The Every Day Leader: Mess STRESS

Have you heard of “mess stress”?  It is that stack of papers and books on the counter or general clutter about. It may not be in the dictionary, but I would wager that we all have felt the effects of it!

It is a term to explain how the messiness around you simply stresses you out.  It happens when the stacks of paper on our desks have grown out of control.  It happens when the house has dust bunnies all over the floors and stacks of mail everywhere  because we have been too busy to care for it.

Some mess cannot be avoided.  Paper accumulates.  Laundry and housework accumulate.  Dishes don’t get done.  Life can get busy. People should come first but balance is VITAL for survival.

There are times the mess gets out of control.  It is at that time we know we need to do something, we have to address the problem, we have to bring balance back, and we know we have to be intentional to make some changes.

5 Things to Do to remove the Mess Stress from your life:

Delegate:  Let others help you! Why do we think we are the only ones that can do it?

Organize:  Take a day off and start fresh.  Clean it out.  Get it organized.

Simplify:  Get rid of what you don’t need.  Donate it to a local charity!

Change your schedule:  Get up earlier; spend some extra minutes at the beginning of the day to take care of things.

Discipline yourself:  File things immediately.  Pick up after yourself.  Be proactive instead of saving things until the last minutes.  Be intentional  in how you spend your time!

Mess stress keeps you from being your best self.  It means that we spend more time cleaning up the messes that are causing us stress than doing what we were wired to do.  It means not having the freedom to spend our time making a difference in the life of another, because we are too preoccupied dealing with our messes.

Every day leaders know what to do.  They KNOW that being disciplined is a way of life that makes us better and gives us more opportunities.  They KNOW that eliminating stress as much as possible – is a key to being our best selves.

Every day leaders long to be their best, KNOWING that when they are at their best, they are better at making a difference in the life of those they lead and are around them!

The Every Day Leader: Getting off the TREADMILL of Life

Do you remember watching the ‘Jetsons’, the cartoon about the future?  Meet George Jetson…Jane, his wife… his son Elroy…daughter Judy. And the most famous of them all the dog named Astro.  I have not seen the cartoon since I was a kid, but I will never forget the scene during the credits where Astro pulls George while he is on the treadmill.  George ends up going around and around the belt because he cannot keep up. Remember that?

Figuratively, we all get caught up in the treadmill of life.  We may jump on it thinking WE have control of the pace,  but eventually it gets going so fast that we simply can’t keep up. We can do it for a while but eventually, we wear out. 

The breakdown in our lives begins to show  in how we respond to others.  It shows in our decision-making.  It shows in our words, our actions, and even our health.

We must choose to change, to readjust, to intentionally go in a different direction.

Leaders  choose to control their schedules.  They choose to say no to some things in order to say yes to others.  They choose to schedule themselves on THEIR calendar knowing that if they don’t take care of themselves they can’t take care of others.  Leaders choose to ensure they have time for those in every area of their lives not just their teams and family.

What speed are you at?  Are you keeping up the pace or is your foot beginning to slip?  Are you afraid to slow down, enjoy the day God has given you and take care of yourself?

Only YOU can take that ownership…no one else will do it for you.  Quite the contrary, if you are willing to do things, others will ask and let you….and the pace just keeps on picking up. Learn to say “No”, learn to delegate, and learn to ask for help.

Be intentional to evaluate your schedule weekly and even daily.  Learn not to over commit. Learn to take care of YOU.

When we are our best selves, we are better at caring for others in our lives, we are better leaders, managers, and problem solvers.  We are not too tired or burned out to invest and influence another.

Everyday leaders control the speed of their lives.  They know that when they do, they are more equipped to make a difference in the life of those around them and those they lead!.


The Every Day Leader: ENTANGLED!

There are so many life lessons we can glean from nature if we just look around.  In the south Kudzu grows rapidly, 60 feet a year! Kudzu takes over everything in its path, choking out any kind of life that it encounters. Grown forests become “ghost towns” of memories past.

Our lives are very much like this vine. Little by little we allow things to creep in. Things that SEEM okay at the time.  We often don’t realize just how damaging they can be over time.  These things can be draining and begin to pull on us.  They can come in the form of habits, relationships, even our words.   As everyday leaders that are seeking to live intentionally, we want to become aware of what it is that is weighing us down, entangling us and pulling at us. What is draining the energy, resources, creativity, and life out of us?

Do we have the habit of working too many hours?  Once a good thing, may now become something that is choking the life out of us and stealing our time away from family.  Maybe even costing us our health.

Perhaps we are simply trying to fit too MANY things into our schedule.  These things may all be good, but have become so much that we are pulled in every direction. Being intentional with our schedule means saying NO to things that might be good so that we can say YES to those things that are great.  It means being able to yes to things that match our vision and purpose.

What about  the habit of joking around?  Have our words, once in fun, gotten out of hand?  Are we too concerned about material things, vacations or having success that what was once a dream has now become a burden as we stay driven for more or strive to maintain what we have?

Are we entangled in a relationship that we shouldn’t be in?  Have we compromised at work and allowed questionable practices to take place?

Being intentional means taking the time to cut down the vines that are choking things out.  Once free the plants begin to thrive again.  Before you cut out those things that entangle you, first evaluate what is good or bad, what needs to be trimmed back.

The process is painful but the rewards are great when we take the time to evaluate and trim back those things which entangle us, allowing new growth to help us thrive.

The Every Day Leader.  Living an intentional life.  Being the best you can be.