Search Blog Content

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How Vulnerable Are You To Stress?

 By: Arthur Buchanan

In modern society, most of us can't avoid stress. But we can
learn to behave in ways that lessen its effects. Researchers
have identified a number of factors that affect one's
vulnerability to stress - among them are eating and sleeping
habits, caffeine and alcohol intake, and how we express our
emotions. The following questionnaire is designed to help you
discover your vulnerability quotient and to pinpoint trouble
spots. Rate each item from 1 (always) to 5 (never), according to
how much of the time the statement is true of you. Be sure to
mark each item, even if it does not apply to you - for example,
if you don't smoke, circle 1 next to item six. To get your
score, add up the figures and subtract 20. A score below 10
indicates excellent resistance to stress. A score over 30
indicates some vulnerability to stress; you are seriously
vulnerable if your score is over 50. You can make yourself less
vulnerable by reviewing the items on which you scored three or
higher and trying to modify them. Notice that nearly all of them
describe situations and behaviors over which you have a great
deal of control. Concentrate first on those that are easiest to
change - for example, eating a hot, balanced meal daily and
having fun at least once a week - before tackling those that
seem difficult. Bills are piling up, the front lawn is a jungle,
and you can't remember what your desk looks like under those
stacks of paper. If only you had more time. We've all said it at
one time or another. Lack of time can be a major source of
stress. As demands of daily living grow, more and more of us
feel there just aren't enough hours in a day to do everything
that needs to get done. Teaching people how to manage their time
is now an American enterprise. There are time-management books,
tapes, workshops, and seminars to make us more efficient. Day
planners, organizers, and calendars help us remember and
organize things. We even have personal coaches to help us turn
chaotic lives into more orderly ones. Time Is On Your Side

Learning to better manage your time can make you feel more in
control of your life. That can reduce stress. If you can get a
handle on how you spend your time, you'll be able to work
smarter and function better at home and away. You'll relax more,
be less stressed, find your goals are within easier reach, and
have more time for yourself. You'll also be proud of how
organized you've become! Sound impossible? It's not! Here are
some ways to become a wise time manager wherever you are: Get
Organized. You can waste a lot of time looking for things you've
misplaced, trying to make plans or decisions at the last minute,
or putting things off for later. Clean up your desk and office
by making places to store things -- file cabinets, notice
boards, in- and out-boxes "to read" and "bill-paying" trays --
even a shredder! Make files, update your rolodex, and organize
your pantry and drawers so you can find things more easily.

What's that you say? These things take time and you already
don't have enough time? Putting in some extra time to get
organized will save you a lot of time in the long run. And don't
try to do all your organizing in one day. Tackle just one drawer
or closet each weekend. Sort through a pile every other day
until you get through all of them. Keep a day planner or
calendar handy and use it. Post all your important telephone
numbers and email addresses in an easy-to-see place so you don't
have to keep looking them up. Make a schedule for bill-paying
day, laundry day, grocery shopping day, and library day. Make
"to do" lists and check off tasks once they're done. This will
show progress and help you feel like you're getting things done
when you don't think you are. Set Priorities . List the things
you must get done in a day. Be realistic. Writing down how much
time you expect each activity to take helps. The most important
things go at the top of your list. Focus on getting those done
during your high-energy time of day. Bump the less important
tasks to the next day or week if you can't get to them. And
don't beat yourself up if you don't. Remind yourself that there
are only so many hours in a day and you're doing the best you
can. Nobody's perfect! Stay Focused. If you're working on a
project, close your office door, ignore the phone and email
messages, tell family members or coworkers you're unavailable -
try to get rid of all the distractions that prevent you from
finishing your task. Distractions can cause stress. And the
stress gets worse because you didn't finish the job you set out
to do even though you made the time. Schedule a half hour at the
start and middle of the day to review and respond to emails and
phone calls. Allow another 30 minutes at end of the day to wrap
up for the day and get organized for the next one. Multitask
Wisely . Why not kill two birds with one stone when you can? For
instance, write Christmas cards or update your rolodex while
you're watching television. Don't get carried away with
multitasking, though. That may lead to more stress and even be
dangerous. Shaving, sending a fax, or sitting in on an important
conference call while you're driving is downright dangerous! Get
Help. Decide what you realistically can do in the time you have
and get help doing the rest. Lighten your load by asking someone
to run an errand while you're cleaning the house for company.
That lets you receive your guests more graciously when they
arrive. Getting a coworker to pitch in on a big project shows
you can delegate work and get things done. With a little
practice, you can become quite good at managing your personal
and professional time. Not only will you become more efficient,
you'll have less stress.

No comments:

Post a Comment