Kate Moss by Terry Richardson
…is the noise my brain makes when it feels like it’s literally 2 seconds away from exploding with information overload. And yours?
We’ve all been there. There’s too much to do and there’s too little time to do it in. There’s someone calling you and there’s a zillion people emailing you. Your mental ‘to do’ list is longer than your arm and you don’t know where to start.
So save from allowing your brain to explode all over your computer screen, how do you deal with stress? If you Google ‘dealing with stress’ there are a million and one websites with lists of things you can do to combat those dreaded stressful episodes, however these are the things that work for me…
Get up early
I’m personally more productive in the morning. I write better. I’m more focused. I can breeze through emails much quicker. Once it gets to about 2pm I start to feel lethargic and my brain switches off. The afternoon time is when I do menial tasks like compiling invoices and proof reading – i.e. the stuff that doesn’t need me to be creative. There are also less distractions early in the morning (when twitter is less lively!) A strong cup of coffee and I’m usually good to go.
Also after a good night’s sleep I feel fresher and feel more ready to tackle my ‘to do’ list head on. I can party into the wee hours with the best of them, but nothing beats an early night followed by some early morning productivity. How very Rock n Roll!
Buy yourself a beautiful notebook and obsessively write lists and any ideas that pop into your head in it (mine is neon pink and that helps, believe me). Allow yourself to not worry about remembering the things that you can jot down. Get yourself signed up to Google Calendar and/or grab yourself a wall planner and physically document the thinks you have to do. No one can remember everything they have to do so don’t stress yourself out trying!
Decide what works for you. I personally use my Google Calendar to keep track of my advertisers (ie when each advert needs to go up or come down) and to note dates and times of any meetings, events or appointments I have. The great thing about using a Google Calendar is you can access it online anywhere and you can set up email alerts to remind you of each thing you need to do and when. I’ve also got an app for it on my phone which means I get the alerts directly on my mobile as well as in my inbox. Great for when I’m out and about! I have mine set up to remind me 48 hours before I have to do something.
I also have a physical diary which sits in front of me… on my desk… all the time (see?). It’s a week-to-view diary and in it I note what blog posts I’m planning to publish and at what time of day. I then tick off when they’re scheduled which is super duper satisfyingly - always! In a different coloured pen I also note down anywhere I need to be that week so I don’t loose track.
Similarly keeping on top of your email (or anything that piles up quickly and needs constant attention) is VITAL. Set a certain time aside every day and just do it. No excuses! Sure, it’s not the most enjoyable part of running a business, but it’s an important one. Not only is it paramount to communicate with your clients/collegues for your sanity as well as theirs, but you don’t want to be known as someone who never replies to their emails do you?! I’m an over communicator – but I figure I’d rather be known for that than the other option! If you’d like to read more about how I keep on top of my inbox you can do so here.
Catherine McNeil in LaCrasia Buttoned Leather Opera Gloves