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4 Ways to Quickly Rid Yourself of Too Much Stress

4 Ways to Quickly Rid Yourself of Too Much Stress

We have all had our share of the not so great days where everything seems to go wrong. You miss your morning alarm, get stuck in traffic, forget about that important meeting and get tail ended in the evening. And you think to yourself, could it get any worse?

Little everyday anxieties cause us much more harm than major setbacks in life. The job rejection is forgotten in a few days and the break up in a few months while rush hour traffic and waiting in line at grocery stores is encountered day after day and year after year. There is no escape from the everyday hassles of life, the only thing you can do is learn to de-stress, no matter where you are and not let the little things bother you.

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Here are some instant ways to relax, rejuvenate and get ready to face the world all over again.

  1. Take a Deep Breath

    Under stressful situations we tend to take short breaths making it difficult for our bodies to relax. This in turn reduces are patience level and makes decision making a more challenging task.

    Stuck in traffic and running late? Well there’s only so much you can do even if you decide to become that crazy driver trying to switch lanes with bumper to bumper traffic. Try something different for a change: take a few deep breaths like you would in a yoga class, the “breatheeee innn, breatheeee outtt” kinds.

    Though this will not help you get to your destination any quicker, it will for a moment empty your brain of the million thoughts running through it and calm your mind. The more stressed you are, the faster you age. Do you really want rush hour traffic to be the dominant cause of you looking older?

  2. Music

    Remember the time when you were having a bad day and suddenly the radio played your favourite song? Instantly every cell in your body was happy, the worries of the world were lost and nothing else mattered at that moment. You were happy  and refreshed even after a very long day and excited all over again. Hope was in the air, love for the radio jockey and people around you wondered what made you smile.

    The right kind of music can do wonders to your mood, from filling your heart with joy to reminding you of a heart ache, instantly you enter a different world filled with strong emotions and memories. If there’s so much potential in music, why not use it to your advantage? Feeling low? Put on your favourite music and your tapping shoes and take a break from the worries of the world. Waiting in traffic won’t seem as bad as you groove to your favourite beat and the long lines up not as long when you are lost in long forgotten memories.

  3. Exercise

    Though this may not sound like the most alluring option, its benefits are incomparable. Not only does your body get the well needed workout, the anger and frustration is taken out on the treadmill instead. The mind is now relaxed and the body too tired to cause anyone any harm. Either you’ve solved the cause of your stress while you were panting for breath or you’ve drained out the extra energy in you to worry any further. Most of our little worries disappear over night and we start the new day wondering why it bugged us in the first place.

  4. Connect with Nature and just ‘Be’

    Not only is this a great stress reliever, it is also a good way to convert negative energy into something constructive. Get back to an old hobby or try something new. Learn to paint or try new dance moves instead. This will keep your mind focused on things you enjoy and your body active.

When you’re having too much fun in life, the little things don’t bug you as much. It will be much easier to ignore the not-so-cordial co-worker or the rude cashier. Maybe they were having a bad day, why let their day affect yours?

(Photo credit: Stress via Shutterstock)

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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