Guess who just got engaged?! This girl!
This is BEYOND exciting for me — I’m already looking forward to all of the things that come with this new and sparkly engagement ring. I can’t stop thinking about my color scheme, bridesmaids dresses, when the photographer will email me back, if we’ll ever find a dj in our price range…
If you couldn’t tell, I’m a planner — a full-on perfectionist and way too detail-oriented. I’d say this is one of my greatest strengths, but sometimes it can be my greatest weakness. As someone who thinks of pretty much everything all the time, I need to work on separating my work life from my personal life to make sure I don’t get as stressed as I know I can. When I’m at work, I need to be at work. When I’m off work, I can wedding plan. Here are 4 strategies I am planning on implementing in order to be my most efficient and stress-free self this coming year.
1. As a company we are currently reading the book, Peak Performance by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. One of my greatest take-aways from the book so far is to be fully present wherever you are. If you’re at work, be there. If you’re with family, be there. If you’re at a concert, be there. Be mindful of where your mind wanders and don’t distract yourself from the current moment. Form relationships, create quality work, and make memories without distractions. A wandering mind can be harmful to these things, as well as your efficiency.
2. I have asked for help. I am not someone who handles stress well. Therefore, I am implementing strategy 1 to try and decrease the amount of stress I already know I will accumulate over the next year. I am not perfect though, and I will fall short. For this reason, I have asked my coworker Elizabeth to stop me when I start talking about the wedding during work. My fiance already stops me when I start talking about work after I have clocked out; when I talk about work stress, I am diminishing the quality of time I have away from it. I turn family time into social media management and am not fully experiencing the moment for what it is — family time. I should be focused on growing my relationships and not on negative feedback received from a client. I am hoping this strategy will help at work as well to help me reach my fullest potential as a multimedia designer.
3. I need to handle one thing at a time. At work I have checklists. I need to do one thing well and with all of my attention before I can move forward. If I am trying to multitask and have too many thoughts flying around, my work won’t be capable of reaching its highest potential. This topic was also discussed in Peak Performance, and the general stigma associated with multitasking; you seem more efficient and accomplished when you can do many things at one time. Surprisingly, the opposite is true. Only 1% of the population can actually multitask well. When we multitask, the quality and quantity of what we produce suffers. Not only will I continue to implement this idea at work, but I will do so with wedding planning as well. My goal in both areas of my life is to do one thing at a time to decrease stress and minimize errors.
4. BREATHE. One thing I have learned over the past year is that we don’t all breathe the way we are supposed to. Shallow, more frequent breathes can lead to anxiety because your brain isn’t getting as much oxygen as it needs. If you’re feeling anxious, check in with your breathing and re-adjust your technique and pattern. The first 3 strategies I mentioned can help with long-term stress, but this one works in the moment to keep you calm and in control.
I aspire to be my best self in both work and my personal life. I believe these 4 strategies can help me get there. If you want to be your best self, I encourage you to try at least 1 of these strategies and gradually work your way towards incorporating all 4.