Less is More – Simplify and Lighten the Load
Have you ever cried out for a simpler, more manageable life, where you're unburdened by overwhelming tasks, your stress levels reduce, your productivity increases, as does your overall health and wellbeing? I think most of us will be familiar with this feeling from time to time.
With this in mind, I thought I’d share some insights with you all, after recently reading a book by Steve Magness called ‘Do Hard Things’. He suggests that the way to build resilience, create mental space, streamline tasks and reclaim your time, is based on four key behaviours:
Authenticity - be your true self in all your thoughts and actions. Align your expectations with reality. Embrace your real self and not others expectations of you. Set boundaries. Learn and get comfortable with saying ‘no’
Acknowledging Your Thoughts And Emotions - identify and interpret your thoughts and feelings without self judgement. Learn how to engage with your emotions and channel them. Recognise the positive and the negative. Counselling, journaling and meditation are good tools.
Learn to Respond Rather Than React - try to be present in the moment, without judgement. Create space between yourself and a stimulus. Give yourself the chance to process the situation, any thoughts and feelings before actively choosing how to respond. Mindfulness is great for this.
Drive - find your sense of purpose, your ‘why.’ Intrinsic motivation is more important and sustainable than extrinsic motivation. Understand whether you really want to do something. If you don't, is it something you need to decline, outsource or automate?
Magness advocates that it is only when we step away from the conventional myth of toughness, such as putting a brave face on or just keeping our heads down, and use these four key behaviours that we can enjoy true resilience and mental space.
We all try to do too much sometimes and when we do, it catches up with us emotionally, physically, socially, financially....the list goes on, but we owe it to ourselves to be happy and healthy. Look at where you can simplify certain areas of your day-to-day life and how you can help to lighten your load. By setting boundaries, removing or outsourcing tasks, creating mental space and embracing simplicity, will all result in reduced stress, increased productivity, and an improved sense of overall health and wellbeing - the good stuff!
This book is a good read for anyone interested in dealing with high stress challenges, work based or personal. I can highly recommend it.