Health & Medical Self-Improvement

Dealing With Stress - Five Easy Ways to Prioritize You When Life Gets Busy

Do you sometimes wake up feeling exhausted? Do you dream of sleeping? Is your patience wearing thin? Are you feeling off balance? These are warning signs, like the low-gas light in your car.
Your body is telling you: Stop! Refuel, or you'll find yourself not stranded on the side of the highway, but running on empty in your life.
Feeling tired makes your day more challenging to get through, and it can impact the bottom line of your business, as well as your quality of life.
Your productivity drops.
Every task requires extra effort.
You make more mistakes.
When you feel off balance, even the tiniest push can knock you over.
From my own experience and my knowledge gained from coaching men and women, I've learned this happens when we don't put ourselves high enough on our own priority list-in some cases, we don't appear on our own priority list at all.
Simply by shifting priorities around and putting yourself at the top of the list can dramatically improve your effectiveness at work and in every aspect of your life.
What you get from being at the top of your priority list:
  1. You regain mental clarity, which makes it easy to focus and get tasks done quickly and efficiently.
  2. You have the bandwidth to take advantage of new opportunities in all areas of your life.
  3. You feel full of creative energy, which means you can innovate and problem solve fluently.
  4. You are more relaxed and happy, so people want to be around you and do business with you.
  5. You enjoy life more.
How to get on your priority list and stay there: To move yourself up on your priority list, take the first three steps below right now.
Put the fourth step in place to ensure that you stay at the top of the list.
  1. Identify what you need most.
    Ask yourself, "What would best help me to refuel?" Perhaps it's making time for more exercise, working with a coach, having a long talk with a good friend, or simply getting more rest.
    Make a list of the things you need to be at your best.
    Here are a few examples from my list: A solo night at home to cuddle up with a blanket, guilt-free chocolate, and a feel-good chick flick, a nap, a visit to my parents, where my mom will cook me Japanese food, and my dad will wash and vacuum my car.
    (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)
  2. Carve out time for yourself.
    Based on your list, block out time on a daily or weekly basis to dosome of the things that refuel you.
    If you can't find the time, take a hard look at your to-do list and identify things that others can do for you (see step 3).
    Or stop doing something that you do out of obligation or guilt, instead of because you need to.
  3. Ask for help.
    No one can do everything.
    We all need support.
    Ask for the help you need and practice graciously accepting support from others.
    Even if it feels uncomfortable, do it anyway.
    By asking for support, you give others permission to ask for support in return.
    And you might be stunned by how gratified many people will be that you've asked.
  4. Protect yourself and say no.
    Once you've set aside daily or weekly time for yourself, guard that time as if your life depends on it.
    Outside demands will whittle away at it if you let them.
    Hold your ground and say no.
    This includes ignoring that voice in your own head that tells you something else is more important than your nap, your night at home, and so on.
    By sticking to your guns and taking care of yourself, you'll have more to give others down the road.
  5. Create a Refueling Plan and Fund.
    Make a Refueling Plan and set aside money in a Refueling Fund to carry it out.
    (This is different from an emergency fund.
    ) Your Refueling Plan could be to get away for a weekend to a quiet place, to spend an entire day hiking or kayaking, to do whatever will help you refuel for the hectic weeks when you absolutely can't carve out extra time.
    A Refueling Fund is for carrying out the plan, including hiring help, such as a house cleaner or a dog sitter, to free your mind of worry.
    Having the fund in place lets you sidestep financial guilt about spending money on some much-needed R&R.

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