“Be mindful of how you approach time. Watching the clock is not the same as watching the sun rise.”
Yesterday I talked about my friend that is often stressed out because of task overload. I suggested he put a priority on taking a break each day in order to recharge. I also thought it was worth the effort to only take on those things he can do well and complete as promised. Of course I know for some of us that is a lot easier said than done, I, like many of you often have found myself with so many balls in the air that I had to franticly run around just to keep from losing them. I am also someone who finds himself unconsciously doing more than one thing at a time, some call that multitasking, in my case it is more like undisciplined chaos.
So what do we do? I am not glib or smart enough to know the answers but I stumbled across an article on WikiHow on How to be Laid Back that I think makes a lot of sense. So with a weekend coming up won’t you join me in laying back and taking things a little easy? Here is what the article suggests we do.
How to be Laid Back
Whether you’re a worrywart, a perfectionist, an overachiever, or a workaholic, you probably envy people who seem to float through life gracefully, never concerned (like you are) about what might happen if they don’t do this or don’t do that. Perhaps they’re not the most motivated or accomplished people you’ve met, but they always seem content. If you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum–always doing, never satisfied–here’s how to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride that is your life.
Steps you can take
Do one thing at a time. The world’s greatest achievements were made by people who gave the task in front of them their undivided attention. Tackling multiple activities at once might feel efficient, but is it really productive? Is giving each task 30% of your attention for three hours as effective as giving each task 100% of your attention for one hour each? If something doesn’t deserve your undivided attention, maybe it’s not worth doing at all.
Slow down. Why the rush? If what you’re doing is important enough to warrant your time, you might as well enjoy it. Cleaning the house for an hour with your favourite music playing and your bottom shaking is better than cleaning the house in half that time but in a frantic state of mind. Don’t just “get it over with”–find a way to make every activity something that you look forward to doing.
Stop being a perfectionist. High standards have their place–when performing surgery, for example–but when applied to other areas of your life (your appearance, your home’s appearance, your hobbies, your handwriting, whatever) you’re practically inviting anxiety into your life. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any standards at all; it’s when you start stressing out about the details that you need to ask yourself: “Will doing this right now make me truly happy? Will it make me a better person? Will it make the world a better place?” Usually, the answer is no.
Step aside. When you close your eyes and imagine your role in the world, do you see yourself as Atlas, the mythological Titan, holding the weight of the world on your shoulders? Do you feel like you want to relax, but worry that if you do, everything will fall apart? If so, you need to delegate some responsibility. You might think other people won’t do as good a job, but that’s the thing: they’ll never do it just like you do. So give them responsibility, give them advice, and pass the reins.
Remember that it’s not the end of the world. Many people spend their entire lives trying to prevent bad things from happening. But guess what? They happen anyway. And life goes on. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take any kinds of precautions in life, but if the majority of your thoughts are consumed in contingency planning, you’re not enjoying life. You’re preventing it.
Focus on what you have, not what you have to do. Sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking “I have to straighten this up…I have to correct him…I have to stop her…” but truthfully, we don’t have to do anything. You can walk away from any task, at any time. Try replacing every “have to” with a “want to” and see if the statement still holds. Meaning, is it something that you’ll look back on when you’re in your deathbed and be happy you did? Most likely not. So appreciate what you have, while you have it.
Is everything as urgent as your stress would imply?
As he lay on his deathbed he spoke, “Sara, I want you should know before I die that Ginsburg the tailor owes me $200, and Morris the butcher owes me $50, and Klein next door owes me $300.”
His wife turned to the children and said, “What a wonderful man your father is. Even when he’s dying he’s got the brains to realize who owes him money.”
The old man continued, “And Sara I want you to also know that I owe the landlord a hundred dollars.”
To which his wife cried, “Oh oh, now he’s getting delirious!”
If ignorance is bliss, why aren’t more people happy?
Bidding at a local auction was proceeding furiously when the auctioneer suddenly announced, “A gentleman in this room has lost a wallet containing $10,000. If it is returned, he will pay a reward of $2,000.”
There was a moment’s silence, and then from the back of the room came the cry, “Two thousand five hundred!”
“You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, “My God, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!”
A man walks into a shoe store, and tries on a pair of shoes. “How do they feel?” asks the sales clerk.
“Well … they feel a bit tight.” replies the man.
The assistant promptly bends down and has a look at the shoes and the mans feet. “Try pulling up on the tongue.” offers the clerk.
“Nath theyth sthill feelth a bith tighth.” He says.
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”
If you have to write a letter of recommendation for a fired employee, here are a few suggested phrases:
For the chronically absent: “A man like him is hard to find.” “It seemed her career was just taking off.”
For the office drunk: “I feel his real talent is wasted here.” “We generally found him loaded with work to do.” “Every hour with him was a happy hour.”
For an employee with no ambition: “He could not care less about the number of hours he had to put in.” “You would indeed be fortunate to get this person to work for you.”
For an employee who is so unproductive that the job is better left unfilled: “I can assure you that no person would be better for the job.”
For an employee who is not worth further consideration as a job candidate: “I would urge you to waste no time in making this candidate an offer of employment.” “All in all, I cannot say enough good things about this candidate or recommend him too highly.”
For a stupid employee: “There is nothing you can teach a man like him.” “I most enthusiastically recommend this candidate with no qualifications whatsoever.”
For a dishonest employee: “Her true ability was deceiving.” “He’s an unbelievable worker.”
The man who doesn’t relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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