Reduce stress: Reduce your options

By johannatime On January 30, 2015 Under Quality of Life and Work

Having lots to do is a stressful state of mind. The thought of all the things that should be done is overwhelming. It paralyses you to the point where your productivity drops to zero. Do you have too many things to do on your list, or worse, on your mind? Getting nothing done? Please read on!

The number one cure for reducing stress

Reduce your options.

There are 40 hours in a full time work week. Also, there are overwhelmingly many options of tasks that you could do. However, you can only complete a limited number of tasks in your work week, so there will always be lots of work that cannot and will not be done. That’s just the way things are.

Instead of being aware of all your options, choose!

Make an informed and realistic choice of the tasks you will spend your limited time on. Doing a daily review helps a lot to make a sensible to do list, and then singletask your way through that list.

But what will my boss say?!

If your boss is a monster, it will complain about all the things you didn’t do no matter how many tasks you completed anyway. If your boss is human, however, they will say:

  • thank you for being so productive,
  • thank you also, for taking care of your health and your sanity,
  • and thank you for doing your work properly.

Or at least they will think something like that.

At work and at home

Simplifying things is the key to happiness, as far as I’m concerned, so I reduced options in my wardrobe and in my home. Consider the following questions for reducing options in your personal life, too:

  • How many subscriptions do you have? Magazines that don’t get read? Newsletters that clog your inbox? Nonsense feed in your timelines?
  • When you’ve got a day off, how many things to do can you think of? And do you eventually stay home exhausted, doing nothing?
  • Are you a club member? To how many clubs? Do they all matter the world to you?
  • How many relationships are you keeping alive at the cost of true friendships and family bonds?

Having freedom of choice is a wonderful thing. Choose your favorites and forget about the rest. And please share in the comments below:

Johanna Jansen

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