Ever feel like when you get to the end of the day, you’ve worked really hard but don’t have much to show for it?
To prevent these moments, we can choose to work smarter, instead of harder.
The energy of springtime (even for us in the land of eternal summer) is ripe for planting new seeds, starting new projects, and getting in the creative flow. Once the project is rolling, we might notice that we’ve taken on too much, adding to our already full plate.
Instead of stressing out and giving up, use these 5 powerful steps to stay in the flow, or to know when to step away for a bit.
1. Take a few moments to center yourself
When we struggle and push to get a project done, we tense up and restrict the free flow of energy – in the form of new ideas and positive feelings – and get downtrodden. Take 5 minutes to connect with the breath, let the mental and physical tension go, and come back refreshed.
2. Determine what’s important
What do you value? Why are you working so hard on this project? Does it really add to the larger vision for your life, company, or personal well-being? In the space provided by your breathing practice, you can ask these questions and get clear answers.
3. Know your daily MUSTs
I like to go into each day knowing the top 3 things that I need to accomplish to make today a WIN. Make them necessary. Choose the 3 that will move the dial forward and leave you feeling like your efforts counted.
4. Chunk your time
When I was writing my book, I found that I could get the most done if I set a timer for 60 minutes, and then focused entirely on writing for that amount of time. No distractions, no excuses. Just writing. When the timer went off, only then could I take a 15-minute break. After the break, I’d come back and write uninterrupted for another 60 minutes.
5. Give thanks
The surest way to get into a state of positivity is to bring to mind those things that are grateful for. Make a list of 10 right now. Feel the joy, relish the smile.
Each of these steps works to lower your stress levels and keep you in action. Breathing turns on the relaxation response, so does gratitude and joy. Working in alignment with your highest values helps you know what you’re working for and working in potent bursts keep you striding boldly forward.
Use these steps each day to create your dream, just in time for spring. 🙂
Stress Release Tip
Your surest weapon against stress is your ability to choose different thoughts. Is your boss really out to get you? Did that guy who cut you off really mean it as a personal attack? Reframe your thoughts by looking at them differently. Lengthen the space between what just happened and your response. Take a breath, count to 10, then choose a kind response. You can always go back to the old way.
Break out a piece of scratch paper, and write down the answers to the following questions:
What’s the biggest cause of stress in your daily life right now? Why? Have you ever considered it? What would it feel like if this thing didn’t create stress for you?
So let it go. That’s it. Just let go of the struggle. Each time this cause of stress pops up in your daily life, just skip it. Laugh about it instead. Stand up and shake your hands out. Skip down the street. Defuse the thought until there’s no ammo left.
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
– Albert Schweitzer
Guest Post by Adam Timm.