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!

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The Every Day Leader: Don’t be a FROG!

We have all heard at one time or another the frog theory. This is the theory that says we are comfortable in our mess. A frog put in cold water will not jump out even when the heat is turned up slowly.  Instead,  they slowly adjust and get comfortable – never realizing the danger they are in. So it is often with our lives. We grow comfortable with our mess and see it as “normal” over time, when in fact it is anything but normal.

The frog could jump out of the water if he wanted to.  He could easily escape to freedom and live another day, but he doesn’t.  He chooses to stay in the water where it feels safe, where he has gotten comfortable and content.  He never notices that the water is heating up and the environment is no longer safe.

We as people are no different from the frog. We love to be comfortable.  We often dislike (should I say hate?) change, conflict, and hard decisions.  We stay in unsafe environments and claim they are safe. We justify why we are there and why we stay.  To most it FEELS comfortable, normal, and we have grown content even if we don’t like it all the time.  What we don’t often see is how the environment is slowly killing us, it has become toxic to our souls, our attitudes, and to our very being.

It might be the long hours at work

It might be us avoiding things we know we should deal with

It might be a toxic relationship that we have allowed

We are no longer being our best self, but rather simply surviving. We get up and live the “groundhog day” over and over again and have convinced ourselves this is a good life or at least an OK life.  In reality, we are dying on the inside and don’t  know it or won’t acknowledge it.  

These toxins in our lives have creeped up like the temperature of the water and made us feel safe because we have lived in the situation for so long.  It feels comfortable, it feels normal.

The frog didn’t have enough sense to jump out. 

DON’T BE A FROG!

Be intentional of the environment you are in and how you spend your time. Take time to evaluate the relationships you have and make sure they are healthy and not toxic to you. Be intentional to choose good friends and mentors to help you see clearly and point out the red flags of danger. LISTEN TO THEM! Know that they are there for your protection and best interest.  Listen when they say there is danger up ahead or speak truth into your life about something you have said or done.  Accountability from those we trust is a priceless gift.

Every day leaders choose to not remain comfortable; but wisely evaluate where they are at and their environment.  They do it to be their best selves. It is then that they thrive and have the most influence on those around them.

Have you settled into simply being comfortable?  Is your environment affecting you but you have not taken the time to even see it happening? Are you allowing toxic relationships into your life?

Every day leaders don’t settle, they seek to thrive to make the most difference with each day they have been given.

Every Day leaders evaluate their environment and relationships often, taking a check of what is healthy and what is not; they remove the toxins. They let trusted mentors and friends speak truth into their life and they LISTEN.