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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

Creative Writer

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Last Updated on September 17, 2020

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

There’s nothing quite like a state of “flow” when you’re working. The rare moments when your inspiration aligns with your motivation likely lead to some of your most creative work. Plus, it feels great to actually check a task or project off the list so you can move on to the next thing. Meanwhile, a mental block — its opposite — can cause work to feel laborious and uninspired. Forget creativity when you have a mental block — it makes it difficult even to start working on what you need to do.

A mental block can manifest in several ways. Perhaps your imposter syndrome is squelching your creative ideas, for instance, or you’re overwhelmed by the breadth of a project and its impending deadline. Maybe you’re just tired or stressed.

Either way, having a mental block feels like being trapped in your own head, and it can seriously dampen your ability to think outside the box. The problem is, you’re so locked into your own perspective that you don’t see more innovative approaches to your problems.[1]

Luckily, jumping over these mental hurdles is simpler than you think. You just need the right strategies to get your flow back.

Try these five practical ways to overcome a mental block.

1. Break Your Project Down

A few years ago, I was working on changing a company product that I believed would hugely benefit our customers. Sounds great, right?

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As inspired as I was to make people’s lives easier, though, the sheer magnitude of the task at hand felt overwhelming. Every morning, I cracked open my laptop to work and felt totally paralyzed. I loved the idea, yes, but actualizing it felt risky. What if it didn’t turn out the way I pictured in my mind? More importantly, where would I even begin?

A former colleague gave me great advice over coffee:

Change how you think. Start by breaking the big project down into small tasks.

When a major project overwhelms you, you only see the entire forest instead of the individual trees. And as you stare it down, you start to feel discouraged by your own lack of progress, thus slowing you down further.

Breaking down a massive task into smaller chunks makes the work feel more manageable. You’ll have multiple clear places to start and end with, which will lend a motivating sense of productivity and mastery to your process. Learn more about it here: The Motivation Flowchart: The Mental Process of Successful People

Think of it as accumulating small wins. When you realize you’re more capable than you have once thought, you’ll develop the momentum and confidence needed to get your big job done little by little.[2]

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2. Change Up Your Scenery

Of course, there’s a time and place for sitting down to get things done. But if you’re experiencing a mental block, switching up your surroundings can make a big difference in your output.

Have you ever noticed how your environment directly impacts your performance and mood?

Your brain associates your physical surroundings with certain feelings and activities. So, if you feel mentally stuck, your mind may need some new sensory stimuli.

During this time in your life, it may not be possible to set up shop at a cafe or move from your cubicle to a conference room, so you may need to think outside the box. If you’re working remotely in a home office, try going to your dining table or couch. If the weather cooperates, sit outside for a bit with your computer or take a walk around the block.

You can also simply rearrange your workspace. Not sure where to begin? Try decluttering. Some studies show that an organized desk enhances productivity.[3]

The point is to stimulate your brain with new sounds and sights. You may find a much-needed dose of inspiration when you work while breathing in the fresh air, listening to city sounds, or staying in the comfort of your own living space.

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3. Do an Unrelated Activity

When it comes to productivity, a bit of distraction isn’t always a bad thing. That’s especially true if your chosen distraction helps you get things done in the long run.

Have you realized how your most creative thoughts tend to bubble up when you’re, say, lying in bed or taking a shower? In their research of the “incubation period,” scientists have discovered that people’s best ideas seem to surface when they aren’t actively trying to solve a problem.[4]

In a 2010 study, participants needed to look for a roommate or new employee based on the profiles that the researchers gave. The people who had a brief “incubation period” — in this case, working on an anagram — consistently made better choices than those who spent more time weighing their options.

If you can’t seem to prime your brain for a project, try doing something completely unrelated to work, such as washing your dishes, working out, or calling a friend. Some experts say finding another low-stake project to work on can help jump-start the creative part of your brain and activate your flow.[5]

The key is to allow your unconscious mind to do its best work: eliciting the new knowledge your conscious mind may be ignoring or suppressing.[6]

4. Be Physical

Feeling antsy? When your mind won’t seem to settle into a state of flow, it may help to swap out your mental activity for a physical one and see how it impacts your perspective.

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While any physical activity is beneficial for your body — and getting up to move can serve as a helpful form of distraction — certain forms of exercise can more directly impact the mind. To be specific, relaxing, flow-based exercises like dance, yoga, or tai chi can create a gentle sense of momentum in your body, which can prime your brain for the same state.

Stress-reducing activities may also be necessary. Meditating or taking slow, deep breaths will also calm your nervous system if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Evidence shows that the logical, creative part of your brain essentially shuts off when you’re stressed.[7]

On the flip side, when your mind and body are relaxed, you can think more clearly, be more creative, and focus for longer periods — all of which will help you overcome a mental block.

5. Don’t Force It

It can be frustrating to fight against your own mind. If your mental block won’t go away after some effort, it may be time to take a break. Forcing creative thoughts only adds to your stress levels, which in turn inhibits your ability to think creatively. And if you sit and stare at a project for too long, you’ll not only waste valuable time but also begin to associate this specific work with frustration and produce work you’re not proud of.

“I know that forcing something is not going to create anything beyond mediocre, so I step aside and work on a different project until it hits me,” the artist Ben Skinner said about his creative process.[8]

If your work isn’t time-sensitive, then it may make sense to step away for a while to focus on something else, be it an administrative task that requires less creativity or a project that you feel motivated to work on.

When the time is right, you’ll find your way back to the original task with a fresh, creative perspective (hopefully).

More on Getting Rid of a Mental Block

Featured photo credit: Jonas Leupe via unsplash.com

Reference

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