When our youngest son was little, he had a stressful game that was appropriately called "Perfection." The game consisted of putting differently shaped objects into the correct slots. Each fit into only one slot and no other. What made the game so stressful was that the player had a limited amount of time to get all the pieces in the right slots before an alarm went off. When the alarm sounded, all of the pieces would fly out of their slots.
When Karen or I played the game, we went as fast as
we could before that timer went off. When it was our son’s turn to
play, he would take his time putting the pieces in their slots. He was
in no hurry. We would think, "The alarm is about to go off," but he
didn’t seem to be stressed by that idea. When the alarm was about to
sound, he would nonchalantly reach over and turn the timer back, giving
himself more time.
One of the ways we create stress for ourselves is by not allowing enough time to complete tasks.
We all have known people
who wait until the last minute
to plan an activity.
We may be one of them.
There are several things we can do to reduce the
stress we make for ourselves. The following are some suggestions I have
found to be helpful:
Learn to plan: We
all have known people who wait until the last minute to plan an
activity. We may be one of them. For example, we may put off getting
things together for our child’s birthday until an hour before the party.
Frantically, we run around trying to get things done—uptight and
yelling, creating stress and tension for everyone in our home. Lack of
time management can be a major stressor.
some of us do not structure our time, we always seem to be running late
for appointments. If we are the type who hates being late, we find
ourselves uptight and driving like a crazy person trying to get to our
destination on time.
Conclusion: Disorganization and putting projects off until the last minute leads to stress. Advice:
Get organized and plan ahead.
to do: One of my favorite professors was a popular speaker who shared
how he dealt with his busy schedule. When he was asked to speak, he
would look at his calendar to see if the day was open. But he did not
stop there. He then figured how much time it would take to prepare for
this presentation. Starting at the requested date, he worked backward to
see if he had enough preparation time. If he did not find enough time
to prepare, he would decline the invitation.
So to relieve stress, make sure we have enough time to prepare.
Dr. William E. Austin is a licensed psychotherapist and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree. He is a therapist with Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services . He is well known for his warmth and sense of humor. His book, Creating Our Safe Place - Articles on Healthy Relationships, can be purchased through www.amazon.com.
Tidewater Pastoral Counseling: 623-2700