March news + how to stay calm

March news + how to stay calm

If you're anything like me, it can be hard to step away from online news and forums. But this month I am making an effort to do exactly that - so I thought I'd share my strategies for staying sane in scary times. It's something I've researched a lot, both personally and professionally. I've written about anxiety and depression, as well as experiencing both, so I hope these ideas might be helpful for you, or maybe someone you know?

3 ways to meet deadlines without FREAKING OUT

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Join my book club to download the free guide to goal-setting, which you can start at any time of year.

Join my book club to download the free guide to goal-setting, which you can start at any time of year.

It¡¯s the end of the first month of January - and I have not given up booze, dairy or moaning. I didn¡¯t even bother trying.

But I did set myself positive goals - including mini goals for each month. using my Make this Year Your Best Ever pdf guide (available when you sign up for my Book Club) Those were meant to be finished by the last day of the month which is... whoops... today. I found my list and ¡­

Panic!

This is how things looked.

  • I was one gym trip short of my very unambitious goal of 8 (thanks to a bad cold, a few days on holiday, my birthday and general idleness);

  • Had no blog posts drafted for this site;

  • Had only made contact with 1 of the 3 people I wanted to network with.

The ones that got away

There were also two that I realised weren¡¯t sustainable for me - reading every single day (I¡¯ve decided to count audio-books for next month and will try again) and writing fiction every day. The latter was intentional: it was my birthday and we went on holiday and I decided not to make myself work on those 6 days. Instead I read and relaxed. But what of the others? No excuses. And I had - at 8am - only 6 hours left. Could I do it? I was going to give it a good go.

From Panic to Challenge

I got stuck in:

  • Emailed person 2, and realised I¡¯m not ready yet to contact person 3 so instead, I¡¯m going to start the work today that I need to do before contacting them.

  • Came back, scribbled this 3rd post idea down (go me, exceeding expectations).

  • Went to the gym and pondered the others (sorry to the man who tried to chat to me on the cross-trainer, I was in a world of my own). High-fiving myself, baby!

  • Made myself a black coffee, and scribbled down 3 blog ideas I¡¯ve been mulling and wrote bullet points about 2 of them.

I won¡¯t lie. I¡¯m feeling smug. But I wouldn¡¯t have got anywhere near this far without the looming deadline.

So here¡¯s what I've learned about meeting (or at least trying to meet) your deadlines.

3 ways meet deadlines without freaking out

5:2 Your Life helps imperfect people - like me - achieve their goals¡­

5:2 Your Life helps imperfect people - like me - achieve their goals¡­

  1. Start, even if you're worried you won¡¯t finish... you might surprise yourself!

  2. Set a clock and work at double-speed (you can correct errors later, once you're feeling good about achieving your goal - not applicable if you¡¯re a heart surgeon, airline pilot or similar...)

  3. Swap a goal that seems trivial for an urgent, important one (but commit to it 100%)For more on making the most of your time, and feeling happier, read my book, 5:2 Your Life.