How to keep up with life’s challenges

September 5, 2014

How to keep up with life's challenges

Life is complicated and it only seems to get more demanding every day. What can you do when you’re already doing your best and, despite your great physical and mental effort you are always behind? You are stressed and disappointed to see your goals in life not being met and unfinished tasks just keep piling up. Many of us are perfectionists, but under constant stress your perfectionism transforms into “neurotic perfectionism”, which results in mental disorders such as anxiety, eating disorders, depression, and even personality disorders.

So what’s the answer? To learn how to be efficient with your time and to get your mind set on fulfilling your goals. Here are few tips that may help.

Overwhelmed? Delegate or Prioritize.

When is it too much? It seems like we all need to be super-humans these days. It’s not exactly a crime to admit it is too much and humanly impossible to get it done. Management experts often say that the key management skill is to delegate! So, does everything really need to be on your shoulders and only up to you? One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned professionally is that no one is irreplaceable. It’s a great humility lesson. If someone else can do it, then there’s no need to try and be wonder-woman or super-man! (And most likely fail at it, adding more frustration and more stress to your life). And when you cannot delegate (or in addition to delegation), prioritize. Create a list that assigns priorities to your tasks and goals. Sounds obvious? Sure, but very few of us do it and this simple approach can work miracles.

The optimal level of stress vs. the critical one

You’ve probably heard about eustress and distress, used to distinguish good stress from bad stress. But what does that really mean? It all relates to our “fight or flight” survival mechanism. A small amount of stress compels us to action while too much stress just blocks us completely leaving us overwhelmed and helpless. Of course, optimal vs. critical level of stress varies from person to person. That’s why some people are great first responders – like ER nurses and doctors and others prefer lesser levels of stress. It’s all about your personal response to stress and the more you know your boundaries and limits, the more you can protect yourself and reach your goals!

How to get things done (and get there!)

  • Be humble. Some things you can do and go the extra mile, others are just plain impossible. Having the humility to admit that to yourself and others is a great step towards success.
  • Define reasonable goals. The goals you define should be objective, obtainable and possible to achieve. So, being rich and famous is not a good goal!
  • Prioritize. Some things are more important than others, the trick is knowing the difference so you don’t get too distracted from what matters.
  • Get it into your head. We all have learned how positive thinking works and how what seemed impossible was obtained due to an incredible will power. So start using affirmative mantras on yourself: “I can do it!” and it also helps if you can visualize success and obtaining your goals.
  • Get yourself organized! We can be talking about organizing your space around you, your schedule or your head! Without organizing habits, it’s hard to be focused. So start by organizing yourself and everything around you.
  • Break your goal into small steps. It helps get your motivation up and makes things seem a bit easier and attainable. If you approach the big problem, of course it will seem impossible. But divided into small problems you can fix and handle, it becomes so much easier.
  • Avoid unnecessary distractions. I’m talking about phones and social networks but also trying to find the right time and space to focus. Personally speaking, I’m much more efficient in a quiet place and with no wi-fi connection!
  • Stop to re-focus. If you’re just not getting there and you seem to always be hitting a wall, why not step aside and stop for a while. Stopping is a great way to redefine priorities, to find new solutions and to recharge batteries.
  • Enjoy your winnings and celebrate! That’s something we almost never do! Why not stop for a while to celebrate and enjoy your victory before moving on to another goal? After all, victory tastes good!



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