With joy comes sorrow, with pain comes relief, every night is followed by a morning. Patience and ease can be found in any hardship, and surely we ought to keep our hearts in peace as we endure any stress we may be experiencing.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 40% of workers report that they experience serious levels of stress and feeling overwhelmed at their workplaces. Many times we forget to take a necessary break from everything, just to have a moment to breathe and to be aware of our existence.
With our daily routines and responsibilities, we can slowly evolve into robot-like machines and we question, “Why am I even doing all of this?” Stress can oftentimes make us forget about our purpose, our values, our emotions, and most importantly, our mental health. Well, how do we cope with stress?
The simple answer is changing our mindset. The question then is, “how?”
Map your course
First and foremost, we have to acknowledge the fact that we are overwhelmed and stressed. Unfortunately, many times people refuse to accept their stressful situation and this results in them taking negative actions towards the people around them. If you are experiencing fatigue, rapid heart rate, low self-esteem, low drive, headaches, and frustrated outbursts, you are most probably experiencing a time of stress and being overwhelmed.
Once you realize that life is piling up, take a break. Start off by jotting down all your responsibilities for the week on a piece of paper. Take a real good look at every bullet point you have there, and have a reasonable idea of the storm that may be coming through this week.
Now, we are on the right track. We have a problem, and we are sailing through the journey of life that consists of our goals, responsibilities, efforts, and risks.
The idea behind writing down your responsibilities is analogous with the idea of drawing out a map, a route for your ship. The ship is your life that is always moving forward. You are no longer a passenger on this ship, but the captain who holds the map. You now have charge of this immense ship as you sail through the inexorable winds and storms coming your way. You have what it takes to guide your actions to their proper end. Let’s not forget though that there are two other key points in sailing the sea of responsibilities.
Purpose and Procrastination
The first key point is avoiding procrastination. Procrastination is a bad habit that can be bettered with another simple mindset adjustment: purpose. We need purpose behind our work and we need to keep that purpose in mind. Purpose emphasizes the urgency and importance of our work. I have personally experienced this internal motivation while working here at Spirit Consulting. We prioritize virtuous service, which reminds me of the reason behind the doing. This keeps me focused and motivated. Keeping in mind the significance of your work will drive you to complete it. Perhaps you will even finish ahead of schedule, offering extended time for reviewing and editing. As a result, we will be a step closer towards awesomeness.
While here at Spirit, I’ve picked up another trick to time management. We organize our tasks based on their urgency and importance. We use a strategy collected from the book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” where we sort out our weekly goals using a Punnett square- like chart, and we write down our weekly responsibilities under the categories of Urgent, Not Urgent, Important, Not Important. This allows for us to prioritize matters that are urgent and important, so that we can immediately take care of them. Having an organized breakdown of the tasks you should be prioritizing will keep you less stressed and more calm.
Meditation is Medication
The other key point is protecting time in your day for recharging yourself. This should be done multiple times per day. This can be in the form of prayer, mediation, or just a peaceful moment to yourself. There are also plenty of meditation apps out there to help you quiet the “monkey brain”. Taking these recharging moments early in the morning, at noon, in the afternoon, and before you head to bed is crucial.
Early in the morning is when you are at your freshest mindset. Take a breather to mentally prepare yourself for the heavy workload and remind yourself that everything is going to work out. At noon is the climax of your heavy workload. Here’s a good time between the stressful hours to recharge yourself mentally. Afternoon is when you are about to leave from work. This is important so that you may leave all your stress and negativity behind as you come back to your household.
Finally, you should take your time to recharge by engaging in meditation, prayer, or silence before you sleep so that you may assess yourself and analyze what you completed successfully and what you want further complete. Also assess yourself by asking the question, “What could I have done better?” These self-assessments will create room for growth and success. Lastly, acknowledge everything for which you are grateful and refresh your purpose.
Patience is a Resource
This life is full of pain, struggles, stress, and discomfort. If we want to fight these troubles with patience, we have to learn how to reinforce our patience and use it for the present. Many times we find ourselves worrying about the future, perhaps an impending doom that may never even happen. Other times we are stuck in the past and reliving things we can not change. That is a lot of wasted energy.
Metaphorically speaking, a commander would not disperse all his soldiers to his left and right wings only to leave his center forces weakened. In the same way, in our battle against current problems, let’s not use our endurance and patience on the past and future. Patience is a scarce resource. Let’s not waste it. There is a choice on how to economize this inner strength. Be the captain of your ship, and make the voyage in work with endurance and guidance. You will then be navigating your workflow well.
Written by Selim Kandil
ABOUT SPIRIT CONSULTING
Spirit Consulting is a boutique management consulting firm with clients across multiple industries and regions of the United States. We offer expert consulting in Executive Search, Business Strategy, Executive Coaching, and Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Rooted in our relational, client-tailored approach, these service lines work synergistically to maximize your organization’s potential. Call (630) 621-3411 or email [email protected] for more information on how Spirit Consulting can help create the best version of your business. If you are interested in applying to jobs we are retained on, watching episodes of the Leading Virtuously Podcast, or reading thought leadership, please visit http://www.spiritmco.com.