Three part-time jobs: bird-dogging for a software business, tutoring four kids, and writing while burning the candle at both ends caught up with me. It was eleven at night. I rubbed my eyes with my palms and looked groggily at my computer screen. I was just getting ready to beat myself up for not canvassing more of the town for sales, making a fresh casserole, or restocking the sock drawer. Was I going to go bird-dogging barefoot tomorrow?
I took a deep breath and shifted gears. I shot up a prayer and a couple of ideas came to mind – how to bring down the points on the stress-o-meter.
- Break big tasks down into small ones. I reorganized my office space last week – sorted, stacked, and labeled piles of books, papers, and crates. I took this large job and assigned one small task each day. I was finished inside of a week. And guess what? After reorganizing, I found everything I needed faster and easier.
- Give up perfection. At recent Toastmasters meetings I emceed, I purposely wore mismatched socks and shoes, and yanked up my slacks so everyone could see. “We’re not interested in perfection here,” I said. “We’re more about progression. This is a safe place to make mistakes.”
Comparison as an art form declares, “I’m more than I was yesterday. Less than I’ll be tomorrow.”
Do you identify with any of these? If so, which ones? When your stress points climb, how do you keep your head in the game?