Sunday, 20 January 2013

Week Three Intentions: Rest Easy

I always think it's funny when people say they need to be more self-disciplined, because I have a problem on the opposite end of the spectrum. As mentioned last week, learning to chill out is kind of my continuous education. I'm an uptight Seattleite and I'm stressed out because I have SO MUCH I WANT TO DO -- there's just not enough time in the day. And I want all those things I do to be amazing. What a burden.

This week my goal was to push into something very against my grain: Let go and enjoy. But shouldn't I be working harder? Shouldn't I be more productive? What about my dairy intake?! Aghhhh...

The reality is that I'm a very ambitious person with a lot I want to accomplish. But the counter-intuitive thing is that I can't accomplish much if I'm stressed out, over-stretched, and paralyzed by everything I have to do. The best, healthiest thing to do is to learn how to prioritize and do what's most important (and what has the biggest impact), to get my ducks all in a row, and then let go. Enjoy down time. Do things just for the pure enjoyment. So crazy.

This week I:
  • carried on with my morning breathing exercise on the way into work each day
  • when I felt stressed at work, took a quick time out and breathed (it works, I swear)
  • did yoga twice
  • got really into oatmeal (so good with cinnamon and rice milk in winter!)
  • implemented some sweet productivity methods
I'm reading two great books about stress-free productivity right now. Both essentially say that you've got to find a system that works, and then maintain it. Then once you've "closed the loop" on a task or project, your mind is free to rest when the time comes. I'm listening to Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen on audiobook in the morning (after breathing time) and also reading What To Do When There's Too Much To Do: Reduce Tasks, Increase Results, and Save 90 Minutes A Day by Laura Stack. Both are very worthwhile. 

I take solace in "rest easy" because it doesn't mean "chill out and be irresponsible." It encompasses a preparedness that allows rest and the wisdom to know that the weight of the world does not sit on me. 

This coming week I'm going to continue to focus on developing stress-free productivity skills and further look into stress management techniques. You'd think I'm super stressed, wouldn't you? I'm actually not right now, but I know that in general I am kind of tense person. And I want to take this down time to put good practices into place so that when things do get busy, I'm cool, calm, and collected.

Do you have any good stress management techniques I should try out? I'm all ears. 


Jenny said...

Reading fiction is a really great stress reducer for me right now...I know you're not a big fiction reader but maybe it's worth a shot ;) said...

Excellent website. Lots of useful info here. I'm sending it to several pals ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you for your sweat!
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