Ahhh, the smell of pumpkin spice and stress is in the air, our favorite season.
The end of the year is right around the corner which always means fun celebrations paired with a lingering fear that your list of deliverables won’t get done before next year. Queen and David Bowie certainly made being “Under Pressure” look a lot more fun.
So we thought we’d alleviate some stress by sharing some tips for you to manage your stress by being proactive, counteractive, radioactive… well, you get the idea.
Ease your expectations
First, it’s important to recognize you’re not superhuman. I know. It’s hard to admit. But, odds are, reality has proven that you won’t get everything on your list done. And that’s okay. We often have incredibly high expectations for what we think we can accomplish during this time of the year. But it is important to remember that a realistic goal – while not as sexy as a dream goal – has its time and place too. That doesn’t mean you have to drop your enthusiasm; just give yourself a mini reality check.
Make the wait great
We’ve all been standing in line at the supermarket, or yelling… er… I mean patiently waiting for a traffic jam to subside. Which gives you the perfect opportunity to plan out your strategy for the day. So instead of yelling at someone to merge faster, take a second. Reset. Reflect on your priorities. This too shall pass.
“I’ll get around to that” …. often turns into “Well, it’s January and that never happened.” pretty quickly. This means you need to start making an action plan now if you haven’t done so already. Try breaking each task you need to complete down into monthly or weekly deliverables so you can keep track of your progress. And if you are really planning on getting all of your tasks done – find someone to hold you accountable.
Chunk it into bits
We talked a couple of weeks ago about how to overcome analysis paralysis and one thing we know is that jumping into nearly 6 months of postponed work is not the way to avoid it. Usually, the biggest problem is simply the size of what you have to accomplish – whether it is finishing up work projects, getting all of your holiday presents ready in advance, or cleaning your entire house for company. Sometimes just viewing these massive lists can be overwhelming. If possible, break those large projects into smaller ones. Sometimes you only have 30 minutes here or there and you think you can’t get your big project done then. Which is true – you can’t. But, if you can break it into parts, you might get some of the smaller parts done during those shorter time periods. That can still help you feel a sense of accomplishment, and make you feel less overwhelmed.
Schedule time for yourself
This is really not the time to ignore your own health and well-being. Scrambling to get everything done and doing it all is not a badge of honor you should wear. Be sure to take time for yourself and if you’re one of those people that doesn’t do that, add it to your schedule! If you love going on walks to clear your head, add it to your calendar and treat it like a meeting with a client. Your time is for you to manage, so if you can, squeeze in some time for yourself.
End this year on a high note by following these steps and making sure to be intentional with your time. Because we certainly don’t want to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas shuffling through papers and I’m sure you don’t either– unless you’re into that.
Check out our fun little social media post for National Stress Awareness Day too!