Without fail, almost every business person that I coach struggles with stress. Even the most experienced of executives feels at times like they can’t keep their head above water. It’s not because they aren’t competent. It is usually because things keep moving faster and faster and the time management and stress reduction skills that once served them well, no longer work.
A Deluge of Information Causes Stress
Technology was “supposed” to make life easier but instead has created more ways for us to do more things. And people get fooled by the power of that little mobile device they carry with them thinking that “always connected” equates to being more productive. This is a false narrative!
The distractions in our daily lives are enormous and they will only continue to grow. The average person sees between 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements a day. Do you remember seeing all of those ads? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean that your mind didn’t process and store all that information and at a subconscious level it is focused on some of those pieces of information. Your brain is always working overtime!
On top of the constant flow of media, you’ve got instant communication via text, instant messaging, or “always on alert” social media. That creates an expectation that you should immediately respond to any message you receive or social posting. Add your daily task list to the mix and sometimes it seems like you can’t keep your head above water. All of this deluge of information decreases your ability to be super productive and stress is the main factor.
Top Stress Reducing Strategy
The most common activity to deal with high levels of stress during your day is to practice reflection, meditation, or some other device that people use to calm their mind and recharge. The recommended time period for these activities is between 45 to 60 minutes. Here’s the rub. Most people will look at those time periods and say there’s no way they could fit that into their day. So what do they do? Usually, they won’t do anything at all. They continue to be stressed and like most people under stress, they don’t operate at peak performance.
As a business coach, one of the top areas I work with people on is their ability to deal with stress during their day. Maintaining a laser-like focus on that activity at hand isn’t going to happen if you are distracted by things that don’t serve you well. You will not operate as a Peak Performer.
My definition of a peak performer is as follows:
“A Peak Performer is an individual who strives for self-improvement in every facet of the their life, who is recognized for consistently maintaining high productivity levels, and who ultimately performs above and beyond self-set expectations.”
If you are stressed, you are not going to perform at your best and attaining high productivity levels will not be achievable. Fortunately, the solution to finding the time to “recharge” is simple.
The answer is this – You schedule an appointment with yourself!
That’s right. You schedule an appointment with yourself to de-stress and recharge your brain. It is as simple as putting it on your calendar just like you would any other important appointment. Some people also refer to this as ‘calendaring.”
Calendaring is a simple practice in concept but often difficult for people to employ because they gravitate towards other activities that they deem more important. But there isn’t anything more important than taking care of yourself. If you are not operating at Peak Performance you won’t be of any use to those that you work with or those people that are in your personal life. This is one of those rare occasions when it is okay to be selfish!
An Appointment is Meant to be Kept
Like any other appointment, don’t let anything interrupt you. This means no phone calls and no shifting of your schedule to tend to other matters. If you had an important meeting with someone you wouldn’t pick up your phone when it rang. Right? You would be completely focused on that individual and you’d deal with the phone call or voicemail later.
The same should hold true for an appointment with yourself. Remember that this appointment is your time to recharge. This means you DO NOT think about problems that you have or the things you have to do that are on your task list. During your “alone time,” it doesn’t matter what you chose to do as long as it is an activity that relaxes and recharges you. If you are not sure what activity that is, just think of the times in your life when you were calm, cool and collected. What were you doing? Where were you? The answer is a start to creating the optimal personal activity to refocus and recharge.
Don’t underestimate the value of your time to reflect or meditate. There are over 3,000 scientific studies on the benefits of meditation and/or reflection. Many studies show that gray matter concentration increases in areas of the brain involved in learning and memory, regulating emotions, sense of self, and having perspective. All around, this activity will allow you to have a more optimistic perspective and you will be more focused and productive.
There are many strategies that Peak Performers use to manage their day, get more things done, and feel less stressed. The top strategy is making an appointment with yourself to recharge. Try this strategy and watch your stress levels reduce and your productivity explode!
Creating Unstoppable Success!
Dr. Richard B. Greene, DBA, SSBB, CMPE
Speaker, Author, IronMan Mind Business Coach
© Copyright 2017 Amplifier, LLC.
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Dr. Richard B. Greene is an International Speaker, Best-Selling Author, and Executive Business Coach who helps business executives get to the next level in business, their careers, and their personal lives. Through his IronMan Mind acceleration program, he offers one-on-one coaching, group coaching, live seminars and do-it-yourself development products to significantly increase levels of personal and business success. He’s been featured on radio shows and various new sites including KVCG Radio, The Miami-Herald, The Denver Post, Wall Street Select, Financial News Today, Fox, and ABC. Go online now to get free access to his acclaimed book, www.PeakPerformerBook.com.