In this frantic world where work never stops thanks to the 24/7 smart phone culture, we think of each day as a race to the finish. In the 'old days' no one expected you to answer calls at a weekend or respond to emails while on holiday. Today you feel guilty or judged if you don't make yourself available every minute of the day. Why do we create overloaded diaries with work, kid's activities, sport, chores and social events? Why do we feel guilty about having some time to ourselves to reflect and think?
Many of us are actually addicted to our overbooked schedules. A high speed lifestyle is like a drug, and adrenaline is the drug, But when you keep producing adrenaline you also produce cortisol, which can suppress the immune system, increase blood pressure and sugar, decrease libido, produce acne, contribute to obesity and more. Although we often know deep down that it would be good to put the brakes on, we don't, because we feel afraid or guilty that we're failing to 'have it all'.
So here are my tips for reducing your stress levels:
- Be realistic about your expectations of yourself. You can't fit 15 hours work into an 8 hour day! Don't set yourself up to fail.
- Give yourself permission to have a lunch break. This is a chance to take a mental break and recharge your batteries for the afternoon. Regular meals are important too, so don't think a chocolate bar will get you through!
- Schedule unscheduled time. Block out 2 hours a week when you don't plan anything in advance. When we have unstructured downtime we often do our best creative thinking.
- Only do what you are best at and get someone else to take on the tasks you struggle with. It can take you longer to do them compared with an expert in that area. By playing to your strengths you will be more productive.
Outsourcing is key to reducing your stress levels. If you're rubbish at figures, give your books to an accountant. If you hate cold calling, get a telesales company to do it for you. The same applies to things at home. If you earn £25 an hour, doesn't it make sense to employ a cleaner for £12 an hour? What could you do with the time it frees up? With a concierge, they can identify where the pinch points are in your life and help you identify solutions which will give you time back as well as reducing you stress levels. Get in touch to see how Berkshire Lifestyle Concierge could help you. firstname.lastname@example.org 07587170707.