If You Are Stressed, How Do You Change the Time Management Way?

change little by little

If you’re stressed, how do you change?

There are as many ways as there are people.  No one way is right for everyone.

However, there is one consistent truth:  changing from stressed to a de-stressed life can only be done incrementally – there is no “QUICK FIX” – been there – done that – it doesn’t work!  It took a long time to build up to this acute stress level and it will takes time to unravel these adopted behaviors and thoughts.

And using multiple methods at once will only add to the current stress – it’s better to pick 1, 2 or maximum 3 things to help you and stick with it.

What any of these methods will do for you is to remain conscious of your stress, monitor it and make the changes to your life which will reduce that stress.

Here are a few strategies.  Try them all – one at a time.  It’s the best way to know which one works best for you – the key here in terms of managing your time – don’t try them all at once – try one at a time – but being stressed, you probably want to do them all – NOW – you want a fix now – it won’t happen – and what the result will be even more stress than is currently in place!

My experience with acute stress has taught me that adding more stress is not the answer but learning to de-stress one step at a time IS – I promise.  And, yes, your natural tendency will be to go for the “stress” – but less and less as eventually we all learn that the rewards are much greater than the “buzz” we get from the adrenaline rush!  With every rush, there is a downside – controlling stress levels lessens the impact of any stressor on the mind, body and soul.

Journal – It’s a method that, at first, I thought was silly – imagine talking to yourself and writing it down!  It worked!  It took a little getting used to but I love books and love the feel of a great cover so I bought myself the most luxurious journal I could find.   Though I didn’t journal every day, I found that I liked to “talk to myself” before going to bed – it had a calming effect to get my thoughts down on paper.  To this day, I still journal and I love it –

Affirmations – These were actually not difficult and affirmations don’t let you “forget” to work on the stress issue.  I put my affirmations on my Outlook in recurring events and throughout the day, the affirmations pop up.  Yes, you should really write them out and say them outloud – I understand the effectiveness of that process but, when you’re stressed, it’s the kind of thing that “you’ll do later” but later never comes.  So having them appear on my screen regularly during the day helps.

I call it “programming”.  Affirmations such as:  “In every situation, I remain calm and focused”, “Every day, I manage my stress for best results”,  “Every day I exercise in a way which relaxes me”  – you get the idea – create some of your own.  Combine it with visualization – as these affirmations pop up at different times of the day, visualize yourself.  For instance, the first affirmation here – see yourself in the most stressful situation you can imagine and see yourself as calm and focused – feel it – calm and focused.

Delegating – One of the key reasons stress has built up is because of the belief that you “need to do it all – it’s your responsibility”  – it’s not!  The only responsibility you have is to yourself.  Everything else can be delegated.  I hear you now – “Are you nuts?  What about my child?  What about my pet?  I have to take care of them”.  This is a typical knee jerk reaction! Get real!

Think about it – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year you are telling me that you are totally responsible for someone or something else and that no one else can take care of their needs other than you?  Does that sound sane?  Of course not.  What if you get sick?  What would happen then?

Delegating is not abdicating – it’s getting someone else to do something which they can be do equally well or better – okay, maybe not at first, but with the right teaching and practice, they will.

How can you delegate? First, with teaching someone how.  Then, asking them to repeat the instructions to you or watching them do it, correcting anything they didn’t understand.  Lastly, let them do it – their way!

If your child is five or six, they can clean their room – make their bed, put clothes away, set the table, remove dirty dishes from the table – lots and lots of little things.  It helps them learn skills they will utilize their whole lives.  And you’re building self-sufficiency and pride in their that is priceless.

As far as your pet is concerned, a dog walker can walk your dog during the day or your child can change the kitty litter.

There are a ton of ways a person can delegate both at home and at work and even for personal necessities – think about it – I do believe you’ll love the results!  And everyone else in your life will feel better too – they’ll eventually be able to enjoy your company and you, theirs and they’ll enjoy the new, more relaxed you who is not constantly rushing off to do more work you brought home from the office or put the dishes away or cut the grass.

Tomorrow, I’ll outline a few more methods I’ve tried – but if any of these appeal to you, start today.

The easiest one, of course, is creating two or three affirmations and putting them in your Outlook to have them appear in your reminder box throughout the day. (Calendar, New, Type affirmation in subject line, click on recurring on the toolbar and set it to appear daily at whatever time you wish, save).  With affirmations, it seems odd to read the same thing every day and several times during the day but remember how you learned your multiplication – you memorized them by repeating them over and over and over again until you knew them on command.

Lorraine Arams
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