Stress to Success in Five Easy Steps

Word definition successfulWe’ve all heard the phrase “Work to live; don’t live to work,” right? Well, we often forget this simple way of life and begin to let our workload bog us down, stress us out and maybe even create chronic anxiety. Who wants this? The answer: no one. So, let’s take five by reading our five, favorite tips on relaxing, rethinking and perhaps re-evaluating a few professional (and personal) habits, so you can get back on a healthy track to success.

1. Take care of You

It’s simple. If you take care of your body (both inside and out), you’ll begin to notice an energy boost in your work performance.

Liberty Mutual’s The Responsibility Project contributor Paul Keegan talks about managing energy through proper self-maintenance with sports psychologist Jim Loehr. Loehr, founder of the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Florida, says, “On the physical side, it means getting seven to eight hours of sleep, eating a small meal or snack every three to four hours, drinking enough water, moving every 90 minutes, and exercising regularly to increase the oxygen transport to cells.”

2. Write it Down

Where does the time go? Find out by keeping a log with each task you complete. Looking back, you’ll be amazed at what you’ve accomplished!

Small Business Influencer Award winner Susan Ward weighs in on About.com’s 11 Time Management Tips Part 1: Coming To Grips With The Time Management Myth.

“Many of us are prey to time-wasters that steal time we could be using much more productively. What are your time-bandits? Do you spend too much time Internet surfing, reading email or making personal calls? Tracking Daily Activities explains how to track your activities so you can form an accurate picture of what you actually do, the first step to effective time management.”

3. Plan Ahead

Are you drowning in a sea of daily tasks that never seem to end? First thing in the morning, get organized, devise a plan and stick to it. Soon, your mound of overwhelming tasks will slowly dissolve.

Forbes staff writer Jacquelyn Smith writes about the importance of “starting each day with a clean slate” and making sure “your workspace is organized” in her article: 14 Things You Should Do at the Start of Every Work Day.

Michael Kerr, career and workplace expert, explains the importance of planning:  “The first hour of the work day is the best time to assess priorities and to focus on what you absolutely need to accomplish,” says Kerr. “Too many people get distracted first thing in the morning with unimportant activities, such as diving right into their morass of emails, when there may be a whole host of more important issues that need dealing with.

4. KISS

Is your “to-do” list longer than the federal tax code? It doesn’t have to be if you follow this easy principle: Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS).

While many of our to-dos last for days, numerous experts suggest limiting the items you list each day. Where’s the Map’s co-founders, Beth and James Hood, suggest listing only six and moving the leftovers to the top of tomorrow’s tasks, until they’re all complete.

5. Avoid Multitasking

Do you find yourself working on more than one project at a time?  Give it up (for your health’s sake)!

According to entrepreneur Dr. Rob Rawson, “…Multitasking is bad for you. Too much multitasking can lead to a loss of concentration, stress and plenty of other side effects of simply not getting enough done. But does it affect your physical health? A new study suggests that multitasking might be linked to excessive weight gain.”

Try one or all five of these simple, stress-freeing suggestions and start working your way to success! Have a few of your own you’d like to share? We’d love to hear your strategies on how you stay focused to Do Big Things.

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