How To Reduce Stress And Increase Productivity For A High Quality Life

Kumar Gauraw 11 Comments

Have you been in a situation where you are thinking about spending time with family while at work and then, at home you found yourself worrying about the job? It’s not very uncommon and personally, I have caught myself doing that many times and then thinking, "How can I reduce stress and increase my productivity?"

Meditation Is The Best Way To Reduce Mental Stress From Everyday Life - ImagePhoto courtesy of ©Depositphotos/odua

Living like that is very stressful way of living. It becomes hard to be productive at work and enjoy the family time while at home (and if you relate to this situation, you will agree). Naturally, a stressed mind can’t be effective at anything and if soon we do not make some changes, it drains our motivation, gives fatigue and in some case, it may cause some relationship troubles as well.

Why Do We Feel Overwhelmed?

I think that the primary reason why we feel this way is – sometimes we feel there isn't enough time for doing all that we want to achieve. In this inspiring video, Zig Ziglar says, "The basic problem is not lack of time… it is lack of direction. We all have the same amount of time available to us whether you are a millionaire or a pauper."

He suggests that it’s the lack of direction that causes this problem and if we just don't confuse activity with accomplishment, we can have much better quality in our lives.

Taking clue from what we learnt from Zig Ziglar's talk, I made some changes in my daily agenda to this problem and I have been able to accomplish far more with peace of mind today than I ever did before. Here is a simple list of 5 things that have the power to dramatically increase our productivity and lead us to a more fulfilled daily life if we choose to include them in our day-to-day life:

1. Have Written Goals To Have A Sense Of Purpose

A recent study showed that people with a purpose in life, who have clearly defined goals, live much longer that those who don’t. The study also showed that only 3% of adults have written goals, and everyone else works for them.

Since I started to write down my dreams and goals, I found myself being more organized, more in control of my time and life in general. My mentor says, “There is magic in writing down your goals.” Write down your long term goals and then, breaking them down in monthly, weekly and then place them in your daily agenda. The magic will begin to happen.

Some of the my favorite books on goal settings are:

2. Review Your Goals Daily Morning And Evening

You set yourself apart from the majority by just simply writing down your goals onto the paper. However, the goals start to take life when we review them on a daily basis. Our goals, when we review, bring our focus on things that are important and therefore brings clarity in thinking. Isn’t it the lack of focus that causes us to drift away?

3. Take Frequent Short Breaks Throughout The Day

To get full attention of the mind on the task at hand, the easiest thing to do is the let the mind relax for a while. The way I handle my schedule is, I am very intense while working on anything. In fact, I am very intensely involved even while I am watching TV ( That’s the way my mind works).

Therefore, every 45-50 minutes, I take a small break of about 10-15 minutes. I just take a walk or do some stretching or may be watch a short funny video just to let the mind relax a little.

This helps me retain the freshness throughout the day and I am able to achieve more without being stressed.

4. Have Some Personal Time Everyday

In today's competitive world, we always have more to do with less time and resources at hand. Expectations are high – people expect more, we want to do more, give more and be more day after day. While I like to be aggressive about achieving our dreams and goals because that is what makes life worth living, I also think that taking care of our body, mind and spirit is that much critical.

Jim Rohn says, "Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live." [tweet this]

Extend this just a little and it means we should take care of ourselves – the whole package that includes our body, mind and spirit.

Spending some time alone with myself just reading something, meditating or may be exercising for a while can be of tremendously healthy habit. Sometimes sitting alone just reflecting on the day just spent or relaxing with the help of a soothing music on a regular basis can be a blessing.

5. The World Will Continue To Spin With Or Without You

This is the most humbling realization and I call it as the master step. In the world that is so noisy, so demanding and so competitive – we all need to remember this reality. The world was spinning before we ever existed and it will continue to spin even while we are gone.

It calms me down as soon as I realize that nothing will stop because I am not able to do it myself. Yes, I am important, my work is important, but it is not worth the stress when I know that the show will go on with or without me – anyway. What a feeling of relaxation!

Your Turn To Share

How do you handle stress when things do not go the way you expect them to go? What do you like to do as a relaxation activity after having a busy day? Please share your thoughts in the comments so I can learn from your expereiences.

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11 Awesome Thoughts So Far, Add Yours Now...


