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Sunday, 19 June 2016

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Rush is stress: Be calm, cool and collected

Pew Research Centre, an international non-partisan fact tank informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. In a recent report, it says: "Those who feel rushed are less likely to be very happy, so much so that, 42 percent of the respondents who always felt rushed were almost never happy."

Time pressure is a legitimate stress that can cause psychological, social, and physical ailments. The solution, according to Pew Centre, is to simplify our lives. Simplifying lives, doing less rather than more, does not have to be at the expense of success.

If you want to feel more energetic, relaxed, and confident to meet the challenges and opportunities your day brings, you might want to consider trading in the morning and an afternoon of mad rush for a more measured routine.

Here are four effective strategies to help spend the day in a calm,cool, and collected manner.

Step 1: Energy

The first rule is to have energy. It is important to know how to acquire it and how to focus on it. But first, one must have it--and a surprising number of people don't.

Energy is an active, positive quality, a desire to get things done, and do it correctly, move from one point to another, rise to a specific goal, advance to a new position or accomplish a given task. Some people are born with it; they put their heart and soul into everything they do, and invariably succeed. Others work hard enough, but it's an uphill task all the way.

Perhaps, the best way to develop energy is: Split your day into the smallest possible segments of time. Treat each segment as independent and worthwhile in itself.

Once you've broken your work into components, you can launch first into one thing, get it done, and then move to the next task. It will give you a change of pace and a renewed sense of accomplishment.

For years, I began work in a state of anxiety and rage. My desk was a sea of messages and mail when I arrived. The phone was continually ringing, and people were lined up to see me. By 10.30 a.m. I was in a frazzle, overwrought and resentful, so that I had worked for two hours and not completed a single task.

Finally, I decided it was important to begin the day by accomplishing something, however trivial. I decided to spend the first hour answering the mail, during which time I would take no telephone calls nor see anyone. I treated the mail as a separate block of work, important but finite. After I had read it, answered, and taken necessary action, I enjoyed a cup of coffee - my reward, for a task completed, and took a walk round the office.

It wasn't long before I began to look forward to my first hour in office; it gave me a sense of achievement and purpose. I could apply my energy to a limited task, instead of letting it dissipate early in the day by not being focused on anything.


Step Two: Control laziness

Too many of us fail because we delay in tackling the most difficult jobs that would win us recognition. We are held back by simple laziness, which produces a kind of permanent inertia if allowed to fester. The trick is to use it, to transform a negative quality into a positive reinforcement.

Say you have a big project, one that will take several hours.

Tell yourself that when it's done you can be 'lazy' again, and that the only thing preventing you from enjoying being 'lazy' is the project.

Then, attack it as if it were the enemy, get it out of the way, and give yourself a spell of earned laziness. Once you have developed a capacity for turning yourself on and utilizing your full energy briefly, you can go on to use it for longer periods.

The trick is to put yourself in touch with it in the first place, and when it has been tapped, you discover it is an inexhaustible resource.


Step 3: Be natural

Many people spend their days locked in mortal combat with their natural habits and behavioural patterns. Nothing could be more counter-productive. If you're not a morning person, don't overload yourself with major tasks early in the day. But if you like to go to bed early and rise early, schedule your hardest tasks first.

If you thrive on routine work, devise one that you can live with and enjoy. But be sure it is variable enough to give you an occasional change of pace.

Naturally, you will have to make compromises from time to time. But keep in mind that the more energy you spend fighting your inclinations, the less you will have for the work in hand.


Step 4: Motivate memory

If one wishes to succeed, one can't afford to forget things. Yet, it is a waste of time spent on trying to remember, what could have just as easily been put on paper. So, become a list maker. Many successful people are compulsive about written lists.

Another trick to help you remember things is to care about them. If successful people have phenomenal memories, it's because they are totally wrapped up in what they're doing.

It's no problem for them to remember facts, figures and names related to their primary interests. But, since it's not essential to remember everything, your first task must be to find out what is important, and decide on your priorities.

These four basic but highly effective techniques known to successful people everywhere can help you organize your days and get things done.

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