Productivity / Business Productivity

Handling stress: Avoid the hemmed-in feeling

If there’s one thing that makes me feel overwhelmed and tired, it’s the sense I’m going to be struggling to get the day’s work done. In my view, few feelings contribute so negatively to our ability to work effectively and our way of handling stress.

5 August 2012 by

On the weekend, the sense spilled over to my home life and maybe that’s why I resisted it so strongly and pushed through to find a solution. 

As is often the case, the means of escape from the problem was actually quite simple. Without boring you too much with my domestic arrangements, let’s just say that I typically have a number of things to accomplish on a Saturday in the interests of total family harmony. 

Most weekends these involve a trip to the supermarket, a small portfolio of sport/recreation activities with my son and, if I’ve been good, a lingering espresso in a café somewhere. 

In the lead up to this Saturday handling stress was becoming difficult. A couple of extra events had been added to the schedule and I became convinced I wasn’t going to get it all done.

The biggest loser looked set to be the weekly shop. That in turn made Jane a tad uncomfortable, as we were entertaining on Sunday and ingredients were needed. 

The solution was to totally let go of the pressure. I just refused to accept it. I decided to look at the day optimistically, rather than with a cynical eye. 

By consciously removing the feeling of being hemmed-in, I found the flow of the day eased greatly. Energy that could have been bound up in pessimism was released and guess what happened? Efficiency improved hugely. 

To my surprise and delight, the day ran smoothly and I was able to get everything done. I did the shopping, meandered smoothly through the extras and even enjoyed a celebratory Portugese tart with my coffee. Happy days! 

What are your experiences in such situations? Do you have tips to share on handling stress? Let us know via a comment.

Robert Gerrish

is one of the Flying Solo crew and supports soloists as a coach and consultant. He presents at conferences and networking events and bangs on to the media or anyone who listens, about all things micro. Along with Sam Leader and Peter Crocker, he's the co-author of Flying Solo – How to go it alone in business.

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