It’s summertime, but that doesn’t mean we don’t feel stressed. In fact, some of us might feel even more winded having to carry the extra workload of people who are out on two-week vacations to the south of France. An entrepreneur I know said he’d just gone through the most stressful period of the year trying to raise money while every investor seemed to be out of town. “I’ll never do that again,” he said.
Whatever is causing you stress, you don’t need to let it ruin your day or your life. Here are five ways successful people deal with everyday aggravations.
1. Do the hard stuff first.
Late Cosmopolitan magazine editor Helen Gurley Brown: Every morning she made sure to schedule all the unpleasant things she had to do, whether it was speaking to an unruly client or having to let go of an employee. Once you take care of the dreaded tasks, you’ll look forward to the day ahead, and those meetings won’t be hanging over you. And speaking about meetings, watch what some CEOs like Jack Welch and Spencer Rascoff have to say about holding the quickest, most effective meetings so you can get through the day faster.
2. Schedule “me” time.
Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, says he tries to schedule 45 minutes everyday to walk and think. It helps to clear the brain. No emails, no calls, no talking, just thinking. You might not have a chance to do this everyday, but if you can steal a few moments like this throughout the week, you’ll feel much more centered. Being an entrepreneur means having to see both the forest and the trees, and often we find ourselves stuck staring at trees all day long.
3. Have a devil-may-care attitude.
One consistent thing I hear from successful people is how little they care about money, power, or status. Now, deep down some probably do care, but for the most part, I find that sentiment to be true, and it helps carry them through the toughest times. There’s nothing worse than feeling like everything hinges on one outcome — it smacks of desperation. “If only I got X promotion, everything would be great” or “If only X called me back to invest, I’d be set.” If you can let go and not worry so much about controlling your future, you’ll find it turns out far better than you imagined.
When I was younger, I thought putting in longer hours would make me more successful. After a few years, I realized I was turning into the office zombie. I further realized everyone more successful than me was always going out and having fun at night. It dawned on me later that if I didn’t balance all the hard work with some pure fun, I’d be ineffective in the office. Hanging out with friends or colleagues is a great way to decompress, boost your ego, and let go of stress. Working mothers tend to have the least amount of time to do this but it’s a mistake to push this off out of guilt. From here on out, I permit you to hire a nanny and go out for a night on the town at least once a month.
5. Find your work therapist.
This person is not really a therapist but someone who you feel you can confide almost everything to — like when you’ve had a crappy day because the boss yelled at you, you can call him/her up and vent without judgment. Successful people tend to have a business partner who also doubles as their work therapists — someone with whom they can let their guard down around and just vent about the daily struggles. Almost all of us are warriors at work but that doesn’t mean we have to hide our emotions or bury them. Being able to talk through what’s happening to us, the daily ups and downs, with someone we trust, can make life so much easier. Hopefully, once you air your grievance, it goes away as soon as you leave the office.
Now start putting these tips to work and have an easier day!
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