Removing Stress from My Life and Taking Back Control

Removing Stress from My Life and Taking Back Control

(Wilson Ng) #1

Stress has been a part of my life for a long time. It’s an unhealthy relationship where I haven no control over my life. It’s time for me to figure out what is scaring me and what to do about it.

Being An Airhead

Stress comes from the fear that I am forgetting something. I made a commitment to finish a project by an agreed-upon deadline and I forgot about it until it’s too late. I forgot the movie tickets at the house and I’ve already drive three miles away from the house. I keep forgetting all the tasks that I wanted to do today. I scramble around looking for a pen and paper and try to write down all the things I wanted to do from memory. I hope I remembered everything.

Promises Made, Unmade

Stress comes from breaking my promises to myself, my family, my colleagues, and my friends. I’ve let them all down. I agreed to do something and I didn’t honor the agreement when I said “yes.” I’m just the scatter-brained person who can’t be relied upon.

My Task Manager No Longer Matches Reality

Stress comes from my task manager when I don’t curate it enough. The projects and tasks stored inside the task manager non longer reflects the current state of reality. I can’t trust my task manager because I don’t know what is happening with my projects.

My Calendar Woes

Stress comes from my calendar when I miss appointments and paying a penalty (late library books, disappointed friends who think I snubbed them, or possible business opportunities that slip past me).

My Schedule is Overbooked

Stress comes from my schedule when I overbook my appointments. I don’t have enough buffer time between projects. I didn’t have enough time to move between meetings and prepare for the next presentation.

No Control Over My Agenda

Sometimes I don’t have control over my time. I have the idea of a perfect day and I have to throw it out the window. Emergencies, interruptions, or outside pressure (an emergency job sent by the boss or the wife) suddenly takes precedence.

Action Items: Removing Stress by Regaining Control

Being An Airhead - I capture everything now. If I don’t write it down, I’ll forget it. I no longer get stressed from not remembering if I was supposed to do something or not.

Promises Made, Unmade - I treasure my integrity. Don’t write a check your @$$ can’t cash. I don’t want to let my friends and colleagues down. If something is important, I’ll remember. It goes into my task manager. I process my inboxes and turn promises into next actions or projects inn my task manager.

My Task Manager No Longer Matches Reality - I perform review at the end of each workday. I follow up one projects and tasks, update my task manager, and revise. An event will occur and it changes the next actions for my projects. I update my projects’ next actions to reflect what is happening in real life.

My Schedule Is Overbooked - I make time by spacing out my appointments. I need time in between major meetings to prepare for the next meeting. I make space around my appointments to complete some tasks. I also include downtime to help me recharge throughout the day.

No Control Over My Agenda - Sometimes things won’t go my way. I need to make room for something called life. $#!T happens sometimes. I roll with punches. I contact the people around me who will be affected, explain my current situation, and see if I can renegotiate my promises. Most of the time, the people around you will understand and will accommodate you. If it can’t be renegotiated, that’s life. I’ll try to do the best I can to catch up.

What Do You Do?

I am trying other techniques but I’m not quite comfortable explaining it yet.

One tactic is to try some meditation. Take some time out of my day, take ten deep breaths, and relax. We can’t always be in 5th gear. We need to slow down sometimes. Then we can shift gears back up to speed.

What have you done to take back control of your busy/crazy life?

(Joe Buhlig) #2

This seems to be a default answer for a lot of folks. It’s one of those activities that I feel I should be doing, but when life happens, it’s one of the first to go.

I’d be interested in knowing how this pans out for you.

(Wilson Ng) #3

Nope, still haven’t gotten the mindset for meditation yet… This padawan just isn’t feeling it. I’ve turned more to reflective thinking and journaling for stress relief. I’m sure I’ll get my head wrapped around meditation one of these days. I’m willing to wait.

But the idea that I have control over myself and my mindset keeps me at ease. I can’t fret over all the other stuff that isn’t in my realm of control.

But as long as I am “doing something” about a dilemma that is bothering me, I feel some small sense of control and can take control of my life. I think it’s the sense of impatience that things aren’t getting done as fast I want it to be that gets to me. A court case seems to take forever. I get the anxious feeling that nothing else feels more important than “my stuff.”

Take a deep breath, plan my next move, schedule it, and take action at the appropriate time. A nudge here and there and I’ll get that old engine cranking soon enough.

(Avrum Nadigel) #4

Meditation… every couple of years, my colleagues sing to the heavens about a new (insert pill, behavioural exercise, etc) that will cure an emotional symptom.

Most behavioural mods - exercise, diet, breathing techniques, switching to a new productivity app - will alter a symptom (at least until the honeymoon phase passes). The harder work (but ultimately, most effective) is tackling the source/problem that serves as a catalyst for a symptom. Get a grip on that, and the symptoms resolve on their own.

(Justin DiRose) #5

:100::100::100: yes!!!

There is no pill or meditation that can take away the fear/stress/anxiety that’s caused by a deeper issue. I think that’s why the “new shiny syndrome” is what it is — find something new to try to fix a symptom of a deeper problem.

This is where true reflection comes into play and asking, “why do I want to do that? Why do I fee this way? What can I do to resolve that?”

(Wilson Ng) #6

I was just curious about the magical benefits of meditation. Kinda like being in high school and someone passing a joint… C’mon and try it… Didn’t do anything for me. What was the fuss about?

For now, I’ll sit on it and revisit this in a year. I never know if life changes and I’ll need this after all!

(Avrum Nadigel) #7

Curiosity is good. Let it inform your research and meditation practice (should you commit to the discipline).

I’m friendly with a well known MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) psychologist and professor who is anticipating a backlash due to the hyperbole re: “magical benefits”.

I’ve been a therapist for over two decades (also married to a psychiatrist) and if there’s a magic pill out there, no one has told me/us about it.