Simplicity :
The Antidote to Stress

There is a definite relationship between stress and the amount of simplicity you consciously build into your life.

One of the best stress-busters is to weed-out the chaos and complexity of your work world. Here's a quote from the best-selling author of "Simplify Your Life" and "Simplify Your Life at Work", Elaine St. James:

"Maintaining a complicated life is a great way to avoid improving it."

Are you finding yourself at the end of a workday unsure of where the time went? You know you were busy, but you just aren't sure what you accomplished? If you answered "yes", then chances are your work life is too complicated. This complexity is creating:


-reactive responses on your part

-a dull roar constantly in the background with no time for planning, thinking, assessing.

Sound familiar?

To start minimizing the distractions and simplifying your work life, try a few of these suggestions adapted from St. James:

Keep asking the question, "Is this activity going to streamline and simplify my work flow?"

*Ask, "What is it that's most complicating my life?"

*Always estimate the time it will take to get a project done--then double it.

*You can only have three priorities in life. If you work, that's one. If you have a family, that's two. What is your third thing? Working out? Church? Volunteering? You have to get rid of 4,5, 6 (and so on) if you want to be truly excellent in this life. You can't do everything well.

Some of my own suggestions:

*Get rid of clutter. Visually it’s a stressor. We seem to take a deep breath and lower our shoulders a notch when we can survey our work area and find it in order.

*Stop being compulsive about e-mail. Set certain times during the day to check e-mail. The inbox doesn't have to be empty before you can relax and focus.

*Life is not a race -- slow it down. This will lower your stress levels and your error rate.

*Learn to say "no." Remember the "top three priorities" (St. James suggestion above) and only say "yes" to those.

And my final suggestion is to get a quote. You will be surprised at the insight and application of a good quote. I am a real quote fan and hope you are too since many things can be learned from important others in our past and present.

When you are faced with a difficulty, it can be an excellent use of time to search for quotes on that topic. It’s as easy as entering “quotes on stress” into a search engine. Here are some quotes to motivate you to simplify your work life and lower your stress levels:

“We struggle with the complexities and avoid the simplicities.”

Norman Vincent Peale

“For fast acting relief: try slowing down.”

Lily Tomlin

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap

“To simplify complications is the first essential of success.”

George Earle Buckle

More Quotes on Work Stress

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