27 September 2023

Three simple ways to curb stress and regain energy

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May Busch* share a few pieces of advice that have helped her through times when she felt stressed and overwhelmed by her workload.

Are you feeling tired, stressed and burnt out? Does it leave you without the energy to focus on your career or any number of important things you know you should do but can’t seem to get to?

If so, you are not alone and there are many reasons you could feel exhausted, drained and lacking in energy.

It could be the job isn’t a good fit for you.

Maybe it’s the people you work with or the way you’re approaching the work you do.

Perhaps it’s your responsibilities outside of work or feeling worried about the state of the world.

Whatever the cause, it’s hard to feel good about yourself and do well when you’re in this state.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get back to feeling energised so you can progress towards your career and life goals sustainably.

It’s a continuing practice, so here are three pieces of advice that have helped me get back to a more constructive state of mind, plus the mantra I use to remind me of each step.

Slow down

The mantra I repeat to myself when I feel like I’m falling behind or taking too long to get something done is this: Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

It’s a saying I learned from a mentor who watched his peers achieve fame and fortune ahead of him.

However, a decade later and most were no longer in business, while my mentor had built a successful multimillion-dollar company and is a respected leader in the field.

Like the story of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race.

Or as a colleague said: “It’s all in the preparation.”

Better to take the time to build your foundation and prepare the path so your progress is smoother and faster in the end.

Set boundaries

When I feel overwhelmed by too many commitments and urgent tasks, this advice from one of my fellow Mastermind members has served me well: ‘No’ is a complete sentence.

Saying no is foundational to setting boundaries for yourself so you can keep yourself from burning out.

Of course, there are graceful ways to go about it, for example:

“Thank you so much for sharing this opportunity.

“While it’s not something I’m going to pursue, I’m deeply honoured you thought of me.”

You can offer to suggest someone else, but don’t feel like you have to explain yourself.

Developing your ability to say no and establish your limits will keep you from being pushed beyond your limits.

Do less

When I feel stressed out about trying to get everything done when there simply isn’t enough time to do it all, this advice has been extremely helpful.

Instead of thinking about how you’re going to get it done, ask yourself who can help you get this done?

The mantra that comes with it is the title of a book by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy: Who Not How.

In other words, you don’t have to do everything yourself.

You can delegate parts of the work (or even all of it) to a team member who would see it as an opportunity to step up.

Or collaborate with colleagues to get the project done faster and better than any one person could do on their own.

As wonderful and dedicated as you are, you can’t be the answer to everything.

So stop being the proverbial Atlas carrying the weight of the world and choose to do less.

You’ll be in a better position to achieve your goals by finding the ‘who’ — that is, the person best placed to take on the task.

This will free you up to do what you uniquely do, which in turn will help you feel energised again.

When you feel energised, you’ll achieve more in every area of your life.

In a world where we’re always on, it’s more important than ever to learn how to manage our energy so we can enjoy our lives while also achieving our goals.

*May Busch works with smart entrepreneurs and top managements to build their businesses. She can be contacted at [email protected].

This article first appeared at maybusch.com.

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