Did you ever put a stress-smart plan in action and discover that inflexible schedules and rigid organization actually created stress, rather than efficiency and ease? Me too! Everything runs smoothly. Tasks are completed. Life works well – for a while. Then the dam bursts bringing chaos.
More schedules and organization are put in place until once again there is another burst of chaos.
This can become a cycle; a pattern of stress management that doesn’t work.
Of course, there is a place for intricate schedules and careful organization. Flight bookings and airline services are an example. But they are flexible to the extent that flights are cancelled in bad weather. Often we push ourselves no matter what – until we’re on our knees and heading for burnout.
There are signs of stress and burnout, but we need to know what to look for and often when we’re on that slippery stressful slope we have blinkers on.
Chaos is stressful and so is living under self-imposed pressure.
Routine, as opposed to tight near-impossible schedules, can be comforting and grounding.
Flexibility, rooted in clear thought, right action and emotional balance, is essential to master stress; the ability to act appropriately, change a plan or accommodate an emergency without feeling agitated, annoyed, upset or anxious.
Flexibility combined with comfortable routine provides a healthy balance and prevents the build up of pressure and stress.
Willpower is limited and needs to be used wisely.
Research has shown that we have a limited amount of willpower to use every day. Once it’s used up it can take a lot more energy and effort to get things done that we don’t love doing. This is another reason to be careful how we schedule our days.
First do essential things requiring willpower; then do the things that seem easy or enjoyable. Lastly, find ways to make what you have to do easy, enjoyable and satisfying.
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