Focusing on three things a day – instead of packing in as much as possible – is key to avoiding overwhelm and achieving balance in your life, according to stress management expert and Soul2Soul coach Annie Lawler.
Speaking at her Get you, Get results January seminar for the Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE), Annie said that the majority of people lacked balance in their lives and were under pressure – and needed to concentrate their energy in key areas to help them manage multiple commitments.
A survey of the AWTE seminar attendees showed that 85% were stressed by balancing work and personal commitments; 75% wanted more ‘me time’; and 60% felt they were always putting other people’s needs before their own.
Annie offered her top 10 tips for avoiding overwhelm.
Prioritise your to-do list and choose three things to focus on each day.
Don’t waste time on distractions. Is what you’re doing helping to achieve those three things on today’s to-do list?
Understand the difference between perfectionism and high standards. The former leaves to stress; the latter shows you when to let go and know that you’re done enough.
Don’t work without breaks. This is inefficient and stressful.
Step back and think if you can take on another task without over-committing. Say ‘no’ if you can’t take it on.
Learn to delegate, and take the time to teach the people who work with you. It will boost their motivation and help you in the long run.
Under promise and over deliver.
Stay positive. If you’re not happy with something, make a change NOW.
Use breathing techniques for half an hour a day to help you relax and to boost your performance
Put yourself first. Only then will you have the patience and resources to help others.
Annie added: “Ultimately, the keys to getting the life you want are to focus on your goals (writing them down always helps); put yourself in control of your life; and take action to achieve your goals.”
AWTE Chair, Karen Ramirez said: “This was a timely seminar for working women. Let’s face it, most women hold many roles – boss, wife, employee, mother, confidante, director, strategist and more. Establishing clarity and focus on the priorities is key to ensuring the most important elements receive the correct proportion of our time and attention, and increases our effectiveness.”