Recently, I spoke with a High Performing Executive who was seeing a 30% reduction in her team size and was not sure if she was next in line. Even though she did have decades of experience and an excellent track record, she had allowed doubts to creep into her system and this was stressing her out big time.
She did mention to me that she was emotionally and physically exhausted by her brutal schedule and the intense demand of her involvement. She was completely stressed out, extremely anxious and even worse, sleep deprived.
This had resulted in her health issues skyrocketing, her relationship was deteriorating and all this was affecting her job performance. Even though she was spending more than 14 hours on the job, she did confide in me that she felt just 50% productive. Sounds familiar?
Now, each one of us do react differently to stressors in life. However, as per the latest research the reaction is more physical rather than emotional. So, the chances of being exposed to regular stress leads to insomnia, palpitation and at worst, depression. Moreover, if you begin to adjust yourself to the situation and try to motor along, chances are that you are taking out your issues on other people.
A blown-out fuse at work or home, an angry or impatient response or even worse, developing an attitude that if you are going through this then it’s fine for others to go through the same. Believe me, all these are very common when you allow stress to dictate over your life.
You always have 2 choices in this situation.
Option 1 is to allow yourself to be a driftwood and eventually allow stress and its partners in crime to gang up on you or,
Option 2 is to face the situation head on and boost your ability to weather the storm. Focus on what’s in your control and work towards improving your physical and emotional ability to overcome stress.
I always say this “Do not be a driftwood and flow with the current. Take your chances, work on your belief system and create opportunities rather than wait for things to happen”.
If you are looking at option 1 then do not waste any more time reading My Blog. I would like to Wish you the very best and do hope you overcome the challenges.
However, if you are looking at option 2 then let’s dive in right away.
Point 1 : What Is Working You Up?
It is extremely critical to get a handle on what is causing you stress. If you scrap through the surface there are always a couple of unresolved challenges which do need immediate attention. When you step back and take a relook at your own response, you will be surprised with the findings.
Often, it is our reaction which causes more damage than the stress itself. I have had some clients over the years getting extremely emotional and critical, some of them used to bury themselves in the details and some reacted by being more quiet, louder or at times meaner. Once you begin to study the pattern then, it’s that much easier to work on the next step.
Point 2 : What Is The Fallout On Others?
Sometimes, we become so self-centered that we tend to forget that there are people, partners and family around us who often bear the consequences. Going through stress alone is another thing but passing on to people who matter the most is unforgivable.
Does your reaction make your team or family so threatened that they feel distant or even worse, disconnected? Often, most of these people are looking up to you in all respects. So, it’s time to own up responsibility and pull up the socks for good. You can try my 3 Step Approach to hit the ground running.
Also, the bigger picture is that stress is extremely viral and contagious. It does spread amongst teams and family members and before you realize it, would have become an epidemic.
Point 3 : Work Towards Getting Organized
Over the last decade working as an Executive Coach with high performing executives, I have noticed that one of the top triggers of stress has been due to people being disorganized. It is extremely frustrating and an energy drainer when things are not the way they are meant to be. You can refer this brilliant Blog Article by Leo Babuta to help you be organized.
When you are disorganized, you are more prone to mistakes and eventually this leads to bad time management, these will eventually lead you to getting stressed to mundane tasks and you can just about imagine as to what happens when you take the whole day.
Point 4 : Are You A Procrastinator?
When you are stressed and not organized it is bound to create an extremely disempowering habit of procrastination. It is proved beyond doubt in recent research that people who get good at procrastinating have a high level of stress and low well-being. There is no magic pill for breaking the habit of procrastination other than jumping into the arena and doing the tasks diligently.
I had worked on a CEO of a startup couple of months back who had signed up with me just to break his procrastination habit. He did know that it was causing him the most damage both in his professional and personal life.
Now, I can proudly say that he is 100% procrastination-free. He has rewired himself and let go of all the old patterns and habits which were feeding his procrastination habit. This is a great video for helping you break the Procrastination habit.
Point 5 : Stop Juggling Too Many Things
Some people swear by Multitasking. However, do remember that only a few especially women are good in that. The reason is that we are not wired for Multitasking. However, with limited time and competition heating up within the organization, most think that by Multitasking they can become more productive and be ahead in the rat race. It is far from the truth. This 5-minute video will help you know the truth of Multitasking.
