Ask busy professional women about what she most desires, and a lot will wish to reduce stress.
If you feel like you’re living on the proverbial hamster wheel, it’s time to make small changes to your day to reduce stress and save your sanity. Our tips will help you thrive instead of just get by.
1. Multitask in your personal life
Busy professionals are the rock stars of multitasking. But, multitasking for work is very different from multitasking for yourself. In fact, multitasking may be the wrong word to use. According to Entrepreneur, your brain time-shares rather than multitasks since it is only able to focus on a single task at a time. You must learn how to divvy up your time equally and effectively among tasks. How is this accomplished? Create a to-do list categorized into similar tasks so that your brain doesn’t have to totally change gears. Be sure to always keep your list visible so that you don’t feel that rush of accomplishment, only to realize you have more to do. If you start feeling overwhelmed, remember it’s okay to take a step back and get re-focused. In the future, saying “no” is an option too to avoid getting burnt out.
2. Use Your Lunch Hour to Reduce Stress and Refocus
Unfortunately, Americans take only a portion of their lunch break to eat, or they skip lunch altogether. According to the New York Post, one survey found that 50 percent of workers take 30 minutes or fewer on their lunch hour and that 29 percent work through lunch. Some of the best ways to reclaim your lunchtime include leaving the office to have lunch with a friend or exercising outside with a co-worker or friend. To maximize the benefits of getting out of the office, meet a friend outside to eat for 30 minutes and spend the other 30 minutes walking, meditating, or doing yoga. Physical activity gives you the true breaks you need from work to get refreshed and boost your brain function and mood to help you be more productive and have less stress.
3. Prioritize Tasks
Implementing time management practices is another excellent way to reduce stress on a daily basis. For example, create a checklist for work and home. Arming yourself with a checklist helps you focus and reduces the amount of time you waste on email and social media or chatting with co-workers. Be sure to organize your checklist from most to least pressing tasks and consider allotting yourself enough time for each one. By prioritizing, you will not only feel less stressed, but may find that you are better able to concentrate because you’ll know you’re giving your attention to the most important task on your to do list.
If you’re a visual person, put the checklist on your laptop or tablet or on your desk so you can mark off completed tasks, feel a sense of accomplishment, and know where you stand with your day. If you prefer to use technology, create a note or list on your smartphone; or download one of the many checklist apps.
Stress levels also climb when you feel like you have to do everything right now. One tip is to follow the two-minute and 10-minute rule, as described by Kyle Brost. If you have a task that will take fewer than two minutes, do it immediately so that you don’t face the stress of having too many incomplete tasks. However, if you have a task that requires more time, use the 10-minute rule. Commit to working on the task for 10 minutes. When the time is up, permit yourself to stop and move on to something else to keep chipping away at your to-do list.
High levels of stress prevent you from being productive and thriving. Do yourself a favor and multitask for yourself. Then, use your lunch hour to refocus and reduce stress. It’s also helpful to prioritize tasks and manage your time wisely.
Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison. Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book. Visit her site at juliemorris.org