We discussed in the last post that unfulfilled expectations cause stress. There are several other sources for stress as well, one of which is from our daily life.
Often, in our workaday world, we have much more to finish on our plate that we realistically can. There is the never ending series of mails piling one upon the other in our mailbox. Then the numerous interruptions through unsolicited calls on top of planned meetings that needs to be attended. Among all these, there is the real work with deadlines to be met on various projects; status reports to be sent; and difficult people to be dealt with. It all starts with just the normal 8 hours of work. But somehow, true to Parkinson's Law, work grows bigger and bigger to take up more and more of your time till all 24 hours in your day do not seem enough to finish them all.
Similar situation plays out in our personal life as well. We have to prepare meals, clean our house, get ready for work, get the kids ready for school, go for errands, exercise, socialize and do many other chores. This is something that most of us plan ahead and take it in our stride. But, on top of that, life keeps springing surprises on us. A family member falls sick; a friend needs immediate help on something; the water supply or the cooking gas cylinder dries up; or the car goes kaput. We typically do not plan such affairs.
And, with our routine already choc-a-bloc, we grind to a halt when faced with such unforeseen occurrences. Too much to do, finish or close in too less a time leads to stress.
There is some hope though.
1. Once you realize that your plate is getting full, sound it off to others.
2. Prioritize. Discuss with your boss or family on how to tackle the various activities.
3. Ask for help. Delegate if you can. See if some of your workload can be shared by others.
4. Push back. Do not accept everything that comes your way. Overcome your fear of getting left out. Get off that committee. Be comfortable saying "No".
5. Check if you can cut down on the scope of activities to be done or if it can be skipped altogether.
6. Negotiate for more time. Most folks prefer great quality over short TAT. If not, atleast you would know the priority.
If you have exhausted all the above options and still feel flustered, then just take a deep breath. Relax. Have faith. Heaven is not going to fall.