Have you heard that preparation is the key to the ultimate meaning of life? Probably not because I made it up!
I find that whenever I’m not prepared, I get a tonne of stress from the mere thought of what I have to do, whereas in time, I end up doing it anyway but at first, I always get this feeling as if all this is impossible. For example, it’s the first day of uni and I’m happily off riding into the sunshine, I get there and BAM, they give me a syllabus, which shows me that I have 10 different assignments due. If I had read this while I was on holidays and slowly got my mind used to it, then the stress would’ve been a lot less. Sometimes, I almost feel as if certain stress happens more often when our minds are surprised by something. We just go into panic mode. So, even though you probably hate the thought of ruining your holiday with study related things, it helps to just read over what you need to do and prepare yourself.
Know your Skill Limits
Another way I get stressed is taking up tasks which are beyond my abilities. I’ve done that with attempting to translate something I didn’t have the knowledge to and taking up web development tasks that were beyond my knowledge. This was a big mistake, because I wasn’t thinking about what I could actually do. Instead, I focused too much on what I didn’t know, so I ended up spending hours and hours on the internet trying to find tutorials, getting more stressed every minute.
Say if you agree to work for someone, saying you have a range of skills. However, in reality you only have 30% of the skill you said you had, and wanted to impress the boss. That can end you with serious stress because when your boss “thinks” you can do it easily and give you a task, and you suddenly think: OH SH*T I have no idea how to do this! Then, there’s going to be a lot of trouble. You’d probably stay up worrying all night about what you will do.
So, my advise is only do what you’re able to. If you can’t, then spend some time learning without putting any pressure on yourself.
I’m sure everyone has heard of this before, but planning ahead really helps! Say if you have to write a certain amount of things, or do something in a day. Try and use spare time you have to plan. If you know your topics, it’s going to be much easier than walking right into it and not knowing what you’re gonna do at all!
Try not to Demand Perfection
Easier said than done, right? Yes, I totally agree. Trying to perfect everything is a big mind trap and imagine if you’re trying to get everything so perfect, that you spend hours working on something which would’ve been fine. Firstly, who are you doing this for? If you’re doing it for others, then what are their expectations? Does aiming for perfection comes from fear or your own self discipline?
I always say, it’s unhealthy to work in a fearful environment. Many people may feel as if they have no choice but if you’re constantly living in fear on what might happen to you because your boss is a fiery angry dragon who sends fire on your way, then it will do a lot of damage for you.
If you are trying to achieve perfection because you need everything to be perfect, then try and undertake less tasks. If you know you need more time to spend on one, don’t pile a lot of things on yourself at once. Give yourself enough time to complete one thing at a time.
Use Time Wisely
One of the biggest mistakes we make is when we’re stuck on one thing, we don’t stop until that’s solved. Remember when you did exams and your teacher always said for you to leave a question you don’t know blank and work on the ones you do know? That’s because you need to realise that sometimes, you may end up spending 1 hour on this one thing you don’t know, which makes it impossible for you to have time to do anything else.
If you’re stuck on something you really don’t know how to solve, leave it there (even though it feels horrible) and work on something else. Come back to it later or ask for help! Often, when I leave something I’ve got no idea how to do and come back to it later, I find it’s much easier to come up with solutions after a break.
Don’t Put it Off by Procrastinating
Putting things off may feel good for the time being, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll get hit with major stress later on. Some procrastinators seem to never be stressed, and I wonder how their minds work but that simply doesn’t work for me. Putting it off is just allowing it to come back and bite us in the ass later on, and we really don’t want that.
Try and put all your efforts into getting whatever you need done earlier in the day so you can enjoy some relaxation time at night.
You should always make time to reward yourself for small achievements because you deserve it! Do something you love, like watch a show or movie. Give yourself a bubble bath with herbs and salts. Go for a walk and catch up with a friend. Go to that restaurant you’ve always wanted to go! Do something that truly makes you happy! (If you find it too hard to do that, get someone else to force you!)
Remember, life shouldn’t always be about work and study. We need to give ourselves the time to do something we love to do, and that is our hobbies!