Why do I thrive in chaos? For me, my day is not complete without some sort of conflict resolution or crisis management situation. It’s my forte and a typical work day feels mediocre at best without it. I also love to work (who even says things like that?!). I thought I would fill my evenings (now that I am done with summer classes) with so many fun activities and new found hobbies… and what do I do? work at home lol. I really do enjoy the feeling of being productive and accomplishing things for the greater good though – it’s a curse and a blessing I guess?
Regardless of how fulfilled I feel, having a love hate relationship with your job comes at a price – stress management. Without it, all your efforts of improving your everyday functioning might as well fly out the window. If you’ve been here for a while, you know I recently summed up my 2018 goals into a single word – present. I have found throughout the year as I take one step forward in a specific aspect of my life, I take about five steps back in a different department. For example… well, this situation right here.
What I’ve found is that living a high-stress life aka working all the dang time or always being “on call” (which is my favorite things to do when being accessible to the people directly under me), is that your entire well-being becomes at risk. Stress wrecks havoc on your emotional and physical health by clouding your ability to think clearly, function effectively and live an enjoyable life. The ultimate goal with stress management is to be happier, healthier and more productive through a balanced life of work, relationships, relaxation and fun while also staying resilient to pressure and meeting challenges head on – sounds easy right?
Like I just mentioned, this is so so so hard for me. One of my favorite leadership methods is accessibility. I love for the people that work under or with me to have 24 hour access to me as a reference or resource. But, I’m about to play devil’s advocate here. Being continuously “on call” means inability to switch off. Also, you’re constantly distracted and pick up anti-social behaviors. Set boundaries in your work environment like, no work related contact after five unless it’s an emergency. You can also set personal boundaries like not checking emails until you get to work in the morning or no phones at dinner.
Okay, I feel like I am talking to addicts here (myself included haha) when I say that it’s not going to happen over night. Reading this measly blog post one time will not stop you from sneaking your work computer home or “accidentally” opening emails before bed – so limit yourself instead. Don’t go cold turkey, but maybe start out cutting out weekends… no work on weekends. Then maybe go to three days a week, and so on.
Learn to Say No
This is number three of things I struggle with because I say yes to everything – second jobs, volunteer work, running errands, etc. Anyway I can help or support the people around me, I do. I guess it sounds like a good thing, but what happens is I end up doing so much for other people that I have no time to do my initial or most important tasks for myself. Learning to say no to things has been difficult, but the benefits of prioritizing you pays off.
When you prioritize everything, everything becomes urgent. I know, you’ve heard this before in my posts, but it’s honestly because I always have to remind myself. I used to make lists of twenty plus things to do that were all “important” and I would really cause so much anxiety for myself because I never had enough hours in the day to finish it all. From this, I started doing the 7 rule method. Only seven things can be the most important – you cannot do anything else until these seven things are complete and then you can do whatever after that. It also helps because it forces you to spread your priorities out throughout your week.
Balance a Healthy Lifestyle
In addition to prioritizing tasks, you need to prioritize yourself. If you are like me and love to work, you probably also love to work well. Without a well balanced lifestyle aka eating healthy, reducing caffeine and sugar, exercising, getting enough sleep and making time for some fun, you might as well flush productivity down the toilet. Even if your ultimate love is your job, reframe your mindset to accomplishing a balanced lifestyle in order to do your best work.
That’s it, stress management for the workaholics! If you have any stress management tips when all you do is run around or if you just liked this post, I’d love to hear from you! Have a great weekend, and I’ll see ya next week!
Be confidently you,