My friend Kibet is a workaholic, according to his wife. Recently in a rare social meeting — for he is always busy at his business and hardly attends social meetings– his wife asked me to talk to him to slow down before stress messes him up.
Of course she was joking but Kibet’s response was packed with wisdom. He said he works so hard to avoid being stressed out.
Often we are told the best way to be productive is to avoid stress. But it ought to be the other way round: Be productive to avoid stress.
Some people believe that working hard or being too busy, something attributed to managers and business owners, can be stressful. This is a fallacy. ‘Busyness’ does not lead to stress; lack of productivity does.
Lack of productivity or feeling you are stuck in life is the major source of stress both in business and in employment. Nothing is more fulfilling and more joyful than feeling you are making progress, your efforts are bearing fruits.
Therefore the best way to avoid stress is to work hard and be successful. There is no amount of challenges or setbacks that can stress you if you are hopeful and overcoming.
Once you are productive, you are not only able to meet most of your daily needs, but your self-esteem is also boosted.
So how do you become productive and keep stress at bay?
First, focus on important things. The ability to focus on a single goal or task until it is accomplished is one of the attributes of productive people. Set goals to guide you and prevent you from drifting or expending your energy on things that are not important.
Second, write a to-do-list to guide you on your daily activities. Studies show that people who make a to-do list every day, even if they don’t follow it religiously are more productive than those who do don’t. Writing a to-do-list helps you to plan and priotise.
Third, walk with the right people. The people you associate with in life are key determiners of the things you achieve and the quality of life you live. Get friends who add value in your life and discard those who are a liability.
Fourth, take care of your body. Eat well and exercise well. Eat food that gives you energy and boost your immunity rather than junk food. Doing exercise at least 20 minutes a day, even if it is just walking combined with good diet is a great booster of wellness.
Finally, be purpose-driven in whatever you do. Productivity that leads to accumulation of wealth and material things without purpose does not bring happiness and fulfillment.
One way of finding purpose in life is do something that you are passionate about and that which adds value to the community.
Find time to be with family and good friends, they are your biggest assets.