What causes major stress in your work life? There is a good chance that you will say things like this: unmanageably deadlines, cranky coworkers, unreasonable bosses, heavy workload and too much administration.
You would probably not answer “having to make too many decisions”.
Most probably you are not even aware of the fact that decision-making is a powerful cause of stress in your work and private life.
Every time you make a decision, whether it is about hiring an employee, scheduling a meeting, or choosing eggs or avocado for your sandwich, you actually create a state of mental tension which is a stress factor. Now hiring a new team member is more demanding than picking your sandwich for lunch and so is the stress tied to the decision making process.
Making many small decisions can wear you out quickly. This is the reason why it is exhausting to go shopping. The almost constant decision-making state you are in when you constantly have to choose between the different prices, qualities, brands, etc. Having an abundance of choice can be exhilarating, though. No wonder that shopping is a favorite pastime.
How can you reduce the number of decisions you have to make every day? Create some powerful routines! If fact create as many as possible!
Yes, creating routine doesn’t sound very exciting…. Hearing the word “routine” is enough to send some of us running the other direction. Routine in not “sexy”.
Just remember when you first learned how to drive. At first every move had to be considered and that is why you were driving slow, slow, slow. Then you got more and more experience and you developed your driving routine. Now you don’t even notice the zillion small decisions you make on your commute to work – it is all done automatically. Until of course something strange or unexpected happens like a fellow driver cutting you off and you immediately have a decision to make: get angry and curse or let it go.
What activities can you systemize and add as small routines to your life? You can create a morning and evening routine. A menu plan for the week. A master shopping list for the month. No more last minute shopping runs and buying all the wrong food choices. Wouldn’t that be just an amazing thing?
At work, you can set up weekly meetings with your team at the same time and place every week. A great example could be a weekly kick-off meeting on Monday mornings at 9 am. No more decisions to make around whether to meet or not and if yes, when and where and who should be invited, etc.
Taking corporate yoga classes can become a powerful routine in your life, too. Just make the decision once to take the class at your workplace. Plan it in your daily schedule. Then enjoy the benefits of a consistent yoga practice. The important thing is that you don’t put yourself in a situation where you have to ask every week: do I go to yoga or not? It is all set and no more decision is needed aka less stress in your day.
Reduce your stress by having as many routines as possible in your daily life as well as in your working life to reduce the number of decisions you have to make each day. Start today!