I thought I would share something I rediscovered this week. Something that is guaranteed to reduce stress and it's so easy to do.
I was not best pleased last week when I found that major road works were starting just outside my work place. They are unavoidable and will take about 6 months to complete. I mostly work flexi hours so not too much trouble most of the time as I can miss most of the worst commuter traffic and hence my involvement in en masse queuing is minimised. Except that this week I am on a Systems Engineering course which is forcing me to join the other commuter lemmings due to it's start and finish times. Lovely. Life is far too short to spend in traffic jams. Even with your new CD playing and sending out happy vibes that make you sing along and experience quizzical looks from other drivers.
Anyway, like a good project manager I planned ahead and allowed more time for my journey. A lot more time which was just as well as it took me 3 times the amount of time for my journey. But here's the thing. I did not freak out. I did not get anxious. I did not rant at the other traffic. I just sang along to my CD making a complete arse of myself and I didn't care because I had time. Voila! Just like that I had rediscovered something I already knew. Allow enough time to do the task and then a little bit on top.
It's amazing how less stressed I felt! By allowing myself time I took the pressure off. By taking the pressure off, I was less stressed. As I was less stressed I relaxed and even enjoyed my journey into work. Because I was relaxed I didn't get all ranty when the other drivers wouldn't let me over, I didn't get ranty when someone cut me up and didn't indicate, I could afford to let other people out of junctions because I didn't feel time was against me and I gave some people a good laugh watching me sing. Simple.
I think it can be easy to put undue pressure on ourselves in this fast paced high pressure environment most of us live in. There is always lots to do and never enough time to do it. The thing is though, that by taking the pressure off myself at the start of the day I arrive at work in a better frame of mind, the rest of the day just flows better and somehow I have more time. Einstein was right, time is relative after all! I know this is overly simplistic and it's not always possible to build in more time. Sometimes things work against us. But the nice thing is that I expected this week to be a nightmare seeing as I had to navigate the roadworks at the worse possible time, and I have been pleasantly surprised. Now, how often does that happen?