Time Management and Stress Relief
I touch upon these topics in Chapter 4 of the book, DBA Survivor, and every now and then I need to remind myself of the fact that a little rest can go a long way. Here is the excerpt:
“Stress relief is important to time management as it allows for you to continue operating at a higher level of efficiency. When stress hits it will affect you in a variety of ways, one of which is your lack of focus and subsequent decrease in productivity. Not to mention the fact that you can bite someone’s head off if they approach you without bearing gifts. When you start to sense that you are feeling overwhelmed and that stress is wearing you down it is time to get up out of your cube.
Take a walk at lunch. You’ll be surprised how ten minutes around the block outside can make a big difference in your day. Go sit on a bench somewhere and watch people pass by for a few minutes. I took up jogging a few years back and find it a nice distraction during the day, especially when you have a jogging partner that you enjoy having a conversation with.
No matter what you or anyone else chooses to do to relieve stress you all have one thing in common: you select activities that energize you in some way.
That is the key to relieving stress effectively. Find something that energizes you, something you enjoy doing no matter what your mood. Of course, if you happen to find that your job is what energizes you then you are one of the lucky ones.
Another key to relieve stress is identifying those times when you are stressed and you know to get up and do something that energizes you. This is not going to be the same for each person; you will need to find the things that work for you as well as recognize the symptoms of stress when they occur.
Now, I am often asked this question regarding stress relief and time management: “…but isn’t taking time away from work in fact wasting valuable work time and making it harder to get things done in the time allowed?”
Relieving stress will keep you productive; when you are productive you are also efficient; when you are efficient, you are maximizing your time wisely. It really is that simple. Would you rather spend an hour dragging your heels to get through some tasks or spend thirty minutes getting some fresh air and then another thirty getting the tasks done with a clear mind?
When I was coaching basketball I would always stress that if we prepared ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally then we were going to be tough to beat on any given night. Same thing for when you are at work. If you feel stress coming on and it is draining you in some way, find something to energize yourself and you will be amazed at how much more productive you can become.”
I was reminded of this just yesterday while taking a jog. Towards the end I got a little tired and started to walk. Another jogger was slightly ahead of me when I stopped. I walked for a bit and then started running at 1/4 pace (rugby term). I got closer to the other jogger, then started walking again. I started running at half-pace (rugby term) and passed the jogger, then walked again. This back-and-forth continued until I was sprinting at full pace on and off for the last half mile.
Had I just continued jogging then I would have likely completed my route in a certain amount of time. By doing the intervals, with a gradual increase in pace, I completed the route in less time.
Other things in life are the same way. Know when to rest, know when to walk, and know when to run.