euphoriafish: Avar photo I took in Japan of the Great Buddha statue in Kamakura. (Default)
[personal profile] euphoriafish
A friend was stressed out and crowdsourcing ideas to deal with it today and I remembered all these strategies I enjoy explaining to people. I have found myself offering this advice before, so I decided to blog it here under a "ProTips" tag where it's easy to pass on to others when the message bears repeating. I am not the pro who originated this advice and it's probably not my system either-- it's from friend advice and many articles/books I read. Your milage may vary, I've never heard back on how well these tips work for other people, but that I've aggregated them into a process that works for me mostly says some of them probably work sometimes for some people. Here's what I do:

1. The physical component

How I handle stress is to first take a slow deep breath in through my nose and out through my mouth and think about each of the parts of my body that are tight, releasing them one at a time until the physical stress goes away. I should probably exercise more but I'm working on that. Yoga helps too with breathing and relaxing. I also clear my mind and think NOTHING or close to it for a minute till the tension relaxes.

2. Get rid of the irrational fear and anxiety

Next, I look at where the anxiety is coming from, separate out what I have control over from what I don't, and let go of anything I can't change. Relevant questions for this step are:

  1. Do I have control over this situation?
  2. Is the stress from another person?
  3. Do I know why the other person is being like that and what would make them willingly behave differently?
  4. Do I know what I'm doing that brings a conflict up with this person?
  5. Where is the fear coming from-- something I know or something I don't know?
  6. If it's something I know, what is the best way to deal with it by acting or by changing my attitude
  7. If it's something I DON'T KNOW, when will I know?
  8. Where do I start looking or who do I start asking to learn what I don't know?
  9. What are my options for action to change this situation?

If I have answers for all these questions and there are many unknown factors, I blog the problem. Maybe even start an Evernote notebook for it to collect info or a Wiki page to move the parts around, though I suck at wiki editing.

3. Strategize and Plan Action

If it's settled and I'm just unhappy about things I can't change I write a story to change my expectations. If I have options to take action I review those and decide when I have time to do something about it. I schedule when I'm going to act and act ASAP on the stuff I have control over.

At this point I have my plans and am just left to setting and scheduling specific goals to act and make changes. If I don't have a specific goal and deadline it doesn't happen, and sometimes my deadline isn't to finish so much as to just look and see if I still care about the goal. I still feel like I have too many goals and I don't get enough done. But the irrational fear is gone and I have a clear perspective on which things to focus on.

And I'm left with learning which problems to investigate in what order and how to manage my time. I have some lofty goals but am still working on a system to achieve them in a timely fashion. Any advice on prioritizing the list of too many ideas and letting go of some of them before deciding which ones to focus on would make me over the top happy and wanting to move on to build a system for showing friends and family how much I appreciate them with skill and time over money.

Ignore this paragraph unless you're a programmer:

I'm thinking I need a webpage with three tabs of XML lists for Personal Problems, Creative project stubs, Questions to research, People to contact, and Commitments to Group Projects. But I need a refresher course on XML coz I only learned it once for a day and am not really a programmer. Maybe a pre-made CMS with an interface like WordPress? Definitely tabs and sortable lists.

I think embedding XML lists into a WordPress or unpublished Weebly page and finding a way to reorder the lists based on a chosen nested tag would be the answer. But there's something I don't know [sorting], something I need to re-learn [XML], and I have too many commitments to other people right now. Afraid of dropping the balls, upset that I'm not doing enough at any one of them.

Do you feel better? I do except for all the procrastinating. No fear left, just too many options.


euphoriafish: Avar photo I took in Japan of the Great Buddha statue in Kamakura. (Default)

November 2015


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