(Guest article by Chantal Wendel, virtual personal assistant at Sapphire Virtual PA)
Our brain is a wonderful, magical thing. If we would process every impulse from the world around us that comes into our brains one by one, it would be a sure recipe for immediate madness. Fortunately, the brain has developed systems to handle this. For example, if you look at a building, the brain does not think about each individual stone, window and door, but it immediately sees a complete house.
Nevertheless, people can still experience stress from all the things they need to remember. We have all felt uncomfortable because we were scared to forget half all the things we still needed to do. Therefore, it is really good to know that you can use some techniques to make things easier on yourself and thus reduce your stress levels. To help you, we list 5 tips to make things easier on yourself here:
1. Don’t multi-task
It is said that women are better in multi-tasking then men. I don’t know if this is true, but I do know it is true that it is even better not to multi-task at all. If you have trouble avoiding multi-tasking this while behind your computer, it can help to turn off your e-mail, put your phone on silent mode, decide on a fixed time you will only work on this task, and don’t get distracted during this time. You can check your e-mail again later, and people really don’t mind getting a call-back, as long as you do that within a reasonable time. You will see that in total you will get more done if you do things with focus, one by one.
2. Always keep your things in the same location
Are you always looking for your keys? Notes? Jewellery? Watch? I know that I often do it, and it is tiring. Luckily there is a solution for this: keep items always in the same location! As simple as that. Keys e.g. in your handbag, jewellery e.g. in the top shelf left, your watch on your nightstand, etc. Make it a habit to place them always in the same location. And if by chance you do forget; and you see them lying around somewhere else: immediately move them to the proper location! You take a few extra steps (always good for your health), your house is tidy and you will always be able to find anything!
3. Use a password manager
It is almost unbelievable how many passwords a person has to create when they are online. And for safety reasons, it is not advisable to use one password for multiple sites. Trying to remember all of them is asking for stress (and just too many clicks on ‘forgotten password’).
You can avoid this by using a password manager. If you have an Apple, you can use their Keychain application. Another example is LastPass. You only have to remember one master-password, and they remember all the others!
4. Use online to-do lists
Many people get stressed from all the things they have to / want to do. And they try to remember all these tasks by heart as well! This really makes no sense as there is an excellent alternative: Use a to-do list! and preferably an online version. Because online, you don’t have to copy a task that you have written down on your list for today and have not been able to start (or finish), which is the case if you do it on paper. The time you lose typing over yesterday’s tasks on today’s task list... If you do it online, and you were not able to do a task on the originally planned day, you only have to change the date if you wish, or you can see how many days the task is overdue if you keep the original date. Furthermore, you can record tasks that you do not want to do on short notice, but don’t want to forget in the long run either. And you can always access this list, provided of course you have your phone or tablet near, as they all have an app as well.
I like Asana or Todoist, but there is also Teamwork; Trello; and many others. Try them to experience which one you like!
5. Create habits
When you open your e-mail at the time that you planned this, make a habit out of replying to the easy emails directly. This prevents you from having to look at them twice or even more (if you are a procrastinator, or Libra, or both...) If you get an invoice, immediately schedule the payment for the due date. Always do your financial administration on Friday. Always follow up on the offers you made on Tuesday. Always go to the gym on Wednesday. If you do things always on the same day, you get used to it and it will become a habit. And you do not have to think about habits, you just do them. Out of habit, you know?
Do you use these tips to make life easier for yourselves? Have they helped you? Or do you have similar tips that you want to share?
Take action now.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.