Saturday, June 23, 2012

7 Tips For Handling Stress In Challenging Times

errThere are some wonderful life tips in the writing of Robin Sharma who penned "The Monk who Sold His Ferrari." Just recently I was reading another of his works and came across some very sound advice on handling the stress of modern living, but more particularly, how we are all going to have to confront the changes being caused by "The Great Global Financial Crisis".

It seems at every turn I meet someone who is starting to feel the effects of this craziness. So, with credit to Robin for the inspiration, here are 7 steps to help you master the stress that will surely come in the next few months...

1. Reframe the negative as positive. Stress is essentially a matter of perception. While giving a presentation to a group of 100 prospects might strike fear in the heart of one sales professional, it will be viewed as a superb business opportunity to another. When a stressor appears, ask yourself: "is there a better way of interpreting this situation?" or "will this really matter 3 years from now?"

Remember, all setbacks offer growth lessons and all failure is essential to success.

2. Continuously grow. The best way to manage change is to keep on growing. The pace of change in our world will only increase so accept and embrace it. Make the decision to become a change master and begin to see yourself as a lifelong student. Read for 30 minutes a day, go to training seminars and listen to educational and motivational audio in your car.

By expanding your own professional knowledge base you will not only thrive on the change that you will inevitably face, you will be in a position to add greater value to your organization.

3. Focus on the worthy. With all the demands on your time, you simply cannot do everything. Or as Confucius noted so many years ago: "The man who chases two rabbits catches neither."

Peak performers have a clear sense of the activities that are worthy of their time and those that contribute little to their professional and personal missions. Focusing on the worthy is the golden key to time management and life fulfilment.

As management guru Peter Drucker observed: "There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all."

4. Plan your time. If you don't make the time to schedule your priorities in your daily planner, someone else's priorities will get scheduled into your daily planner. Set aside 30 minutes every Sunday night for your weekly planning session and ask yourself this very powerful question: "What goals do I need to accomplish in the next 7 days for me to feel this week was a success?"

Note these small but essential goals down and schedule a time for their achievement into your daily organizer. If you don't act on life, life will act on you. Get control of your time and make your weeks count.

5. Work smarter, not harder. Tear yourself away from the outdated mindset that says "to be more productive, you must work harder." In these pressure filled times, that's a recipe for disaster. Adopt a new, more enlightened way to manage yourself and understand that the key to increased effectiveness is to work smarter. Stop focusing on the time spent behind your office desk and, instead, begin concentrating on getting results.

6. Manage your environment. We live in an increasingly negative world. To master stress and maintain high levels of enthusiasm, meticulously guard they information you expose yourself to. Ruthlessly assess the nature of your environment to ensure that you are surrounding yourself with the best influences available. Associate with positive people. Make your office an oasis of excellence and inspiration. Make your car a mobile learning centre through audio and energizing messages. Avoid anything that detracts from the clear, focused mindset you know will lead you to success.

As Gandhi said: "I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet."

7. Make time for yourself. Have the wisdom to understand that success on the outside truly begins within. Carve out time every week to commune with nature or listen to beautiful music or get a relaxing massage.

Discover the renewing power of visualization and meditation and ensure that you find a few minutes during your busy week to enjoy a little silence. Time invested in revitalizing your self is never a waste of time.

Begin to manage yourself better. Get to know yourself and craft a serious action plan for personal development. You will quickly meet with higher levels of success and feel far less stress.

As Churchill said: "The price of greatness is responsibility."

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