It is said that people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. A simple exercise can reduce your stress, help you to be more productive and give quality family time a whole new perspective. This method of planning will also decrease your evening stress and the effects that stress has on one’s sleep.
Most of us will leave the office and driving home and during the course of the evening think of things that need to be done and things that have been forgotten during that day. All these thoughts cause distractions and stress. This reduces the relaxation of evenings, weekends and family time.
Try this approach for just one week and see the change not only in your stress levels but in your rest time and your sleep.
Set a time in your diary for the last appointment of your day for between 15 and 30 minutes. I enter it in my diary as ‘Meeting with myself’. Commit it to your diary and treat it as the most important appointment of your day. In fact, this is the most important appointment of your day. If possible, set it for the same time every day
Begin by centring yourself. Close your eyes take a few deep breaths and just relax for a minute or two. Have a book that you can write in and your diary. Writing with a pen and paper is more effective, but you may choose to store it on an electronic device. See what meetings you have in your diary for the next day then in the separate book make a lists of everything that needs your attention. You may think of things that are for the following days that you can get into motion or things that you should have done today or the days before that you didn’t get around to. List all of these. Now plan what you need to have done on the following day. What are the most important things? Put those in your diary. What are the other things that may not be priority that you need to start addressing? What are the things of low priority or things that you can delegate or be assisted with by others?
Keep track during the day of your priorities, stick to your diary with the high priority activities. If other projects or activities that may come up or that you have remembered from before list these in your separate activities book.
When you get home leave the book on the kitchen counter or somewhere you have easy access to it. Not to refer to it during the evening, but to enter random thoughts or things you need to remember. This way you can forget them for the rest of the evening. If anything does pop into your head, don’t allow it to distract you from your relaxation time, write a note of it in your book and then forget about it. Worrying about it or running it through your mind all evening will not make it easier or better the next day and accept that there is nothing you can do about it at that present moment.
Rinse and repeat.
Drop me an email after a few days and tell me how this has worked for you.