December 07, 2017

How to Destress When You’re Under a Time Crunch

At Clokendagger, we like to stay busy. However, more work often leads to added stress, which is why we try to incorporate the following steps into our work routine to alleviate anxiety, meet deadlines, and stay motivated throughout the day.

Here are three simple guidelines to try the next time you’re under pressure.

Set Realistic Goals:
Having realistic goals is the only way to stay ahead of your approaching deadlines. What’s the simplistic way to do this? Try writing down everything you need to accomplish on paper, listing items due first on top. Sounds easy, right? Then for each project, start setting earlier deadlines for completing different phases of the project (i.e. concepts, revisions, and final submissions). This allows you to stay on course throughout the project, especially if part of the process is waiting on a client’s feedback before moving to the next phase. If you’re waiting on revisions for one project, you’re still completing a different phase of another assignment, so you’re always working toward the same goal without wasting time in-between. Finally, map these dates out on your calendar, so you always have a point of reference.

Plan Rewards:
“Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret,” says fictional character Dale Cooper of “Twin Peaks.” “Everyday, once a day, give yourself a present.” Although Cooper’s next line suggests that you allow rewards to come organically, if your goal is to meet deadlines and alleviate stress, I suggest you plan everything out, even a reward for accomplishing a task. Maybe treat yourself to a delicious peppermint latte at the end of the day or order your favorite take-out dish at the end of the week. No matter what type of reward you crave, what’s important is that a present is waiting for you at the end of a productive day. It’s something to work toward, and it’s well-earned if you manage to follow through.

Give Yourself a Break:
This advice is two-fold: (1) plan breaks in-between your workday to allow yourself some fresh air and exercise (e.g. go outside, take your dog for a walk, open the window, or do some stretches) and (2) admit to yourself that this is hard work! Running a business isn’t for whimps. It takes dedication, perseverance, faith, and a lot of caffeine. If you’re able to give yourself credit and realize you’re doing what most people wouldn’t even attempt to try, you’ll stop stressing so much and get on with it.

For more tips by Clokendagger, check out our website’s Ideas page.