November 1, 2012
How Two Scheduled Days a Week Can Make a Huge Difference in Your Stress LevelThis is a follow-up to the post I wrote on Monday, when I shared with you how I’ve learned to choose from the many potential projects that call for my attention.
In a new metaphor I suggested that by asking certain questions you can discover the things you want to do or buy now — and those you can put off until later, or never.
Now, I want to write briefly about a way I’ve learned to maintain sanity once I know the one or two things that call for my immediate attention. Even when working on one project, I still have to keep it from overwhelming me, despite my claim to be a “recovering perfectionist.”
For example, right now I am putting the finishing touches on my latest book, How to Love a Perfectionist Without Going Crazy. It’s been fun, and I look forward to soon telling you how you can buy it.
However, right behind that is a revision of Letting Go of Our Adult Children. It should take probably six to eight weeks (looking for completion by the end of the year). But I know that I can’t work non-stop. I’ll need breaks from time to time.
So I’ll do what I’ve learned to do in order to reduce too-much-project stress: I schedule two “off” days a week.
On the “Nothing Day” there is absolutely nothing scheduled. I can do anything I want! It’s a stress-reduction technique I highly recommend.
If you don’t have time to have a day like this on your calendar, take another look at your priorities. If you don’t give yourself frequent mini-holidays, I can almost guarantee that your stress will be three times as high as it should be. Having a Nothing Day can be quite creative and most relaxing.
On my Nothing Day last Saturday, for example, I worked on creating a “MadLibs” game for my younger grandkids. They don’t know about adverbs and adjectives used in the story-bought versions, so I have come up with a graphic game that would be good for younger children, perhaps 4 to 8. When I’m done, I will share it with the parents and grandparents who read this blog.
Incidentally, as I was creating the game, I discovered some things about my graphics program (Fireworks) that I need to know for when I’m working on a “work” project that uses that same software.
The other way to keep my sanity is to have a “Something Day”. This is when I have something planned that has nothing to do with work. This Sunday,it was doing the washing (a planned activity that my husband and I call “having a party”). Between loads I again played with the grandkids’ project.
Would your life really fall apart if you had a Nothing Day and/or a Something Day? My guess is that not only would you feel better, but your projects at home and at work wouldn’t feel so pressing. And at the same time you would get them done much easier.
If you are feeling the stress of too much work, I hope you this idea helps you.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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