You may eat well, exercise often, and sleep like a champ, but you never know when stress will get the best of you and derail your productivity. Having tools at hand, like a quick mantra, can be a useful reminder that while stress can turn us into complete basket cases, it also helps keep us motivated and focused on what we really need to get done.
Next time you’re hopping on board the Basket Case Bus, try these mantras to get back on track:
1. “Done is better than perfect.”
Ironic, isn’t it? The time we often spend scrambling to perfect a project ends up stressing us out even more, making it harder to focus on other tasks. The next time you find yourself in a tunnel vision race to the finish line, take a step back and remember that you’ll do your best work if you aren’t constantly striving toward an unrealistic goal.
2. “Stress is physical.”
Remind yourself that stress is a physical, hormonal, and chemical reaction in your body. It has no actual correlation to how much is on your to-do list, and can still exist even if you get absolutely everything done. When you separate the stress from the tasks, it can become easier to tackle a big project without the anxiety.
3. “Work Now. Cookies Later.”
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you can be in control of it! Remember to block out specific times to take a break and reward yourself for hard, focused work. It also gives you a great opportunity to measure your success and productivity, which can calm a stressed mind in no time.
Sometimes simply saying no is the hardest thing of all. And while it can be tempting to squeeze out every bit of productivity from each minute of the day, nothing slows us down faster than being overwhelmed. Getting in the habit of saying “no” more often can be the step between you and a clear, calm mind.
Since it can be hard to find the right words to cool yourself off from a moment of high stress, try setting up ways to automatically remind yourself of your go-to mantra. Set a regular alert on your phone, or enlist the help of a friend to relay your mantra back to you when you need it most.