Deduct some of the stress

Filing your annual return can be stressful, but that’s not the most taxing part of people’s lives. Take time now, after tax season and during Stress Awareness Month, to analyze the sources of your stress.

Lead a calmer and more successful life with these three habits:

 

  1. Quit doing too much. Is your to-do list laughable? Most people underestimate how long tasks take, and that leads to overoptimistic plans. Learn how to say “No” to extra demands on your time. (Download a free “How to Say ‘No’” guide from The Complete Stress Management Toolkit. Click here to download your copy.)
     
  2. Solve ongoing problems. Note the stressful parts of the day and you may find several little things that add up. Because each stress seems like a minor annoyance at the time, you let it fester. Eliminate stressors one at a time. Examples: Change your commuting time to avoid traffic. Talk with the co-worker who never responds until you’ve left three messages.
     
  3. Find balance. The most successful people don’t work 24/7. They cultivate outside interests that energize them and broaden their knowledge and networks.
Our Readers Tell Us!
Done is better than to-doLast month, guest author Jeff Davidson wrote about the importance of dividing work into segments so that you experience a sense of accomplishment. In response, reader Alice Bakker shared her method for celebrating what she has finished.

“Once upon a time, I used the infamous ‘to-do’ list,” she told us. “Trouble was, the list got longer and it seemed like nothing got checked off. I just was not getting things done. Then, I started my ‘Got it done’ list.”

When Bakker finishes a project, meeting, phone call or other task, she records it on that list. She no longer keeps a to-do list, instead relying on a few notes and her Outlook calendar for reminders.

“Now, I get things done,” she said. “I want my ‘Got it done’ list to be full at the end of the workday. It is … and I feel like I actually accomplished something!”

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