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Seven Steps of De-Stressing

Natalie Goldberg suggests that stress is an ignorant state because it assumes everything is an emergency. Though many demands are made on your time do not compound stress by giving it more importance than it rightly deserves.

State it. Name it and claim it. Name it and calm it. Make a list of all your to-dos from the major to the minor. Naming them is what is important. Whatever is named can be tamed. Once you see it in black and white, the paper recalls it for you and your energy is devoted to accomplishing the task, not to remembering all the things you would be stressed over if you forgot!

Sort it. After making your list, sort it into segments. Determine what is immediate and long-term. Decide which things can be done quickly and marked off and which ones need additional steps. Establish what needs extra resources or to be outsourced. Give up multi-tasking and concentrate on the job at hand.

Start it. You begin by beginning. Overcome the law of inertia by putting yourself into action. Stop procrastinating and get busy! Pick up the phone. File the folder. Do not rationalize, justify or excusify. Just do it!

Heaven never helps the person who will not act. Sophocles

Split it. What can be started now and followed up later. What can be eliminated? What is busy work rather than business? How can you simplify? Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time spaced over days with intervals for digestion and elimination. Go back to your to-dos and determine short and long term deadlines as needed.

Staff it. What can be delegated? Whose job are you micro-managing? A mark of a leader - whether CEO, MOM or DAD - is to share responsibilities with other members of the team. Caution: Delegating does not mean dumping. Delegating involves training and accountability. Trying to be the solution, strength and savior compounds stress.

Stop it. Stop procrastinating. Stop exaggerating – you do not have a million things to do!
Stop devaluing co-workers. Stop the perfection; go for excellence and learn and grow. Stop the madness; rush less and rest more. Stop saying, “Yes” to more than you can easily handle.

Savor it. Looked at things accomplished and appreciate your efforts.

DON’T COPE, OVERCOME Soften it with a smile. I am not sure if the delay of this e-letter is from busy-ness or procrastination, but I am considering this your August issue even if it is September 10th. Your attitude determines your behavior. By handling life in a serious, yet lighthearted manner, stress is relegated to its proper place of reserve for responding to real emergencies

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