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We’ve all heard it before: Mind the workday stress that can kill. It affects your life in so many ways. But who among us knows when we’ve reached the tipping point? I know I’m guilty of midnight managing…confirming details…putting finishing touches on that report. It’s time to assess just how much you’re doing and whether you’re approaching critical mass.

  1. Unplug. It’s as simple as that. If you want to really gauge how much of an overachiever you are, get the pulse on how you handle some time away from all your electronics. That means no computer, tablet, or phone. Enjoy a good book. Head to the coffee shop with girlfriends and recharge. Or, take a weekend with someone special and plan something special. Organize a family day. Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to peek at your work texts. 
  2. Assess priorities. Answer this question: What’s really important? And that’s not a rhetorical question! Accepting all data that flies at you does more than just wear you out. It can actually make you less effective at what you do best by petty distractions. Stick to your priorities — and that means family priorities too. Delegate. You can’t do everything. 
  3. Get a grip on your planner. If the script of your life has you running from one event to another, then on to a client dinner every night of the week, you’ll want to make a change that makes sense. Take the 30,000-foot view. See what you can cut back on: Start small, then work up. One client dinner per week — no exceptions. Send a company representative to others. One quiet lunch to yourself per week — no exceptions! In fact, take a moment for quiet solitude at the office every single day.
  4. Boost your digital dexterity. You know who you are! Take a look at your desk. Are there sticky notes covering your monitor? All those notes are demanding seconds of your time…just seeing them daily adds stress to your life. Use the aids your computer was designed for to more efficiently plan, manage, and deliver on these upcoming tasks —at the same time easing management oversight. It may be as simple as using calendars for planning…or as involved as adopting new software to get the job done. Apps can save time for leaders by delegating work assignments according to skills and resources availability and preventing burn-out of key people.
  5. Get active. You’ve heard it before, but getting out and moving around is key to staying healthy and fit. And it doesn’t matter how old you are: Getting active in midlife is just as good for you as starting when you are young, when it comes to reducing the risk of health hazards, according to the National Cancer Institute. Get away from your desk and take the stairs. Also important: Schedule family time and also quiet time, and meditate or simply reflect on what makes you happy.