Insight, Inspiration, Motivation

Reduce Stress with Good Planning

 “Never begin the day until it is finished on paper” said Jim Rohn, one of the greatest success coaches of all time.

I used the word ‘reduce’, and not ‘eliminate’, as a lot of people would probably like to. The reason is that we first have to acknowledge that stress is a part of life, and a certain amount of stress is healthy. It will, if overcome well, make us stronger in the long run. Unless we are ready to accept this fact, and expect, even welcome a certain level of stress in our lives, we will have lost this game of life even before we start.

Stress becomes a problem only when it is either too much at a time, or continuing for too long without a break. Anybody can overcome an acute moderately stressful situation if it is short-lived. A small irritation, however, when it occurs repeatedly, day after day, with no resolution, becomes a burden, and can drive people to despair. The power to overcome a major catastrophe, varies vastly among people, based on many factors.

While it is not possible to prepare for everything that might happen, everybody is capable of knowing the common stressful factors in their own day-to-day life. Once we identify these, we have to make sure we control these factors as best we can, knowing our stress limits. if we can do this and then, leave some room for the unexpected, then we should be able to deal with the majority of the smaller stresses that we face in daily life.

The best way to do this is to plan ahead. Each day, if we can spend just 10 minutes in the morning writing down what we plan to do for that day, with a clear view in mind of what our priorities are, we are less likely to waste time doing unnecessary things that take up our time, we have more of a sense of purpose going through our day, and we are better prepared to deal with the unexpected, when it does happen.

Making a plan, obviously, doesn’t mean to say that once we write down the plan we should be inflexible and stick to it, no matter what, but on the other hand, it should be a guide that helps take us through the day, at least one step towards our goals.

Interestingly enough, almost nobody in this world would build a house without first making a plan. Nobody would go on a vacation or get married without planning it – down to the last detail. And yet, when it comes to their lives, most people feel that planning is too much work, and that plans always fail, and so on.

Well, plans can fail. Things can go wrong. The unexpected can happen. This happens even with the most well planned vacation or wedding, or building project. When it does, we try to fix it as best as we can, we try to get back on track and follow the rest of the plan if possible; if not, we modify the plan, and if that doesn’t work, we choose a different route altogether. Having a plan, however, helps us make these alternate arrangements with greater confidence than if we had no idea what to do next, or if we were already overwhelmed with everything that needed to be done.

As a great man once said, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”







October 18, 2011 - Posted by | Personal Journey

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