Feel like you just don’t have enough time to get everything done? That’s not surprising. A national poll indicates that 8 out of 10 Americans have the same stressed-out feeling. But you’ll be a lot more relaxed if you follow these tips:
Set A Daily Goal. Determine exactly what you want to achieve and then ask yourself which tasks are most important. For example, is it paying bills? Doing laundry? Setting up some doctors’ appointments You decide, but don’t make your list overwhelming. What you can’t get done today, you can do tomorrow.
Say “No” Occasionally. When planning your schedule, don’t over-commit yourself. That’s one sure way to get stressed out. Remind yourself there’s a limit to what you can do. Use your goals and priorities to ensure you have enough time for the things you want to do.
Allow For The Unexpected.Things come up, and your schedule must be flexible enough to handle changes without causing additional stress. Don’t schedule several appointments in one day – the doctor, the dishwasher-repair guy, dinner with friends – if it’s going to make you crazy. And it will.
Delegate. If you feel overwhelmed, ask for help. You’d be surprised how many family members and friends are willing to pitch in!
Review Your Goals.If you let tasks float around without being formally added to your schedule, odds are they won’t get done until the situation is dire.
Choose The Right Time.Some of us lag in late afternoon, while others are really perky in the evening or bright stars in the morning. If you need to concentrate on a task, plan to do it during your most alert and energetic time and save rote chores for other times of day.
Stop Procrastinating – Now!Try not to delay tasks that you perceive as less desirable.The peace of mind you’ll get from completing what’s less fun will help reduce stress and will also help you move on to more enjoyable tasks.
Minimize Distractions.You know what they are: email, instant messaging, phone calls, the internet, television, etc. If you crave some kind of distraction, try putting on soothing background music or chew gum. Both these methods have been proven to aid in concentration!
Take Mini-Breaks.If you plod through your tasks without a single break, odds are you’ll burn out even faster, and it will take longer to complete each chore. Just a five-minute break can be effective. Get a glass of water, and stretch a bit before returning to your task. If you’re still feeling low, take a brief walk outside as part of one of your mini-break.
Watch What You Eat And Drink.Avoid heavy meals, alcohol, and sweet snacks – all of which can drain your energy and put you on edge.
Robin Westen is ThirdAge’s medical reporter. Check for her daily updates. Her newest book, co-authored with Dr. Alyssa Dweck, is “V Is For Vagina.”