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What To Do As You Get More Stressful When Chasing Your Dreams

What To Do As You Get More Stressful When Chasing Your Dreams

Chasing your dreams can be liberating, and so much fun — then there’s the downside. Things start to go wrong, and it’s not working out the way you planned. Heck, it’s not working out at all (or so it seems), and this is leading you to become more and more stressed out as the days and weeks pass. You might be asking yourself, “Will I ever get there?” Or, “Is it even worth it?” Fear not, because by reading the rest of this article, you’ll learn seven ways to cope with stress when chasing your dreams.

1. Coaching

Find a coach who can push you through these stressful times. You may not be able to see past any barriers, but your coach can and will challenge you to move forward when you’re stuck. Coaching makes you accountable for your actions; your coach will ask you question that matter, and that will make you see a different perspective. A coach be your guide to achieving those dreams.

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2. Reset yourself and get some sleep

Chasing your dreams often means burning the candle at both ends with late nights and early mornings, leading you to become stressed out and unproductive. It’s important that you take time to reset yourself with a good sleep routine, which will allow you to be successful while getting things done.

3. Talk about your feelings with those closest to you

If you have close friends or family members, meet with them and share your burdens. Make sure you talk to someone who is going to listen — you don’t want to feel worse after trying to share your feelings with someone who isn’t paying attention. Discussing your feelings with others can take a weight off your shoulders, and the other person may even give you some practical advice from a new perspective.

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4. Admit what you can’t handle

Are you doing too much and can’t handle it? Maybe you need to admit it. Try asking someone else to give you some help temporarily until you get back on track. I did this once — just delegated work to some of my family members. And they were happy to help! You may need to abandon some of what you are doing if you aren’t getting any positive results, and focus on what is working for you right now.

5. Step back and take a break to clear your head

Re-evaluate your values, passions, and goals. As we evolve and grow, everything changes. Take a detailed look at what has changed for you, and see if you need to take a new direction in chasing your dreams. To do this, why not take a holiday or just do nothing for a while to give yourself some head space? Go have some fun.

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6. Review current life circumstances

Have you recently relocated, and have to deal with that as well as focus on your work? Maybe you’re struggling with family issues or illness? Or have you lost the meaning of life all together? Heck, maybe all of ’em! These situations can most certainly get you worried and stressed out, but they are temporary. Deal with what you can by being in the moment, doing the most you can to make things better. Take things one step at a time.

The storm will pass.

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7. Remember WHY you started

What made you decide to chase your dreams in the first place? Was it money, fame, success or something more — something meaningful that matters to you and only you? What is your WHY? What will you do when you have the money or success? Your “why” will get you through this; your “why” has the power to keep you motivated. When you get stressed out chasing your dreams, always remember WHY you are on the journey, and that the journey comes with ups and downs. So when it all comes crashing down, remember why you started in the first place. Your dreams are worth it.

Now it’s your turn: Do you have any ideas to add that will help someone overcome stress and keep on track chasing their dreams? Share them in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: Allan Foster via flickr.com

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Diana Reid

CEO - Moxie House Ltd

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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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