  1. Twitter:
    Kumar,

    Permit me to answer the second question first, “What do you like to do as a relaxation activity after having a busy day?” 

    I love to meditate and reflect upon the deeper issues of life. I love to listen to relaxation music, and read inspirational material.

    In answer to “How do you handle stress when things do not go the way you expect them to go?”, I learned many years ago, through great amounts of personal suffering, that if I could not change an event, it is wisest to change my perception of it. In short, I learned to control my REACTION in addition to accepting responsibility for my actions.

    With this  attitude, my mindset became one of a desire for deeper learning.
    What is this experience teaching me? What is the best way for me to turn this negative into something positive? 

    There must be an ANSWER! Indeed, there is always an ANSWER. 
    A.N.S.W.E.R. = A Negative Situation Wisely Experiencing Reversal.

    I use negativity as fuel… as motivation to succeed. 
    When people say it cannot be done, I will find a way.

    Experience has taught me, that no matter what difficulties, obstacles or challenges
    that life brings my way, that LOVE is always the answer. 

    Kind Regards, 
    Bill

    • Bill,

      Your comment is so inspiring to me. What I like about your answer the most is this:

      I use negativity as fuel… as motivation to succeed. 
      When people say it cannot be done, I will find a way.

      That’s the attitude of a winner and no wonder you have been winning all the tough battles you fought in life. Tough times don’t last but tough people do and isn’t that exactly the attitude tough people have?

      Thank you for taking time to respond to the questions. I am now inspired just  that much more! Have a wonderful rest of the day!

      Regards,
      Kumar


  2. Twitter:
    I think Love is the best answer to all problems. I remember my days in the corporate world back in Bangalore when I was working in IT. The
    work pressure used to be so high, I used to feel very frustrated at times.

    But as Bill said, “Love is the only Answer.”

    I had people in my life who cared, a family I looked forward to seeing
    every evening, such encouraging friends. Those struggles made me stronger and I am grateful for those experiences.

    To answer the question, Meditation and music are the best ways to relax the mind and release the stress. 

    I enjoyed Bill’s comment as much as I enjoyed the article.

    •  Yes, I agree as well. Love is the answer. Love always is the answer – no questions!

  3. Javed

    Very nice post Kumar! Your posts are very inspirational. Everytime I visit your site, I get something very interesting and this was to the point.

    I have been lately overwhelmed with tasks at work and in between family matters and I agree with you that I didn’t have any clear goals written. May be that is my problem. I learned something from you and I am surely going to put that to work. Thank you so much Kumar!!!

    • Javed,

      You are very welcome and thank you for your kind words of appreciation.

      Regards,
      Kumar

  4. RanjanGupta

    Thanks a lot! Kumar for your great topic and ideas.
    One of the most major problems human beings face is how to
    handle stress. As Kumar mentioned, You may not always be able to make stress disappear,
    but you can manage it with some very simple practices. In addition to Kumar,  I agree with Bill and Snigdha : If you can’t change the world, do change yourself. Do learn how to love yourself as you are, while you work towards your goals. Then, make a commitment to yourself to start improving the things about yourself and your life that (you believe) need it. Instead of immediate, dramatic change, learn to enjoy the journey of lifelong self-improvement. You are always a work in progress. For life & career advice and also  Spend certain time with family and friends for love and support. Don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself. Appreciate and grow friendship and let others know you care about them, too. Love may not conquer all of them, but it’s a great start.

  5. I think reviewing is the crucial step here. It helps you to refocus, it gives you a chance to hold yourself accountable, and it allows you to retool midstream as you move further and further along towards your goals.

  6. Nidhi Anand1993

    sir afte i get stressd…..i use to dance a while dat makes me feel verfy cheerful & light….sir thanks for sending such typs of inspiratnl article…i alwys wantd to rply bt wz unable…sir everytym go thru ur mail i find dem very fruitful…& i try dem to implemnt in ma lyf …ur hot air baloon aproach for changing our perceptn to problems & cnsidrng dem worthless wz too gud…sir i too hv a problm dat i plan my work but cant work out dose plans consistently….im a b.tec student & m a big escapist….means mostly lost in dreams &big plans……is it dat
    being beautiful at coleg also invites many distractns ? i wnt to stay focused… sugest me smthng….

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