If you work as hard as I do, you will be forever on the verge of a nervous breakdown unless you do something about it. One of the best things you can do is schedule at least two (and preferably three or four) stress breaks every working day. A stress break is not a stress break unless:
1. You get at least 10 feet away from your desk.
2. You are completely distracted by it.
3. It lasts at least five minutes.
4. It relaxes you.
5. It energizes you.
If you have good control over your daily schedule, you can plan stress breaks between tasks. Ideally, youll want a five-minute break every 90 to 120 minutes. If your schedule is too frenetic or unpredictable to do it that way, use an egg timer and simply break away from whatever you are doing when it rings.
Suggested stress-reducing activities.
4. A walk in the sun
What will NOT reduce stress?
1. Lifting weights
2. Any strenuous exercise
3. Talking about work
4. (Probably) talking about anything
You will notice that the stress-reducing activities suggested above are solo ventures. That is not a coincidence. This is something you can start today. If you think you are too busy to start today, you really, REALLY need to start today. If you have no problem with the idea of taking stress breaks, you dont have enough stress in your life because you are not working hard enough. Get to work.
[Ed. Note. Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]