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The Action Plan



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Drawing up the Action Plan

Maintaining the stress diary will aid you understand the level of stress under which you work most effectively, and help you know precisely what is causing the stress. Once you know these it is time to draw up your own personal stress management action plan.

1. Ask yourself HOW DID I GET INTO THIS? Then give yourself time for an extended thoughtful answer. 9 out of 10 times you will discover that the stress that you are under is your own making. If you accept most of the responsibility for the situation in which you currently find yourself, your quest to reduce stress will be greatly enhanced and made easier cause as a corollary of your confession you happen to discover that you are in control. Thus altering the situation to reduce stress should not be much of a problem. A realization that provides a psychological boost to your stress mitigation exercise.

2. Under stress, often the ability to take cool calculated decisions decrease. And to draw up the action plan these are the precise qualities that are necessarry. So instead of thinking on your own ask yourself WHAT WOULD A CALM PERSON TO DO? Merely by posing the question you open yourself to a world of insights. I suggest writing it on a blank page in your stress diary, so that there is plenty of space for all the self generated solutions that you are going to record.

Some elements of what you record will be actions you are going to take to contain, control or eliminate problems that are causing you stress. Other elements may be health related such as taking more exercise, changing your diet, or improving the quality of your environment. Some may cover stress management techniques that you will employ when stress levels begin to build.

Organize all that you have jotted down and bingo you have your action plan right in front of you.

An example plan is shown below. The contents and structure of your plan are for you to devise - it will depend entirely on your circumstances.  

  • Do stretches in the morning
  • Have a proper filling breakfast
  • Take breaks every two hours at work
  • Clean up my office desk
  • Delegate the Princeton Deal file to Jack Harvey
  • Use deep breathing whenever my boss shouts at me
  • Do not carry work home
  • Cut down on the daily intake of alcohol
  • Spend time with baby John
  • Go to sleep latest by 10:30 PM
  • Review career goals monthly

A range of stress management techniques will be explained later in this article series. Different techniques are will be effective for different situations and causes of stress. Thus use the techniques according to the circumstances that you are under. Keep reading.