At this time of year there seems to be a rush to finish projects, tie up loose ends and finalise plans. It can all seem pretty stressful. One of the ways I try and reduce my stress is by reframing these ‘deadlines’ into lifelines. What many people don’t realise is that the term ‘deadlines’ reputedly comes from a prisoner of war term meaning a line that if crossed will result in being shot.
Instead of the stress of potentially missing deadlines and something bad happening, I focus on the benefits of meeting these lifelines. Meeting lifelines opens up a door for us; when we succeed in finishing the essay, getting something in on time, making plans and completing projects we provide ourselves with an opportunity that we wouldn’t otherwise have. Perhaps we open up the door to some leisure time, some quality time with our family or other such delights. Perhaps we give ourselves the opportunity to get a new job or to advance our career.
Meeting lifelines can provide us with many benefits, both from the job itself and from the satisfaction that it brings. When we focus on these benefits and opportunities we hopefully feel more motivated and less stressed. More engaged and less panicked. This is just one way that a simple shift of our frame of thinking about our situation can have ripples on our emotional well-being as well as our productivity.
For more examples of how we can shift our thinking get 7 Ways to Think Differently.