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What's a good amount of work-stress??

Is it weird to say the word 'good' and 'stress' in the same sentence? According to The American Institute of Stress (AIS), yeah that's real, 46% of work-stress is caused by your workload. I'm actually curious to know from that study; how many people truly had too much on their plate and how many people were just like me, adding unnecessary pressure on themselves which gives the illusion of a heavy workload. I'm going to lead you all into a spiral I call my life, as I'm starting a new project.

When I'm ready to start a new project, I have all these ideas, and they just come out rapid fire when I'm in the planning phase.

Once I have all these ideas, I start seeing the bigger vision in my head so all these ideas are just scattered in my OneNote in random places. When someone mentions something else and it triggers another thought, I write down half a sentence with a mental note ~ I'll organize this all later, and move to the appropriate tab in my OneNote. It's cool it's fresh on my mind so I'll remember ;). #yeahright

I'm now so invested in this project, I have my ideas, my vision and ready to put it together to start a project plan. Oh wait, someone just emailed me about my other project I'm working on. It's super quick, I'll respond and get back to my new project.

I just spent the rest of the day on something else and not my new project. That's okay, we have tomorrow. I'm going to find space on my calendar for tomorrow and block out time to:

  1. Arrange my brainstorming notes

  2. Create project plan

Tomorrow: I'm starting off strong, I open my email just to make sure there are no emergencies and I see my first call of the day starts in thirty minutes. I better make sure I have what I need for that call. I'll just review the invite and remind myself what it's about. Let me focus only on this right now, I want to be really prepared and be able to ask questions I may have later. {Call ends}

I now have a new fresh of notes from this call that are all over the place in my OneNote and I have a couple random thoughts on sticky pads. Let me take just the next thirty minutes organizing this.

{falls in to a rabbit hole going through information from last call - misses dedicated time for new project}

Next Day: I missed my dedicated time but that's okay I'll find time tomorrow or sometime this week. Now all I have to do is

  1. Arrange my brainstorming notes

  2. Create project plan

  3. Schedule planning calls with key partners

I got this!!!! {10 more calls , 40 more quick emails, and 3 missed dedicated time slots later}

I have now entered the stress zone. I either have to stay really late or work this weekend, or both. I also have less time to get more things accomplished. What happened??!! Honestly, it's a mix of things: easily distracted, not setting healthy work boundaries, and our favorite time management. All of these things have added to me stressing out over my workload and not to mention this is just one example of a project where I could be working on 15-20 different ones at the same time.

I'm learning to realize that I do exhibit certain behaviors that cause additional stress to myself but at the same time, they work for me. I couldn't even tell you what I would do if I had a lot of time on my hands. Typically, I'm not only more productive, but I do my BEST work under pressure. The catch 20/20: that pressure causes stress. I'm now practicing a healthy balance of stress. Work-stress seems to be inevitable for me based on the way I operate, but what can I do to ensure I don't let it control me or my health? Below are a few things I've been trying and I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Stacy Tips:

1 - Pad the timeline, if I think it will take 1 day to complete, I ask for 2.

2- Quit over-organizing and just start ( I'm ashamed to admit how many tabs my OneNote has)

3- Don't take others stress, I already have enough of my own

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