Save Time & Lower Stress By Walking Away from a Frustrating Situation
Written by Alison Kero
Learn how to lower stress levels and increase productivity by learning that sometimes you need to walk away to solve a problem. Also learn how to take a break at work to rejuvenate your mind.
Here’s yet another time saving tip I’ve learned through experience: if you’re trying to accomplish something and it’s not working, WALK AWAY FROM IT for the time being.
I spent the better part of the day with a client last week trying to simply copy a file from NeatWorks and transfer it to another computer so I could share those files with Quickbooks. It should have been easy. “Should” being the operative word. It wasn’t.
The file was too large and would have taken 9 hours to copy and e-mail through yousenditnow.com so we decided to burn a copy to a disk and transfer it that way. This should have been even easier, but for whatever reason, after spending 20 minutes watching the disk slowly burn the information, it did not have the latest updates. Since I am trying to share the receipts I have spent hours scanning so that my client can track her expenses through Quickbooks, I was looking forward to the end result and seeing how well those two products worked together.
It didn’t work. We could not transfer that file without a tremendous amount of time being taken up. Our decision in the end was to walk away from it and try another time. In this case we were lucky since there isn’t a deadline until April 15, 2010 but even if you are on a deadline, sometimes the best thing for you to do is to walk away, even for a brief time.
Continuing to try to solve a problem may not always be the best solution. You get tired, frustrated, cranky and sometimes fidgety. Sometimes you unconsciously keep trying the same process despite the fact that it hasn’t worked. Walking away lowers your stress levels and allows you some time to process what you have done, think about why it isn’t working correctly and to maybe figure out a way to solve the issue. Either way, coming back after even a 5 minute break can be tremendously helpful. You’re eliminating the old adage of, “beating the dead horse”. I hate to think how that saying came about.
Case-in-point: yesterday I was going through a huge file folder crammed with 6 months worth of receipts for a client. I spent 1 hour going through this and organizing them into 6 different categories. After an hour I thought I was going to go nuts. First, off, it’s not like you’re busting your brain, but it is mind numbing and tedious work. Secondly, sitting and organizing receipts for an hour gets uncomfortable. You need to take small breaks in order to continue the job. I decided to simply come back next week when my mind was fresh and finish the job. However, had I needed to finish then, I would have simply taken a 5 minute break, walked around the block and then would have been able to return feeling at least slightly more refreshed.
The moral is that walking away can lower your stress levels and help you think more clearly. In the end, I find that not concentrating so hard on solving something allows your brain time to process it and in the end, can actually save you time. And it’s always all about saving time and making your life easier.
If you have a tedious project you never quite get to, try doing them in smaller increments. Set aside 10 minutes and then walk away for awhile. You do not have to get any project done in one sitting, and frankly, I find doing jobs in smaller increments much easier and less stressful. If you can’t seem to get past the mental block of the project you need to accomplish or need help getting motivated, contact me at: email@example.com or call on my cell at: 646-831-9625. I provide phone consultations and at-home or in-office consultations as well. Good luck with your task!