Lately I have been so stressed and worried about my work that I’ve been paralysed into doing nothing. It made me feel even worse when I kept thinking “but this is what you want to do, so why aren’t you doing it?!”. Turns out a lot of people feel the same! Almost by accident I stumbled across a couple of different blog posts with ideas of solutions for this sort of problem.
Just do something
Both posts that I came across were as a result of Julia from The Business Bakery’s newsletters. Every week I recieve a newsletter full of great business tips and links to other posts that are useful to every business owner. This week I discovered 99u.com. I clicked through from The Business Bakery’s newsletter to a post about realistic expectations but I kept scrolling through all the other great posts and saw this one, How to Stop Stressing and Start Doing, which described the exact way I was feeling.
Zen Habits’ Leo Babauta has a great recommendation for those times when you’re wallowing in self-doubt, consumed by stress over your work and paralyzed into inaction. Just start doing something.
The idea is you just pick something from your to do list and do it without thinking about anything else. Simple as that. Once you pick something, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it might be, it’s something that you can tick off your list and put behind you. One tiny step forward but that’s all you need. The more you do, the more you’ll feel you are able to do. Read the full post by Zen Habits here. Zen Habits and 99u have been added straight on to my Bloglovin list and I suggest you do it too!
Take a Think Day
The 2nd suggestion from Julia herself at The Business Bakery is to take a Think Day. For some it may seem like a waste of time to take a day out of your busy schedule but I know in my opinion I can definitely see how this would benefit me. I often get very stressed and feel like there’s so many things going on that my mind can’t focus or concentrate on any one thing. I find myself instantly forgetting things and becoming super distracted.
A Think Day is simply a day off to de-stress and gather your thoughts. However, I used my Think Day as more of a “Learn Day”. As one of my main worries is confidence in my skills and my business, I decided to stack up all of my books that I’d like to read and work my way through them without the work distractions. “Going Freelance”, “Starting and Running a Business”, “Craft Show and Sell”, “Online Marketing for your Craft Business”…all sorts of titles like that.
I did cheat a little bit and ended up doing some work but it was all things on my to do list that I’d deemed not important enough to spend time on right now and they had therefore been hanging around for yonks! Some of them simply take 5 minutes to write an email or 15 minutes to reorganise and that’s it.
Not only did this Think Day / Learn Day / Business Spring Clean Day seem to calm me down, it also gave me time to improve my skills (time that I’ve promised to fit into my work schedule before but so far haven’t) and I actually found that I couldn’t wait to get back to work and ended up being a whole lot more productive.
Why not try this? I’ve applied it to me and my businesses but you can probably apply it to any stress.