How to Live a Stress-Free Life (seriously)
I know a little somethin’, somethin’ about stress. I used to think that if I wasn’t stressed, I wasn’t getting something done. In fact, I embraced stress. In my mind, stress is a good thing that helps us evolve, grow, and catapult to another level. To an extent, I still feel that way today, but I know it is a lie because people busier, smarter, and more productive than me have proved me wrong. I’ve had the privilege to be in the room with some of the most successful people in the world. I attended a breakfast with Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock. Mary Erdoes, CEO of JP Morgan Asset Management, commanded the room many times during my employment with the firm. Ariana Huffington gave me her email address during Project Entrepreneur with Rent the Runway. And Kevin O’Leary told me he wouldn’t even lend his own mother money because he doesn’t want to mix business with pleasure (insane!). I’ve been honored, enthralled, and blown away by the individuals I have met and learned from. What impressed me the most is that each of them didn’t seem to ooze an ounce of stress. They didn’t seem to want to be anywhere else in the world than where they were in that moment. Instead of having to guess why they all looked and felt that way, they were all more than willing to divulge why they seemed to be as cool as a cucumber. Here’s what I learned about getting rid of stress:
Time = the Most Important Asset
Time is your most important asset. If someone else can do it better, faster, cheaper, or more effectively than you can, they should be doing it. No excuses. Think about all of those pesky things you have to do throughout the day that someone else could be doing better than yourself. I’m not just talking about cleaning your house and everyday chores. I’m talking about doing your taxes, making your marketing plan, and figuring out your schedule. These tasks do not have to be done by you! Contrary to popular belief, I’m not big fan of saving money where you can save time. It is worth it to pay for something that can save you time. I hire out for all of the things I know someone else can do better. And in return, I am able to focus on my strengths (see the next item), which in return makes me more money! So, if you think that you are saving a boatload of money doing everything yourself, you’re not. In reality, you may be losing out on a ton of cash.
Know Your Strengths
To parlay off of the first item, if you don’t know your strengths, you will squander the time freed up by outsourcing. So, get serious and honest with yourself. What are you good at, and what are you bad at? What do you make money doing and what do you lose money doing? This was a tough one for me. I personally love doing creative things like making pins, figuring out an instagram strategy, and making new ads on canva. However, I know that the best use of my time is writing blogs and consulting because it is my true strength. I still do creative things but I spend the majority of my time on using my strengths. By freeing up time to use my strengths, I am able to make more money, and with more money I’m able to pay others to do tasks I don’t want to do or may not have time to do and STILL have money left over. This is where the true magic lies, being able to pay others and still having enough in profit to take home. All of these successful people have many people working for them and they still have enough to pay them and themselves because they continue to use their strengths to earn more.
Get Some Sleep!
When I was younger, I always thought it was odd that people had trouble sleeping. I was always exhausted at the end of the day and craved getting into bed and zonking out immediately. Only after I started my first company did I start experiencing sleep issues like insomnia and night terrors. The sad part of this is, it was entirely due to stress. I now know that sleep is the most important thing that happens in my day and I refuse to allow stress to strip me from that. The effects of not sleeping are comparable to being intoxicated. Your brain doesn’t remember, your body doesn’t respond, and you are in a terrible mood. Sleeping is so important that Ariana Huffington wrote a book on it! Sleep is not a luxury it is a necessity to de-stress, reset, and have the energy to use your time wisely. Pro Tip: If you are experiencing insomnia and night terrors take a serious look at your life and make some big changes. This is not a sustainable way to live and needs to be fixed as soon as possible to prevent long-term problems. What did I do? Moved, re-worked my business, and outsourced more.
You made a mistake, now what? Are you going to think about it all day? Are you going to ruminate on what you could do differently and stress over every little detail? Or are you going to move on? Successful people do not go over and over again in their mind their mistakes. They know they will make them, try to mediate them, and move on. Mistakes are a part of life. In fact, if you aren’t making mistakes you probably aren’t pushing yourself or growing. Focusing on your mistakes is a waste of time! And because wasting time is a mortal sin to the uber-successful, they don’t fret over what they can’t change. They know that another opportunity, deal, or money-making situation is right around the corner.
If there is one thing you get out of this article, it should be the understanding that your complaining is ruining your life. Complaining is a self-induced struggle that is stopping you from moving forward. You are in control over your own life. and when you complain about it you are stopping yourself from fixing what is wrong. There will always be things in life that you may not want to deal with, may struggle with handling, or may be flat out unfair. No one is stating that you will not have struggles in your lifetime. How you deal with your struggles will decide how your future unfolds. Having a positive attitude will quite literally change your life. Give up complaining and start changing.
Keep a Schedule - and stick to it
Lastly, keep a schedule. Consistency gives us a sense of security, purpose, and duties in the day. Giving yourself a schedule allows you to track and see progress. Tracking and seeing progress gives us a sense of accomplishment and a sense of accomplishment breeds self-esteem. So, a schedule isn’t really just a schedule. It’s how you are actually living your life. Want to workout? Schedule it. Want to read a book? Schedule it. Want to spend more time with your family members? Schedule it. When you look back at how you used your time and how effectively you used it, you will be proud of yourself. You won’t think you are living the type of life you want, you will know you are living the type of life you want.
Your stress really boils down to uncertainty, comparison, and a lack of control. By following these 6 takeaways, you are taking back your certainty, ending your comparison, and yielding control over your life. With a better grip on your time, you will be the master of your life, instead of stress. Happy Friday!