One of the best feelings anyone can have is that “job well done” feeling, you know what I’m talking about, right? You did your best and everything fell into place, just the way you planned it.
One of the worst feelings you can have is that “I’m stuck and falling behind” feeling.
That feeling is extremely dangerous, once you lose confidence in your ability to perform tasks successfully; you encounter productivity’s number one enemy, stress.
Although a little amount of stress can be good for your productivity, a lot of stress can cause a meltdown and actual health problems. There are three stages to stress:
Alarm – the initial reaction, the stage in which you realize that you need to do something! Your body springs into action pumping adrenaline and cortisol into your system to support your brain’s high demand levels for reaction and alertness.
Resistance – if the task is prolonged in some way or if it’s a long term demanding project, your body tries to cope with the stress by providing more resources to try to adapt itself to the demands of that project, but your body cannot keep this up for long and its resources are gradually depleted.
Exhaustion – at this point the body had used all its resources and you start to feel the burn, your body got hit hard and you lose your ability to function normally (at least for a while), in some cases your body’s immune system becomes exhausted, resulting in actual illness.
To reduce the effects of stress on your body, you’ll have to get your stress levels under control in the first stage, once you’ll reach the second stage it’ll be much harder…Once you reach the third stage, you can kiss your ability to work goodbye.
To stop your stress levels from getting the best of you, you’ll need some good old fashioned O.R.D.E.R!
Every time I feel I’m slipping away I use the 5 stages of O.R.D.E.R to gather myself, get the job done and then decompress.
Organize – The first thing I do to organize my work by including all my tasks in lists and organizing them according to context, e.g., where you need to be in order to complete the task (no need to worry about your shopping when you are at the office). It’s really important that you’ll have everything in one place that will centralize your work.
Recognize – This is where you’ll need to activate a few brain cells….Once everything is available to you in lists, prioritize all your items. Recognize what might take large chunks of your time and prepare for it by adding support materials and people that that might help you complete tasks.
Delegate – Are you the right person for the job? Get all the help you can on your upcoming projects by delegating certain tasks, use your colleagues, family and friends. Be sure to communicate your needs to them properly.
Execute – Nothing will fall into place if you’ll wait for it, waiting for perfection is procrastinating and procrastinating creates even more stress. Once you delegated, you must focus and perform your tasks, it’s as simple as that. Everything will fall into place once you’re on the move.
Regroup – Finished? You’ll need to unwind a bit and then organize all your troops for the next set of actions.
ORDER is a simple technique that will help you to reduce stress levels while working.
…If you’re taking your first steps into working right and would like to achieve your goals without frying your systems, ORDER is the way to go!