More and more research does point to the high level of stress in Corporate executives and Entrepreneurs due to Multitasking. Sadly, this Corporate illness is not going anywhere too soon and it is only you who can take the necessary steps to move away from Multitasking and focus on the time-tested method of one task at a time.
I can see some of you already rolling your eyes but, stay with me. It’s just a matter of a few days before you begin to see some massive results. I will guarantee you on this aspect. I have taken the high road of Multitasking in my Corporate career and experienced it’s pitfall firsthand.
Point 6 : Build Your Own Stress Breaks
One of the most effective ways which has always worked 100% for all my clients in managing their stress is to move away from it physically and mentally. Now if you are conscious about what is causing you stress, say like a report you are working on with an unrealistic deadline or a presentation you were supposed to submit 12 hours back, then there is no sense in working with your tail on fire. This will only make you stressed and helpless.
So here is what I do advise and strongly nudge my own clients to do on a consistent basis. I make them temporarily remove themselves from the source of stress. One of the ways I do tell them is to go for a small break of 10 minutes and break the focus and pattern.
Getting some fresh air is a great option though and it is practical. This will also help them to walk around a bit and create an opportunity to physically interact with other employees. So, what is the stress buster activity you want to come with?
Point 7 : Practice The Art Of Recovery
If you are a cricket fan, then you will be aware that the best player like Virat Kohli does not push himself at 100% capacity all the time. He does work on recovery time by building time to recharge because by working on full throttle all the time you are sooner than later bound to run out of steam.
Just like professional athletes you, as a professional executive can use the same techniques to work on. Some of the things I do recommend to my own clients to develop recovery time is
- Listen to music on the commute time
- Keep distraction to the minimum during family time.
- Have at least one meal a day with family on the dining table without any distractions.
- Work on a social activity or a hobby
Always remember that you can and will perform at an extraordinarily level only when you create boundaries for relaxing.
We are not robots to function 24/7 at the same pace and consistency. The time and energy you do spend away from work on a consistent basis will enhance your productivity to deal with challenges at work.
When you make space to relax, you are creating opportunities to be more creative and clear in your thought process which will go a long way in improving your performance drastically.
Point 8 : Invest On Your Health
Regular exercise is the only effective antidote for stress. Yes, there is immense research on the psychological benefits of regular exercise which does help in countering stress. Do begin to work on regular exercise as it is known to increase your sense of being in control, maximize your self-esteem and more than anything, help you to regulate your emotions.
This according to me, is the biggest takeaway of investing in regular exercise. Moreover, you will be surprised to hear that most of the Top CEOs I have been interviewing over the last one year swear by regular exercise and have been vocal in saying that “Regular exercise has helped them to improve their effectiveness as a leader”.
Most of them categorically stated that they rate people significantly higher on leadership effectiveness based on how much time they invest in regular exercise. So, working to a sweat is from now on, not only to improve your health quotient but also to maximize your leadership quotient.
Recent research amongst Sr executives in India has come up with alarming risk factors such as high cholesterol, high BP, fatty liver and too much body fat. Now this is detrimental to your career progression for sure!
If you have always neglected your own health, then do not commit the cardinal sin of waiting for more time or less stress to make the change. It will never happen and you do not want to regret later for the lost chance.
Do yourself a favor and at the least try to speak to me to gain some momentum and traction and I will guarantee you that if you are 100 % committed to the cause you will notice some significant changes in the next 7 Days.
Just click on the link below to sign up for a Strategy Call with me and by the end of it I will guarantee the following
- Identity the area of your challenge
- Get a new perspective on your action steps
- Get a clear road map to achieve your professional & personal goals.
If you are an executive in an organization and are looking at “Employee Transformation” then you will be glad to hear that I do “Strategic Intervention” personally for your core team. By the end of this intervention your team will be able to
- Work on their Stretched Goals with absolute clarity and focus
- Double or even triple their productivity, by developing laser-like focus
- Create a clear road-map in their own Goal Setting Journey.
You can see how our Strategic Interventions can help your core team to perform at their best by clicking on
You can also reach out to my team by sending out a mail to the following email id firstname.lastname@example.org
One of my team members will be happy to reach out to you and discuss about these “Strategic Interventions”.
Thank you for reading my post. I regularly write about Leadership, Peak Performance, and Health & Wellness.