Do you ever get stressed? That’s a pretty silly question because everyone experiences stress, especially in the corporate world. Some executives handle stress well, while others are plagued by it’s nagging consequences. As pressures of fall start to hit your calendar and you strive to get things done, it’s a good time to stop and think about how stress effects you and your family, and to be clear about how you want to keep yourself in the healthy and productive zone at work, and in your relationships.
According to WebMD, more than 75% of visits to doctors are because of stress-related issues. Stress can lead to headaches, high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, depression, cancer, anxiety, and a whole lot more.
The bottom line is that stress hinders your ability to get things done, and it negatively impacts your fulfillment, and how you show up in life – at home and at work. Typically, it impacts your relationships with those closest to you. So, what can you do about it?
It would be silly to tell you not to be stressed. Have you ever seen that work before? I remember a high school coach who would say: “Just relax…” Just before a big game. It didn’t work. Telling you what not to do or what to think can be counterproductive.
In my view,
the real cure for stress is knowing what is important to you,
and sticking to a plan.
Top executives who do great work and make it to their children’s birthday parties, and manage to be both psychologically and emotionally present, often think about how they are going to spend their time. They think about the time they want to reserve for work, family, and personal pursuits including their spiritual and physical health.
For example, one of my clients is the COO of one of the fastest growing companies in Canada, and next in line for the CEO. This is a huge job! Every Monday he color codes his calendar to ensure he has his daily workouts, his children’s pick ups, his key work commitments, wife time, and church. His career is at an all time high, and his wife and kids love him to bits! He also has about 7percent body fat.
When you are clear about your priorities, and you know you have a set amount of time to get something done, you make more precise choices, and you tend to get more done in a focused, short amount of time. You also will likely discover that you have less time available for work then the driven part of yourself would have you believe, so you need to be focused about what you get done.
If you can say yes, you have the option to say no.
So, think about: What do you want your life to be like six months from now? What do you want similar to today? Different? What changes would you need to make in your calendar to make this a reality? What would you want to say yes too? What would you need to say no to? These are questions you need to ask yourself every month, and week, and then stick to your game plan. If a new opportunity comes up, ask yourself again: What is most important to me?
Bottom line is that stress can take years off of your life, and it sucks the life out of you. You probably know someone right now whose health and relationships are crumbling as a result of their priorities, and their persistent stress. You don’t want to become one of these people.
So, here’s my recommendation—stop right now and block out time on your calendar to be with your partner, invest in your kids, and do something other than work. Your family deserves the best in you.
Don’t less your personal stress
keep you from being who you want to be
with the people who matter.