Using Stress as a Motivator for Getting Things Done

Your work is piling up … everyone wants something different from you … you don’t know how you can possibly do it all and make everyone happy. And that is just your life at work!
If you’re stressed to the max, you’re no stranger to irritability, headaches, exhaustion, and negativity. But that’s not all … your work stress doesn’t just hurt you. It hurts your job … your co-workers … and even your family and friends. 

Smiling businessman drinks too much coffeeStress is a natural part of everyone’s day. It’s how you handle stress that makes the difference between spurring you into action and causing a health problem.What happens when you’re faced with stress? Your body and mind usually move into action to try to reduce the stress by dealing head-on with the situation. Some people believe they work better under pressure. They need the urgency of a deadline to motivate them to action. It produces a high much like a runner’s high and it gets them to focus.

BUT:

Hands under a pile of crumpled paper holding a help signAll too often, when working under stressful conditions there’s not enough time to think decisions through or to make necessary changes. This leads to mistakes, lost time, and even more stress.

And despite claims that some people work better under pressure, the underlying reasons people fall into the habit of working under these conditions are procrastination and/or perfectionism.

Overcoming procrastination

Procrastination must be dealt with swiftly and surely, because you know what? Procrastination only leads to more procrastination. The first step is to determine why you are procrastinating and then address those reasons. Here’s some general tips to getting started!

  • procrastinating cat pun cat punBreak large projects into smaller tasks
  • Remind yourself of the payoff
  • Avoid thinking you have to be perfect
  • Make a commitment to yourself to complete the job by a certain time—and then tell others of your plans
  • Delegate
  • Reward yourself as you complete each step
  • Ask yourself whether the task is really a priority. Perhaps you can eliminate it altogether.

Overcoming perfectionism

Perfectionists waste time because they spend too much time and effort trying to get something just right. They end up procrastinating when they are overwhelmed by their own expectations or fear of failure.

To overcome perfectionism:

  • Portrait of stressful tired businessman at workCommit yourself to the task
  • Strive for excellence, not necessarily perfection. A perfectionist’s standards are usually higher than they need to be for any given task.
  • Set an early deadline so you have plenty of time to make changes if you feel you must
  • Ask for feedback. Positive reinforcement may convince you that you’ve done enough.
  • Force yourself to delegate
  • Avoid defining who you are by what you do

Stress, procrastination and time management are issues for everyone. It’s time that you took command of your time and your priorities. There’s no better time than now … and there’s no better way to begin than by using stress to motivate you to get things done.

Procrastinate

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