Clicky

Tuesday, July 10, 2020

Stress-busting ideas: The one-minute check-in

Many people find that they have reached a serious state of stress before they even notice that anything is happening. On the basis that prevention is better than cure, here’s an idea to help you stay aware of what is going on and take action well before anything unpleasant happens.
Stress, overwhelm, anxiety, obsession: all of these creep up on you. They don’t arrive in an obvious way. One moment all is well, more or less. You probably know that you’re pushing yourself a little too hard, but it’s not something that you can’t cope with. Then you go one step too far. What was normal concern becomes anxiety; what was just a little extra effort becomes more than you can handle safely without doing yourself any harm.

It’s the same with extra working hours. You can handle them at first. Maybe it’s only only a temporary effort to deal with a crisis. Then, gradually but inexorably, working 9, 10, 12, 14 hours a day becomes normal for you. You don’t notice the effect until it’s way too late.

The one-minute check-in is a simple and practical way to get a handle on what’s happening. Here’s what you do:
  1. At regular intervals throughout the day, you stop for 60 seconds to bring your attention back to yourself.

  2. Each time, you ask what you are doing, how you feel, and —most important of all—what your patterns of work are. How long are you going without a break? How early did you start and what time is it now? How tired are you?

  3. You don’t cheat yourself. You make it a genuine inquiry into what is happening. No quick, superficial, comforting responses are accepted. That’s why it takes 60 seconds: 30 seconds to give yourself the edited version, then 30 more to get at the truth.

  4. Ask yourself where you are and what you’re doing. How long you’ve been doing it. How long until you can take a meaningful break or stop altogether. How you feel physically and mentally. What’s happening inside you—and where, if anywhere, it hurts.

  5. Don’t prejudge. Don’t make assumptions. Check yourself out carefully and notice what is going on. The purpose of the one-minute check-in is to allow yourself to be aware of your own functioning on a regular basis.

  6. Finally, act on what you find. If all is well, press on until your next one-minute check-in, say in an hour or two. If you need a break, take one. If you recognize that you’re long past being effective and only your stubbornness and anxiety are keeping you in place, pack up and go home right away.
Many of the stress-based problems people cause themselves are overlooked; dismissed as nothing to be concerned about. People take almost no vacation time and expect to be able to go on functioning at peak ability just the same. They skimp on sleep and imagine they are still fully alert. They drive themselves through a physically crippling schedule and imagine they’re tough enough to suffer no ill effects. Until pain or disaster strikes.

By checking in regularly, you can avoid all of this and stay on the right side of your personal limits. It will cost you perhaps 5 minutes a day to do it. It might save your health, your relationships, your career—and potentially your life.



Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon
Sign up for our Email Newsletter




Labels: , , ,

Add to Technorati Favorites Stumble Upon Toolbar

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.