Separating what needs your attention right now versus what can be put on the back burner is a dark art. Often our to-do lists only go in one direction (longer), but with a deep breath and a little bit of work, there are some approaches to niggling tasks that can make your life way less stressful. Interested? So were we...
Master Your Calendar
Often the thing that causes the most stress is feeling like you're being dragged in all directions, not just within work, but externally too - between your social life, professional life, and everything in between. Utilising your calendar can be extremely helpful in visualising the time you do have, and often it's a lot more than we think. Once we set aside time for the things that need to get done, then we know when we will - or won't - have time for everything else, and it's that knowledge that helps manage expectations and stress melt away.
Take Care of the Nasties
In the words of Mark Twain; if you know you have to swallow a frog, swallow it first thing in the morning. If there are two frogs, swallow the biggest one first. Whilst we don't condone eating live frogs, he had a point. Do what you dread early, and do it first, otherwise the day will drag as you build up to the thing you really don't want to do at the very end. By getting the nasties out of the way, everything else will be a breeze.
Not the root of all evil, but close; our mobile phones are pretty much another limb, and it's difficult to tear ourselves from them for more than a few hours at most. By setting timers on social media, or getting rid of it all together, we can make sure we don't get distracted from what we're supposed to be doing in the present. Unfortunately this advice does include cat videos.
Don't Make Mountains
Often the thorn in our side is more of a splinter, but over-thinking what we have to do only magnifies a problem that often isn't that bad in the first place. By keeping your own perspective in check you can quickly realise that actually, your to-do list isn't going to bring on the apocalypse.
Take a Breather
It feels like pretty much every blog post we promote taking a break - we swear we do actually do work at Sunday Sanctuary - but giving yourself physical and mental space from a pile-up of tasks helps us come back to them refreshed, with greater clarity on what to do now, and what can sit on the back-burner a little longer.
Over time you'll find that practising these points can quickly remove stress right out of the equation. Stress tends to rear its ugly head with simply feeling overwhelmed, so plan ahead, and above all, take care of yourself first.