Keeping the little things … little.

Leadership, Life and Style is part of the Stronger, Braver, Wiser publishing stable. We empower leaders to be powerful.

Too much stress? Get dressed before bed, make breakfast the night before, and work with the little voices … say what? What little voices?  But the big one is right, too.

Ever feel you have too much stress in your life? Most of us know there is good stress and bad stress. Good stress challenges us, helps us be productive and creative, and leaves us feeling better for having coped.  Bad stress overwhelms us, drains our energy and makes us feel overwhelmed. When the bad stress is gone, we may not even remember it was there. But it left a mark on our psyche. The good stress leaves us feeling energized and more productive.

Some stress isn’t good for us, especially if it lasts for longer periods of time. Most articles I’ve read suggest we have no control over 90 percent of stressors that could impact us. They are probably going to happen whether we like it or not.

Do we turn a blind eye? Are there little things we can do to mitigate the daily stressors we all face? I’m talking little things.  What are little things? Things that can help you be more productive, feel better and avoid the bad stress. That makes these little things like “eating well” or “exercising regularly”. These type of things are easy to do and will help you feel better.

Dr. David Posen has written three books relating to stress and lifestyle management. He observes we all have a little voice in our heads that talks to us. These internal conversations can be positive or negative. The good news is we can control the type of dialogue we have. In my business, I work with top management professionals. One of my areas of focus is helping them understand the power of positive self-talk. Managing these little voices can significantly impact their business goals and improve their personal life.

Dr. Posen in his latest book offers 52 “prescriptions” he believes can have a profound and positive effect on lifestyles. I’m not a doctor so I can’t write a prescription. I can share some ‘little things’ I’ve done for the past 20 years that have worked for me.

In the morning, have you ever worried about what you are going to wear for the day? Why not make that decision the night before. Before you go to bed, lay everything out. You may think it funny, but I lay out my clothes the night before, including my socks and underwear! I extended this to breakfast. Just before I go to bed, I program the coffee maker; lay out my cereal bowl, coffee cup, juice glass, and multivitamin. Does it save a lot of time? Maybe not but if my most difficult thing to remember in the morning is the coffee goes in the cup and juice in the glass, then I’m off to a good start. The next thing I do is organize the little voices in my head. It’s going to be a great day. I will be productive. I will not let others’ actions impact my behavior. That’s it. I get on with my day and try not to let the little things become big things.

Take charge of the little things you can control – and if you don’t already do so, start singing in the shower!

Tony Curl

Tony Curl

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