How To Reduce Stress – A 2-Week Day-By-Day Guide And Why We Created It
Feeling stressed? You’re not alone.
Most of us deal with stress every day – juggling multiple to do’s, packed schedule, energy resources maxed out.
Stress is a part of modern life and it’s difficult to fully eliminate it.
As entrepreneurs struggling to build a company from scratch we’re very familiar with the stress demons.
We’ve noticed that stress management advice usually boils down to some form of “Just relax”. This is good advice, but we all know how difficult it is to put into practice.
“stress management advice usually boils down to some form of “Just relax”. This is good advice, but we all know how difficult it is to put into practice”
So we created what we lacked: a step-by-step stress management guide.
We looked into the research and literature, but more importantly – we interviewed 20+ people who are successfully managing stress on a daily basis, have experienced immense stress and learned to cope with it, or have been through burnout and bounced back.
The “2-Week Stress Relief Action Pack” was born – small, concrete actions to try every day to help you reduce and manage stress.
1 | TAKE DEDICATED THINKING TIME
Our modern world has us hooked on being stimulated every second of every day. Not only do we fill every work hour with meetings or laptops, we also do it in our free time: we flip channels, instantly pick up our phone when we’re alone, have the TV or radio on in the background, etc.
But taking more time for simple thinking can be a real stimulus – research shows how ‘non-doing’ is the birthplace of creativity and quality thinking.
So make thinking time a priority and try one of these today:
+ Close your laptop, put away your phone and pick up a pen and paper to plan your next tasks
+ Sit down with a cup of tea in front of the window, look out and try to clear your mind
+ Take a break and go out for a walk before you return to work
+ Book an hour of “Thinking Time” in your calendar for this week
“When I get stressed I tend to go into execution mode. But when you do that, your quality of thinking declines dramatically. So my micro-action was to book one hour of dedicated thinking time each week – it improved my productivity and eased the stress when I knew I had thought things through properly.”
2 | NOTE DOWN THE GOOD
Our brain has a tendency to remember the unfinished and negative over the done and positive. When we’re stressed this tendency is highlighted and we easily over-focus on the negative. We only notice the bad things that happen to us. We get feedback and we immediately forget the good and focus on the ‘improvement opportunities’.
Try this today: take a bit of time to note down something good. It could be:
+ A task you finished or made progress on
+ A kind word from someone you respect
+ A positive piece of feedback
+ Something you are grateful for
+ One thing that works, not only the things that need fixing
When you notice yourself slipping into negative thought patterns you can go back to your notes and break the negative cycle by seeing all the good in your life!
3 | WHAT'S TRULY IMPORTANT?
What’s truly important right now?
When we’re stressed we have a tendency to get stuck on the details and try to do more more more.
Productivity experts, however, highlight the importance of being effective above being efficient.
Being efficient = doing more
Being effective = doing more of the important things
Try this today: take a step back and ask yourself – what’s truly important right now?
+ You may notice that of your five projects, only one is truly critical
+ Getting something out at 80% quality may be more important than honing it to perfection
+ More important than the perfect presentation may be to simply call your customer and ask a question
+ Or you may notice that nurturing a relationship is more important than any work related task right now
To get all 14 actions, go to YOU-app!
Why so many actions? Because everyone we interviewed said they had to try lots of different things before they found what worked for them. Persistence pays off.