Establish workplace and personal routines and try to stick to them, but be flexible if the unexpected or unforeseen happens. Otherwise, when unplanned things happen, it’ll cause you just as much stress as trying to work without a routine. Organise your e-mails, read them regularly to prevent unmanageable accumulation, respond, delete, save as necessary. Good work relationships are important, but too much chatting can be a time-waster if you have lots to do.
Plan meetings. Make sure they’re really necessary. Have a clearly defined goal, set the duration for the meeting, have a prepared purpose and outcome in mind. Make sure everyone involved knows beforehand what they have to prepare and have available and that they are expected to contribute to the meeting. Prepare a well thought out agenda. Keep an eye on the watch. An experienced facilitator should keep firm control of proceedings, minds wandering off in various directions, sticking to the agenda and time constraints.
Time management and the way you do your work will prevent much of the stress surrounding unfinished work, working at home or overtime, giving you the freedom to balance your work, family and leisure time. Use technology efficiently, ensure you are fully trained for what you have to do, even if it means doing a course that may curtail your leisure time in the short term. Constantly reflect on what you’re doing, why you’re doing it. Can it be done differently, more effectively, in less time?
Set realistic goals. Don’t push yourself in a misguided attempt to prove your worth to yourself and others. Accept yourself. Know yourself. Approve of yourself. Take time out to stop and congratulate yourself on what you’ve attained and accomplished; you have many strengths, coping skills and the resilience to have come this far. We often choose to focus on the terrible things we’ve experienced in life, on our lacking and imperfect life, completely forgetting that we’ve actually survived to the present moment. Try focusing on your strong points, the ones that help you go on in spite of what happens and what you may experience.