Worrying is a most unfortunate state, generally unproductive, tiring, and otherwise annoying. The human mind seems to have a special gift for generating worries. Thus, the whole field of stress management. A recent conversation with a client about new procedures in his business generated the following comment: “Now that I have these new processes in place I feel more relaxed.”
This made me sit right up. How had this happened? What stress management technique had he applied?((1))
My client had automated his incoming email streams so that customer email was filtered and alert emails generated that appeared as push notifications on his smart phone. All other email was just filed away for future reading. This means that when a customer (or for that matter a potential customer emailing from a website form) sends a message, my client knows within seconds that the message has arrived. He can then decide how quickly to respond. In fact, he pointed out that while we were talking he had received just such a push notice, but, seeing who the customer was, he knew that this could readily wait until we were done talking because he had developed this trusted system to aert him of customer service requests.
So how does this make him feel more relaxed? It is the sure knowledge that he is aware of these customer events that makes him able to relax. He doesn’t have to worry when he spends a couple of hours working on a project that requires real concentration and focus that he is missing a customer inquiry. This contributes to his stress management.
If you have read and used David Allen’s Getting Things Done, this should sound familiar. This looks to be an application of his step of getting everything out of your mind and down onto paper where you can do something about it instead of worrying. This is part of his trusted system and a key to stress management.
- Keep in mind that he did not start out to manage stress, rather improve customer service. The stress management came as a side effect. [↩]