Get Ahead of Yourself
One of the best ways to reduce the chance of a stressful situation is to plan ahead. Feeling stressed can make it very easy for us to bury our heads in the sand, procrastinate and not be proactive in preventing further stressful situations.
For example –
Jimmy is working away on site away from home all week. On Sunday night he chooses to relax and stay up late watching his new favourite show. The next morning he wakes up late and quickly jumps in his van to get to work.
Once at work, Jimmy realises he’s forgotten his work boots. Knowing that he cannot be on site without them, Jimmy has to make a choice whether to buy new boots from a nearby shop or travel home to get them. To save money he drives home meaning he’s lost hours he will need to give back.
Jimmy works late into the evening and misses his call from the kids to say goodnight. The kids are disappointed, Jimmy’s wife is angry and Jimmy feels like a failure.
On Wednesday, the customer Jimmy is working for mentions some extra work that he messaged Jimmy about last week. Jimmy remembers seeing the message but he was busy when it came through and so he hasn’t prepared for the extra work to be done. The customer is angry. Jimmy will need to buy more materials but this means he won’t be able to afford to go to his best mate’s party at the weekend. His mate is disappointed.
Jimmy consoles himself with a few beers and a burger at the pub that night, feeling terrible for letting people down. He wakes up late again the next morning….
We’ve all been in situations like Jimmy’s and mistakes do happen. We can see though that if Jimmy had taken a few moments to prepare himself for his working week, a lot of stress could have been avoided.
Jimmy could have-
- Taken 5 minutes to make sure he had everything he needed ready for the job
- Checked his messages and ensured he had the materials he needed for the extra work and could still budget for the party, or at least give more notice.
- Gone to bed earlier on Sunday evening so that he wasn’t so rushed in the morning.
- Dealt with his feelings of stress better so that the cycle didn’t repeat.
These steps wouldn’t have taken much time but would have saved an awful lot of stress for everyone involved.
Other ways you can prepare yourself for a less stressful life:
- Budget your finances – there’s lot’s of advice on how to do this through our Wellbeing Academy
- Plan your meals – this is also a great money saving tip! If you plan the week’s meals and shop accordingly, you’re more likely to spend less in the shops and you won’t throw as much away.
- Have a ‘half-hour of power’ every weekend. There are lots of little life admin jobs that nobody wants to do. Some people find it beneficial to set a timer, put some music on and power through them in one go so that the rest of the weekend is free for fun and you’re more prepared for the week ahead.
- Organise your diary. We all have one on our phones – make a habit out of noting things down in the calendar immediately so that you don’t forget the important stuff – everything from picking the kids up from football training to big events like weddings.
- Make time for important people in your life. Work-life balance is so important. You are replaceable at work but never at home. Make sure you are giving enough time and energy to the things that make you happy.
- Declutter your living space
- Pay attention to your lifestyle choices. Our sleep, diet and the amount of exercise we get all play a part in how the pressures of life make us feel.