Stress isn’t always a bad thing, but too much could eventually diminish your performance as well as your happiness. If you suspect your stress level is out of whack, ask yourself these 7 questions to get back on track.
1 – Have I taken on too much? Sometimes we don’t realize we’re in over our heads until it’s too late. Step back and evaluate your workload—delegate, reschedule, and perhaps even eliminate tasks where you can.
2 – Am I focusing on the right things? If you’ve set your sights on the obvious instead of the important, your stress could continue to build as critical path tasks remain unfinished.
3 – Is someone else better equipped for this task? Even if your stress isn’t caused by a staggering workload, you may be stressing yourself out over things that should be in someone else’s basket. There’s no sense borrowing headaches.
4 – Am I being held back by conventional wisdom? Break the handcuffs of tradition and use the opportunity to look for new or innovative methods of addressing issues and solving problems.
5 – Is this crisis short-term or long-term? Short-term stress may be useful in maintaining your laser focus, but if your situation doesn’t have an endpoint, you need to find a way to reduce stress to a more manageable level.
6 – What happens if I fail? Let’s get some perspective. Are you stressed over an upcoming presentation, or a project that’s spiraling out of control? Whatever it is, consider the consequences of failure and determine if they’re worth the stress you’re feeling. If they aren’t, take a deep breath and refocus on what’s truly important.
7 – Did I miss something in the planning phase? By identifying possible glitches or oversights in your original plan, you can avoid causing yourself similar stress on future projects.