09 Jul Transition to Less Stress
Is it just me or does it seem like the entire world is stressed out and “sooooooo busy,” not to mention curt in their e-mail responses, if they respond at all? And I have learned to address one and ONLY one topic or question in an e-mail because it seems that anything else is not seen or addressed.
Everyone is running from one meeting to another and from one call to another and desperately trying to stay afloat in the endless flood of e-mail.
There is a better way. Managing our stress loads is multi-faceted and includes things like adopting great time management techniques, managing your energy and self care. But there is something you can adopt immediately which really works. And that is learning how to transition from one work situation to another, from one meeting to another, from not working to working and from working to not working. You get the idea!
5 Transition Techniques That Really Work
- Before You Start Work: Too many of us wake up to the alarm on our smart phone and before we know it, check our inbox and texts and find ourselves working before we’ve even gotten out of bed. If this is you, make it a point to turn off your alarm and step away from your phone. Give yourself a relaxing morning with a cup of coffee (or tea), a healthy breakfast and create a relaxing morning ritual for yourself. 15 minutes before you start work, gather yourself and connect with the WHAT you will be doing for the day, then organize HOW you will spend your morning and connect to the WHY you do what you do. This is a great way to start the day with motivation and organization.
- Before And After Meetings / Tasks: The best strategy here is to build in a 15 to 30 minute buffer in between meetings. This is so important so that you can wrap up, take notes and any follow up actions to the meeting you just finished, rest for a moment, and then transition to your next meeting and get prepared for that. You as well as the folks you meet with will feel the shift in energy in a positive way. For work tasks, allow yourself to truly finish one task before starting another. You can even take a few breaths, do a stretch in between, clear your head from the previous task and gear up for the next one.
- Chunk Your Work: I’ve written about this a few times because it really, really works. (Check out the post on the Pomodoro Technique) In short, plan your work in 60 – 90 minute chunks and take a 10 – 15 minute break in between work sessions. This optimizes your focus and productivity and also gives you a mental and physical break in between.
- Deliberate Planning: Most of us let our to-do list and inbox run our schedules and are often interrupted by things that come up in the day. My strategy is to organize a master to-do list for the week, trim it down for the day, organize the must-do vs would-be-nice to do items. I also allow 15 minutes per hour to check on my e-mail. Some days if I have a project that needs uninterrupted attention, I put an out of office message in my inbox and tell my staff that I’m going in for a deep dive and will be offline for the next few hours. I also allow time for interruptions and plan that into my day. If there are no interruptions, then I have extra time to get things done, or take an extra long break!
- After You Finish Work: Transitioning from work to not working is super important, especially since the boundaries between work and play have become so blurry. At the end of your work day, check off what you did accomplish (an pat yourself on the back), list out what you need to do for the next day. Once that is done, close up shop. Turn your computer off, tidy up your desk, take a few deep breaths and really let yourself let go of the mental work list. Tomorrow is another day and it will all be waiting for you.
I’d love to hear from you what your transition techniques are. Please let a comment below and share. 🙂
Until the next time!