I am writing below a very actionable and minimalistic approach to stress free management.
A few goals which I had in my mind while writing it down was as follows:
- Simple and Easy to adopt
- Minimalistic i.e. you cannot drop anything out of these steps to really manage your stress effectively
- Something I follow and it works for me: I did not try to put together teachings from experts which I did not try.
There are many other aspects of stress management. Stress is a psychological state of mind and can be addressed in many ways. This document is on how to handle work supper effectively so that you can stay away from stressful situations arising in your life. I am not covering the ways of handling stress through psychological training of mind or other physical or non-physical activities.
What causes stress?
- Not getting the feeling of success or progress
- Mind being burdened with too many things to remember
- Not having the control or sense of control over your work or life
- Having tensions in your mind which does not have a clearly defined action/dates to resolve
What does not cause stress?
- Keep nothing in mind and write it down
- Write down everything to do in one single place dedicated for single purpose
- Organize and prioritize your work effectively
- Making your subconscious mind believe that your process of management is robust enough and the mind does not need to remember anything
7 Steps to stress free management !
Step 1: Set up the management tools
- Blackberry mail service
- A single excel document to manage your work
- A whiteboard or a diary to manage your daily work
- Outlook or online web calendar
Step 2: Managing your calendar
- You should be completely driven by a calendar in your blackberry which should have a reminder 10 mins before the work starts
- Your outlook calendar or web calendar should be synced up with your blackberry. In case it is not then use your blackberry as the single calendar
- All meeting or work should be in calendar
- Look at your calendar every morning and set up the work and also monitor it every few hours.
Step 3: Set a proper mail management process
- Any mail you need to take an action on should be marked unread or flagged as “To Close”
- If you check a mail in your blackberry and suppose you need to take an action, then mark it unread if the blackberry is synced with your mailbox.
- When you check you mails in the inbox (outlook or webmail) you need to flag the mail as “To Close” or mark it unread
- Once the work is done or you have replied to it, you may mark it read or remove it from the “To Close” folder
- Monitor your mailbox so that you have zero unread mails or zero “To Close” mails.
Step 4: Get your mind free
- Have a single place to write down whatever you need to do. You can maintain an excel sheet.
- Anything you need to do or remember should be mailed instantaneously to your mail box or in a notepad in your blackberry. Nothing should be remembered.
- Every time you see a self mail which you need to work on, you need to copy it to your excel sheet where you maintain your work list. Or you may copy from the notepad in your phone and delete it once it is transferred to your excel document
- Every time you have a stress or problem you need to find an action for that and set up a date and owner. This is very critical and kills your stress.
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Step 5: Organize your work
- Check your list of work and put it into different categories as : “do it now”, “do it later”, “create a project”. If there is some work which is not critical and you need not do it then simply delete it.
- “Do it now” category should be the ones which can be done very quickly, say 5 mins. This should be done asap and the work should be deleted once done.
- “Do it later” list should be seen once in month to check if something needs to be re-looked with a new viewpoint.
- “Create a project” list should have an owner with dates of completion. Follow through to make sure that the work is done. Remove the work from the list once it is done.
- You should try to keep the three list (“do it now”, “do it later”, “create a project”) as empty as possible.
Step 6: Daily work management
- Write in a white board or in a diary: “To mail”, “To call” or “To do”.
- Every day before you start the day spend 15 mins to fill up the above.
- Before you leave for work, strike out all the work that is done. Copy the work not done to next day’s work list. In case you are using a white board simply remove the work done and let the “not done” work stay there as it is.
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Step 7: Prioritize your work
You need to do this every week or month or quarter or year for the planning of that time period.
This needs to be empty. Doing more of this creates stress but you need to get this done.
You need to see how you devote more of time on this kind of work. This is less stressful
If you do this you are going to be stressed
If you do this you are going to be extremely stressed and also unsuccessful.
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