Stress management 101: Be more efficient

Feb. 20. By Cheryl Kane. Efficiency matters, reducing wasteful actions and achieving the most value from assets is always important. I believe efficient behaviors can help reduce stress. As stress seems a prevalent topic today, perhaps a few simple ways to reduce distractions to keep a clear mind as we conduct our tasks may help. It may require a commitment to change some strongly embedded and unnecessary habits.

Efficiency = lower stress?

The way I see it, people can allow themselves to be bombarded with distractions—irrelevant and sometimes dangerous—to the primary tasks they are supposed to be doing. This generates unnecessary problems to solve.

That means the formula I think could help in today’s world is:

Lower distractions –> fewer errors & problems –> improved efficiency –> lower stress

Savvy Marketers = Strong Distractions = Misperception

Our technology, society’s messaging, and the resulting perception that we must continually be attached to our technology and the irrelevant actions and activities of others seems a misperception. It feels like it causes lower attention spans available to do critical activities, and care for our responsibilities. It also appears to waste our valuable time—profound amounts of it.

Lost in time = more stress

When someone is going to ‘just check my phone” often they become lost in time—they become what I call, “time insensitive” that is, until it is much later than they think; now they have insufficient time to do what they planned or needed to do—so they feel rushed, panicked, distraught. They make decisions and mistakes that should not have occurred and receive the disapproval or annoyance of others expressed in many forms. This can create feelings of failure (stress).

What to do?

—Amputate the cell phone from your body at critical times: when you drive, when working with customers, and working on complex projects that require your full concentration.

—Use social media for a specific needed task, not as streaming activity as you try to multitask.

—Start your day with a checklist of priorities then focus on each fully as you do them.

—Your personal music as you work should offer a soothing background, vs. an attractive nuisance.

Good luck!

Creating new habits or breaking old habits can be hard. And it can be well worth the improved self-worth that may come from having fewer problems to solve, achieving a calmer frame of mind, and the ultimate goal: lower stress.

Cheryl Kane, MBA, PHR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, is a strategic business consultant, sales trainer, & professional speaker specializing in problem solving and planning. Cheryl welcomes your communication at email: [email protected]


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