1. Retrain your self-talk
Remove selfishness from your vocabulary and replace it with self-care. In order for you to take care of the people you love, you need to take care of yourself first. Friends, family, loved ones look to you as a model, make sure to model self-care, taking time to play, relax, and read. This is especially important for parents; this will give your children the confidence to have the same healthy behaviours.
2. Give yourself time for delays and unexpected events
When mapping out your day add an extra hour cushion to your schedule. This extra time will keep you stress free and running on time if some of your appointments are delayed, or if you run into someone you have not seen in a while, so you can enjoy a spontaneous conversation without the guilt of running behind schedule.
3. Balance out your commitments
A great way to cut down on a hectic schedule is to balance out all new activities by removing an old activity. Do not add anything new – work, classes, volunteer activities, etc – unless you first remove something from your schedule to balance it out. This will help you to let go of projects and time-wasters that no longer serve you.
4. NO is not a bad word
In fact, it is not only a complete sentence, it is a great stress-reducing word. There is no need to justify or explain when you say no to someone’s request. Just give them a friendly smile, thank them for including you, and tell them you cannot do it this time. If you are having trouble getting used to saying no right away, tell the person you need some time to think about it, then call them later and decline to be involved this time.
5. Maximise your commute and errands
If you have errands to run for business or home, combine them to one trip. Make doctor’s appointments for yourself or your family members back-to-back, and see if you can get appointments first thing in the morning before the doctor is running behind. Order your business supplies online to save time, most business supply websites can store your most frequently ordered purchases in a file so all you have to do is select the item you want and have it delivered with just one click.
6. Improve your home environment one room at a time
Even if you have the budget for a complete makeover, remodelling and redecorating can be very time-consuming and stressful projects. Try working on just one room at a time. Pick a few rooms in your house that you enjoy the most and spend most of your time in when you are home. Select your favourite and create an environment that is pleasing to the eye and gives you comfort and positive energy. This will give you a haven in your home, and the encouragement to tackle another room when you are ready.
7. Be spontaneous
It is a very exhilarating feeling that gives you a real sense of freedom. Make sure to leave time in your life every week to be spontaneous. Cutting things out of your life that are time-zappers and stressful will also give you the energy to be spontaneous. Keep at least two weekends a month free from scheduled activities. Then you can decide to take a short trip, have a date with your partner, a special family event, or kick your feet up and do absolutely nothing and feel wonderful about it.
8. Highlight those time-wasters
Instead of just making up another long to-do list so you can beat yourself up about all the things you did not and could not possibly have accomplished in one day, make a realistic to-do list. Put the things that are most important to you on the top, then next to each item, list the amount of time you think it will take to get it done. This will help you get your important things done and show you where your time-wasters are.
9. Under-promise and over-deliver
This is very useful in business and in your life. By selecting reasonable deadlines, you avoid the stress of crunch time, use your time effectively, and you will be able to finish ahead of schedule, giving you satisfaction for a job well done and turned in early.
10. Define what life and work without stress would look like to you
Describe what your ideal schedule is, what leisure activities you want to do, and who you want to spend time with. By creating a detailed image of what a stress-free schedule looks like, you can begin to take the steps necessary to clearing out the stress.
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