As a business leader, you don’t have a lot of time to spare—and you certainly don’t want to squander your working hours on burnout or anxiety. And yet, stress happens to the best of us—and when it does, it can seriously drain our energy and our attention.
With the right strategy, though, you can remain productive even on those crazy days. Here are three solutions I recommend.
Lock Your Phone in a Closet Somewhere
You don’t literally have to do this, but I really do recommend putting your phone down somewhere, then walking away. Get some work done, then check back with your phone in a few hours.
There are a couple of reasons for this. One, it cuts down on distractions. Two, when you’re stressed, it’s all too easy to start scrolling through Instagram or Twitter, taking a “break” that eats up your entire day. Nope: Just set the phone down and immerse yourself in getting stuff done.
Get Out Your Whiteboard
A second tip: Write down all the things you have to do—which can be stress-relieving in its own right. List them in terms of priority. Schedule out the things you need to do today, tomorrow, and next week.
I especially recommend taking a visual approach—perhaps using a whiteboard or just a clean sheet of paper and some brightly colored markers to separate your different tasks. This tactile action can be more meaningful than you think.
Take Care of Yourself
If you’re going to fight through stress and get some things accomplished, you’re really going to need to be at your peak, energy-wise and mood-wise.
I have two specific recommendations here. First, get some sleep. It’s not wasted time—it’s an invaluable investment of your time! And second, cut out the caffeine. Caffeine jacks up your stress level, so beyond that cup of morning coffee to get you going, I’d skip it completely.
Make the Most of What You’ve Got
Stress often comes from the feeling that you just don’t have enough hours in the day—but do you know what? No matter how much you try, you can’t produce more time for yourself. You’ve got to make do with the same 24-hour days as the rest of us—and that means fighting through stressful times.