5 Ways to Be Less STRESSED in 2019

– Hey, what’s up guys? So we did it. Another year is on the books, and we are one step closer to the inevitable robot uprising. Possibly two or three steps closer, if I can just find that bug in my code. Anyway, about 365 days ago, I put out a video rounding out 2017 with 10 productivity tips that you could use to make 2018 a more productive year, and if you saw that video, hopefully you were able to implement some of those tips, and this year was a more
productive one for you. And I wanna do something similar for the end of this year, but instead of focusing on productivity this time around, we’re going to focus
on the topic of stress. In addition to all the emails and tweets and DMs that I get about productivity topics, like how to focus and how to not procrastinate as much, I get a lot of questions from people who feel that they’re overly stressed on a daily basis, that
they’re overwhelmed, and if you find yourself
in a similar situation, then hopefully one of the five tips I’m gonna share in this video will help you go into 2019 feeling a little bit more stressed, and like your life is a
little bit more balanced. First up, we’ve got a useful planning hack that I try to use whenever I’m taking on a future commitment, something that’s next week or maybe even further into the future. And it’s to ask myself,
if I had to take on this commitment this week, would it have actually fit with everything else that
I’ve already had to do or that I know that’s coming up. As we discussed in my
procrastination series, we human beings have this tendency to view our future selves as basically superheroes. We think that our future self next week or two weeks from now is gonna be able to handle a lot more than what we’re dealing with right now. We think that that person in the future is not going to have to deal with the same procrastination tendencies, the same distractions, and when we look at our calendars, usually next week or the weeks afterwards don’t seem as full as this week, and of course every single week when you find yourself
in that present moment, there’s always things that come up, right? So when you’re thinking about taking on a commitment next week, and you feel like oh, that’s super easy. I can easily fit that in, ask yourself, would that have actually
fit in to this week? With all the surprises that popped up? With all the tired spells
you found yourself in? And see if that would
have actually worked. If it would’ve, then maybe it would be a good idea to actually add that into your next week’s schedule. But if it wouldn’t have, you may wanna give it a second thought. All right, tip number two, which is something that I have used for a long time to great effect. Be a contrarian. Do things a different times or in different locations than everyone else tends to do them. One of the biggest causes of stress in our lives is the fact that resources are limited. There’s only so much food to go around, so much money, so much internet bandwidth, but certain resources are only taken up at certain times of the day, and at other times of the day, they’re basically free, or at least they’re a lot less busy, so if you can be a contrarian, if you can commute to work at a different time of the day, or if you can go grocery shopping at a different time than everyone else typically does, then you’re gonna run
into a lot less friction, and that cuts down on your stress. Now of course there are gonna be varying degrees to which you can be a contrarian based on your schedule. If you’re an entrepreneur, you can be a contrarian in basically any way that you want, whereas if you have a full time job, your options are a
little bit more limited, but regardless of what your life situation looks like, there are probably areas
where you can exercise a little bit of control and change your schedule up just a bit. You could wake up maybe an hour earlier, and drive to work and maybe work out at a gym near there, or you could go to the grocery store on a Saturday morning
instead of after work on Thursday afternoon. The typical times at which we do things are in part dictated by our schedules and our obligations, but they’re also set in part by our habits, and by the way that everyone else seems to do things, so, and this kind of calls back to a tip in yesterday’s
video about organization, if you can ditch the dogma, if you can stop doing things the way other people do them just because they do them, and be a bit of a contrarian, you can really cut down on the stress that you experience in your life. All right, tip number three, and this is a bit more of a specific tip, but be ruthless about your inbox in 2019, and this tip is on the list because email can be a huge stress creator for a lot of people. Most of us are being constantly bombarded with tons of emails on a daily basis, and a lot of these emails frankly are completely unnecessary, and even for the ones that you do actually need to look at, you might need to look at them right at the time they come in, or you may need to receive them, but not actually see them, so as you go into 2019, start taking some steps to tame your inbox a little bit, and I’ve got a few suggestions. First, ruthlessly
unsubscribe from newsletters, daily digests, marketing emails, anything that doesn’t bring you value, and I realize this is
kind of an ironic tip coming from somebody who literally has an email newsletter, but hey, if you get my email newsletter and it doesn’t bring you value, then I actively encourage you to unsubscribe from that, and that counts for anyone else’s newsletters as well. You might think that it’s not a big deal to just delete the
emails when they come in, but realize that every single one that you have to delete represents a little bit of work you have to do, represents a decision you have to make, and over time, as the day goes on, that creates mental fatigue. Secondly, start using filters and rules to automate the email that you do need to keep. For example, I get a lot of receipts sent to my business email for all kinds of transactions that go on in my business, and I need to keep these receipts for good record keeping and in case I ever get audited, but I don’t need to see them all when they come in. Like every single time I make a video here on YouTube, I have to order captions for it. When I do that, there’s an email receipt that gets sent to my inbox, but I don’t need to see that. I just need to have it in my records in case I ever need it down the line, so a long time ago, I created a filter that will automatically
add the receipt tag to that email, so I can easily find it if I need to, and it
automatically archives it. That way it’s there, but I don’t have to
see it or deal with it. That brings us to tip number four, which is going to sound like more work, but hear me out. In 2019, I suggest that you start keeping a journal. Now the astute viewers among you might realize that in my
previous year end video, I advocated keeping an
