Spring is officially here, whether or not the weather catches up is a different story. But as we begin to shift our mindset to a new season it sometimes seems we’re also opening the door to a new schedule, a new set of to-do lists, and unfortunately, a new level of stress. But the work isn’t going to go away, and time isn’t going to be added to our day, so how can we de-stress while keeping the focus? We have three tips:
Exercise: We all know the benefits of exercise: increased physical activity stimulates blood flow and brain chemicals that leave us feeling happier and more relaxed. If you’re feeling too stressed to focus, take a step away from your work, take a deep breath, and do something active for a while. And…if you’re willing, leave the iPod and TV turned off! You can use the quiet time you’re active to refocus your mind and organize the remaining tasks you need to accomplish. Make a mental to-do list while working out and afterwards, the extra boost of energy you’ll get from exercising will help you zip through your list!
Prioritize: Sometimes we feel stressed in one area of our life when it’s actually another area that’s creating the stress. For example, if you’re staring at your list of work to-dos but feel completely overwhelmed because, meanwhile at home, you have to: pay the bills, empty the dishwasher, sign the kids up for sports, walk the dog, grocery shop, etc. etc. etc. Then stop and prioritize! Some days those personal to-do lists are definitely at the bottom of the barrel, other times they’re at the top. When you find them nearly flowing over it’s time to take care of them. Take a few minutes to tackle those pesky chores and you’ll be able to come back to your work tasks with a better attitude and more focus.
Modernize: We all know that change is inevitable. But we don’t always embrace it, do we? Depending on what is at the core of your stress, you many need to change your ways and modernize your process. If your daily list of 1,089 things to do is too overwhelming to tackle alone, consider hiring a personal assistant. You can divide and conquer! Maybe you feel like your work is jostling around from one platform to another: you’re checking emails in Outlook, making calendar appointments in Cozi, tracking to-dos in Excel, while saving marketing pieces on your desktop. You’re bouncing around so much you’re not efficient, you’re getting distracted, and certainly frustrated. Just calm down and find an app for that! Evernote and Trello are just two programs that integrate a number of handy tools into one platform so you can stop jumping around and actually get some work done! Remember, just because you’ve always done something one way doesn’t mean there’s not another way.
Now that you’ve found a few ways to de-stress and re-focus, you can tackle the to-do list and still find time to enjoy the spring season…just as soon as Mother Nature catches up that is!