One day, a colleague asked me how I’m able to look so calm and content despite being loaded with work. I told him that my secret to living a stress-free life is simple – I carry a pen and paper with me, everywhere I go, and that’s the reason I often get called ‘The Planner’. Life is already so complicated with its unseen twists and turns; there is no need to carry more stress and complicate it further. It is severely foolish to fear what we have not yet seen or know about. Stress plagues almost everyone, but dealing with it remains within our power. Here are my 8 personal power tips for a stress-free and stain-less work-life –
The 5am trick – I wake up at 5am every morning to plan the day ahead of me, since my thoughts are fresh and my mind, undistracted at that time. Even when I am going on a vacation, I plan out the entire trip. There’s no expenditure in planning each day of your life as it comes. No expenditure and 100% return on investment! The first half hour of the day should be your sacred space. It’s the time of the day when you connect with yourself and familiarize yourself with the work ahead of you. There’s sure shot success in this formula.
Multitasking is the real next-gen killer – The Netflix generation is overwrought with over thought. In this technologically overridden era we live in, multi-tasking has become the new norm. Devote yourself to whatever work has been assigned to you, and don’t do it all at once. Sometimes, when we multi-task, we fail to deliver the right flavor to each work, and we end up cooking a half-baked platter of work.
Maximize risk – I strive to empower my employees the same way I empower my daughter. I nudge my daughter everyday to push the boundaries that limit her. I keep reminding her that there is no learning, until we take risks and sometimes, make mistakes. And the faster you make a mistake, the steeper is your learning curve. My daughter recently went to Mumbai for higher studies, and I pushed her to take the local train alone. I asked her to go for it, even if there is a ‘nuksaan’ or a learning cost.
Prioritize – I try to not talk about office at home. It is from meditation that I’ve learnt that life is simple when we focus on our present. If you are at home, then focus on your family members and nurture them. When you are in office, think about your duties and deliveries at the workplace. Whenever you feel like you’re spiraling out of control, just take out a minute and take a deep breath. This is an age-old Vedic tip that never disappoints.
Be fearless in your communication – Do not keep anything in your heart. I keep telling my team to share their work related grievances with me openly. If they are not satisfied with their work, we jointly look for solutions that can improve the quality of their work and hence, their mental health. Another thing I ask my team member to do is to not over-complicate simple communication; the key is to be direct.
Look forward – Past? What’s good in there any way? Do not carry the baggage of your past mistakes in your present. Scrape out the mistakes of the past, and only carry forward the learning with you. Looking into the past is an open invitation for old troubles to seep into the corners of your mind, leading to a breeding site for stress.
Think of the larger perspective – If we feel over-stressed, or let down by something we are working on, always remember the affect, intent and consequences of your actions. Think about how the tiny piece of document you are working on has an overriding impact on not just the 5000 employees, but also their families!
An action movie a day keeps stress at bay – My favorite thing to do at home after work is to tune into the action movie matinee channel, especially on Sundays. From action movies, I’ve learnt that victory only comes by facing your fears. Showing our back to the problem only delays the situation; we can never fully avoid it. Another thing I’ve learnt is that short term losses are okay if you are gaining on the wider gamut of things.