500-600 mg of caffeine a day) may lead to nervousness, insomnia, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat, and even muscle tremors.[2]

As a solution, try switching to tea or edible coffee – a more sustainable, healthy, and productivity-enhancing alternative. For example, Coffee Pixels are solid coffee bars that generate a more even energy kick throughout the day without the coffee-induced abstinence and dehydration.

Procrastination

Fighting procrastination requires some serious willpower. If it is a problem in your daily life or work, try ”eating the frog” in the morning – get over your biggest or hardest tasks first, then tackle everything else.

Alternatively, use time tracking software to monitor exactly how much time you waste on unproductive actions, websites or apps. Once you know exactly how much time you’re spending unproductively, try to limit your time on social media, for example to just 20 minutes per day.

If nothing else works, try bribing yourself — promise yourself to do something fun or pleasant when you finish your assignment.

Whichever habit you want to give up, consider using some habits building tools to make a contract with yourself and reward yourself for milestones achieved.

5. Stop over-consuming

We live in the age of consumerism – huge manufacturers with their promise of a comfortable life on the one hand, and growing environmental threats – that are the direct result of our modern lifestyle – on the other hand. There’s only one solution – try to consume less whenever and wherever you can.

Before making additional purchases, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I really need it? Did I need it yesterday?
  • Can’t I buy it used or borrow it from friends?
  • Can I rent it?
  • Can I make it myself?
  • Am I buying the most sustainable version of this product?

For example, check if the brand you chose is conscious about the environment, for example, are the products they manufacture energy efficient? Do they try to use less packaging?

Also, if you often find yourself buying too many groceries, promise to buy only the amount that fits in one shopping bag (that you bring along). If you often forget to take your shopping bag with you, get yourself a 2-in-1 wallet with a built-in shopping bag for more eco-friendly shopping.

6. Learn to Unplug from Your Phone

Today’s world is crammed with information, and many people struggle to keep focus on what’s truly important. There’s just too much going on in the world – too much to read, to watch, to know, too many conversations to participate in.

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But how to refuse the temptation to check the phone and start using social media in a controlled, not a compulsive way?

Some tips for managing your phone-dependency:

Spend only a limited amount of battery per day

For example, start your day with 50% battery life, and manage your phone usage so that you’ll make it till the evening.

Block distracting apps and notifications on your phone and computer

Choose one-hour, two-hour or longer blocking sessions and enjoy the positive impact this will have on your mood and productivity.[3]

Set your phone on flight mode

When you start doing an important task that requires full focus, set your phone on flight mode so that nobody can disturb you.

Leave your phone at home or in the office when you go for lunch

You’ll see that the feeling of being unreachable for a moment is actually very liberating.

The Bottom Line

As a new year begins, we’re all excitedly looking forward to what adventures await ahead of us.

But this year, promise yourself this:

Instead of having a never-ending list of tasks and commitments, focus on the truly meaningful ones. And cross-out all the rest without feeling guilty.

Less is more. Make this year count. We’re all rooting for you.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via unsplash.com

Reference

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