Stress is a part of everyone’s life. Despite the articles, it is not something that you can cut off completely and you wouldn’t want to. Some stressors can actually be a good thing. Stress can motivate you to complete a task quicker, or help you focus on what is important. It is not the stress itself that you have to worry about, but how you deal with the stress that will determine its effect on you. I tend to be more productive in healthy stressful situations.
Have you ever stopped to think about which stressors you are creating for yourself?
My morning routine is a crucial first step to me having a productive day. There are habits that I have created that I ensure I make time for. If there is a particular morning where I need to get to work earlier than usual, I won’t compromise my routines but I will set my alarm clock earlier. I have two young kids and I need my breakfast and coffee while reading before they get up. It is probably the only “me” time that I have during the week.
I have a colleague who dreads her mornings. She always feels rushed and informed me that she has to constantly yell at her kids to get ready. She barely makes it out the door in time to get to work. When I suggested that she wake her kids up a little earlier to allow for more time to get ready, she looked at me like I was insane. “I already get up early enough. It would be so stressful to wake up even earlier”. The ironic thing is that by not waking up early, she is already creating a stressor that impacts her morning to a great degree.
Do you have a project that is due in a month? What if you started working on it earlier and left room for the unexpected? How much easier would it be to not procrastinate on important tasks before it becomes urgent and a stressors? What if you realized that no one is perfect and you tried to avoid creating unrealistic expectations? Instead of feeling guilty about saying “no”, be intentional about your commitments and ensure you take on only what will move you towards your goals and priorities the fastest.
Make a conscious decision today to eliminate or reduce those stressors that are becoming a negative factor in your life.
What change do you need to make today to reduce harmful stress that is impacting you?
In my next blog post, I will review steps you can take to eliminate stressors in your life.