Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Valerie Allen, EdD, NCSP

Are you in the "hurry-worry" mode? Is your life on a minute-to-minute schedule? Has "split timing" taken on a new dimension in your life? Is your vocabulary laced with "Hurry!, Quick! Let's go! Come on!?" If one little change creates havoc for the rest of your day, take a deep breath, and try the "Five P Plan" to get "deserted

1. Paper
Make a "To Do" check-list. Relieve yourself of making mental notes and trying to carry them around inside your head. Time is wasted when you try to remember what you were supposed to do. This leads to frustration and anxiety. Keep a small pad with you at home and in your car, and jot things down. Get lists out of your head and into your hands.

2. Priorities
If your "To Do" list is running into several pages, you're trying to do too much. Be realistic. Look over your list and number the 10 most important things, star the top three items. If you get those done you'll feel you have accomplished something.

If you get to any of the other things on your list that day consider it a bonus. Don't get lost agonizing over things you can't control. Know there will be delays, be ready to work around barriers, be flexible, or abandon the task as needed. Do all you can do and move on.

3. Prevention Plan ahead and build in extra time for the unexpected. If you break down jobs into small steps you will avoid feeling overwhelmed. Decide those things that only you can do and delegate tasks to others which they can do independently. They may not do it as well as you but whatever they do will be better than if you never get to it

4. Perspective
Look over your "To Do" list with a critical eye. How important are all those thing? Will it matter next week, next month, or a year from now? Remember, nothing is worth your physical or mental well being. This is too high a price to pay for efficiency.

5. Pleasure
Reward yourself. Plan something nice for yourself at the end of each day. Take a walk, call a friend, soak in a warm tub, read a book., have time by yourself.

If you have a hectic day, eliminate some responsibilities that evening: skip cooking a full-course meal and let the laundry wait until tomorrow.

If your life is in high gear and spinning out of control: eat better, sleep more, keep active, and plan some down time for yourself. The "Five P Plan" works to de-stress your life and minimize your anxiety


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