Has anyone seen ‘Boiling Point’? Stephen Graham plays chef Andy who's on the edge, his world teetering on the brink of chaos, overwhelmed by all the tasks he has to do spinning around in his head and edging ever close to buckling.
We first find Andy on the phone, making desperate apologies for neglecting his son. He then turns up to work, only to find that a health inspector has downgraded his restaurant by two stars, all because he hasn’t filled in the proper paperwork.
Andy’s expectation is that all chefs should be Gordon Ramsay-style, scream at their subordinates. He suppresses his anxiety and fear of failure until his emotions burst out in individual micro-eruptions. All he’s really doing is chastising his staff and passing the buck for his own failures, while causing unnecessary work related stress for everyone.
I think we can all relate, it gets difficult at times, then all the things that need to be done that you aren’t on top of start to slip. It becomes a spiral that gets worse and worse and then that impacts on your life and your business, with everything spiralling downwards.
A report from Champion Health has found 67% of the UK employees surveyed were experiencing moderate to high levels of stress, while more than 28% had seen their productivity negatively impacted.
More than 34% of those polled said that stress was negatively impacting them, citing the main causes of stress at work to be:
Lack of control.
Lack of support.
While to-do lists can’t extinguish the amount of things you have to do, they can be manageable:
We only have so many hours in the day.
There’s only going to be so much that is going to get done.
What’s not manageable is all the worrying about the things that aren’t getting done.
Start by recording the title of each task in a to-do list.
Then get rid of all the things that can’t or won’t get done today. Of course you need a way of remembering them and many use their calendars. Obviously a much better solution is Process Bliss :) Point is - most stress is caused by all the things we can’t do now but worry won’t get done.
Next, prioritise your tasks by importance and due date. Remember: when everything is important, nothing is important.
Focus on the urgent tasks first, working towards the not so urgent things, and maybe tick off a couple of those things that have been sat at the bottom of the list a while
By doing this, it will make your to-do lists seem much more manageable and give you the headspace to focus on the important stuff.