accomplishment journal, and I do still advocate doing that, but for this video, I’m going to recommend keeping a normal journal, a record of your thoughts and experiences, and the things that go on on a day to day basis. And yes, this does create a little bit of work for you, especially
if you’re making it a daily habit, but it has a hugely important benefit, which is that it
crystallizes your thoughts about the experiences you’re having in the moment, and it’s really useful to have this record to look back on, because we’re really good at rationalizing things, and we are especially good at looking at the past with rose tinted glasses, and if you don’t keep a journal, you might find yourself in a situation down the road where you’re looking back at the past, wishing that you could kind of go back to the situation that you were in, because where you are
right now is stressful, but if you have a journal, you can go and look at how you were actually feeling during that time, and you might realize that they way things are now are actually better than they were back then. Finally, if you wanna feel less stressed in 2019 and in the years afterwards, then stop rushing so much. A few months ago, I was browsing Reddit, and I found a thread from a guy who had remodeled his house. He was showing all the pictures, and the job was honestly excellent, but he was kind of lamenting the fact that a lot of the rooms were now empty because they didn’t own
a whole lot of stuff, but he also said that his dad gave him a really good of piece of advice, which is that you’ve now got the house, and now you have an entire lifetime to fill it up, and for me, that one line is a great encapsulation of the fact that we don’t need to rush as much as we think we do. We have a lot more time than we think we have, and the reason that a lot of us take on so many commitments is that we feel like we have to rush through all these stages of life that society sort of expects for us to go through. There’s all these things that we’re supposed to achieve, right? We have to graduate from college, buy a house, start a family, do all of these things, and social media makes this worse. Because we’ve got all these friends who in past decades we would only see once in awhile, maybe at reunions or family things or something like that, but now we can see them posting about all their life milestones. This person started a family. This person bought a house. This person got a new job. And we feel like we are falling behind for not doing all of those things, so if you are an ambitious person like me there’s this really strong temptation to keep taking on things because you feel like you have to get to that next stage as soon as possible, but just like that guy
who remodeled his house and now has a whole lifetime to fill it up, you and I have time to do the things that we want to do. You have time to achieve your goals. And whenever I feel
the temptation to rush, I try to remind myself of
what’s really important by asking myself the question, and I truly that unhappy right now? Usually the answer is no. I’m content right now. And I was content five years ago, even though I hadn’t achieved nearly as much as I have now. And I’m hopefully going to be content five years in the future as well. It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop working. It doesn’t mean I’m going
to rest on my laurels. But it does mean that I can afford to be methodical in my approach, and that I shouldn’t be sacrificing my mental health or my time just to get to that next stage as quickly as I possibly can, so stop rushing so much. If you are constantly stressed out, then pull back and assess the expectations you’ve put on yourself. It might actually be a good idea to edit them and to allow yourself a bit more time to meet them. Because when you have that time, you’ll feel less overwhelmed, and you’ll be able to put more care into your work. Plus, when you’re not always rushing to finish an
overwhelming task list, you’ve got free time, time to go on long bike rides, time to cook healthier dinners, and time to actually
keep your house clean, and since none of these things requires a ton of concentration in the moment, you can also use that time to learn something new with Audible, which is the best place on the internet to get your hands on audio books. Audible has an unmatched library of audio books, in a
ton of different genres. From science fiction to biographies to psychology. They’ve got tons of obscure stuff, and they have all the bestsellers, including my recommendation for this week, which is The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene. If you’re interested in becoming a more rational thinker and making better decisions,
and in controlling your emotions more effectively, especially in your interactions with other people, then this is a fantastic book to go through, and I highly recommend it. And you can actually get it for free along with a 30 day trial of Audible by going over to www.audible.com/thomas, or by texting Thomas to 500500 on your phone. Once you’ve got that membership, you’re gonna get one credit every single month, good for any title in their library, plus two Audible originals that you can’t get anywhere else and access to audio workout programs. Plus your personal library of audio books that you’ve downloaded
is yours to keep forever. Even if you end up canceling Audible, you’re gonna have those books as long as you want. So once again, go over
to www.audible.com/thomas or text Thomas to 500500 on your phone to get that free 30 day trial and a free audio book download of your choosing. As always, a huge thanks goes out to Audible for sponsoring this video and being a big supporter of my channel in general. And thank you guys so much for watching, both this video and
everything throughout 2018. And possibly further back, if you’ve been watching for awhile. If you enjoyed this video, definitely hit that like button to support this channel, and I also wanna hear from you down in the comments. What do you wanna see from me in 2019? Both on the academic side, the student focus side, but also in a broader sense? What do you wanna see from me that maybe doesn’t have
to focus on academics and productivity and all
those kinds of topics? I’m looking forward to hearing from you down below, and hopefully you had a great 2018. Hopefully 2019 is awesome for you as well. As always, you can subscribe right there to get new videos every single week when they come out. You can go right there to get a free copy of my book on how to earn better grades in school, whether you’re in high school or college. I think you’ll find it helpful. Follow me on Instagram right there, or last but not least, watch one more video on this channel by clicking right here or smashing your face
into your phone screen. Thanks for watching, and I will see you in the next one.

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