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Stay Organized and Prevent Stress

Okay, it’s time for a confession…. it’s been a stressful few weeks. We’ve had a lot of irons in the fire lately. And I’m talking seriously… like a LOT of irons in the fire! One potential downside to having an entrepreneurial mindset is the tendency to be over-ambitious. I call this a “potential” downside because if you can learn how to channel that energy, it does not have to be a downside at all! That’s the key… if you can stay organized you can easily prevent stress, even when your calendar is completely full!

Isn’t it funny how we often stop doing things that work, simply because we forget how things were before it was working? I’m talking about things you KNOW you should be doing, but tend to forget WHY you should be doing them.

For me, the most recent “thing” has been prioritizing my daily actions and making my “to-do” list ahead of time. Yes, I had a list… but does that really count if it is written in a spiral, lost in the pile of “stuff” that has accumulated on my desk? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

I will never pretend to be 100% organized 100% of the time. I would come closer to saying I am 75% organized, 85% of the time. My mother certainly has me beat in this category! What I will say though, is few things make me feel more stressed out than being disorganized… and when I am feeling stressed to the max I can often look around my life and (if thinking clearly) recognize that I alone am the culprit because I alone have allowed the “stuff” to get in the way of my daily routine.

I don’t work well when I’m stressed out. Instead of working systematically I tend to jump frantically from thing to thing to thing and usually just end up with a migraine. I might add, after several months of being virtually migraine free, I have experienced 3 in the past   2 1/2 weeks. Something had to give!

So last week I had the melt-down that most often leads to a much-needed reality check. This happened on Friday morning… 30 minutes before we were supposed to leave town for the weekend. I’m also fairly confident it played party to the fact that I managed to get out of town without my purse (including my wallet and drivers license) and spent the entire weekend sneaking drinks from my more responsible family members…. because let’s face it, I pretty much look like I’m twelve years old.

But I digress… this melt-down, followed by a weekend of recreation (ever notice that word = to “re-create”?), led to what I expect to be a much more productive and, consequently, stress-free week. Upon returning home on Sunday evening the first thing I did was make a list of all the projects I have going on right now. I then prioritized them and vowed to sit down on Monday morning and systematically complete each one, start-to-finish, until I was completely caught up. Then, I watched The Grammys.

I’m fairly certain I got more done yesterday than I did all of last week combined. You see, being busy does not necessarily = being stressed out. At least it doesn’t have to! By prioritizing your actions and attacking them with a SYSTEM, you are able to get so much more done!

I hope this article was helpful to you… and if not, then at least confession is good for the soul. I feel much better having written it 🙂

It’s only Tuesday — you have 4 more glorious days of this work-week ahead of you. If you’re feeling stressed and not sure where to start, take 30 minutes and make a list. I can virtually guarantee your week will function 100% if you do!

So the quote I leave you with today is this… by one of my favorite authors, Brian Tracy:

“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy!”

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