Set priorities: how to forget about stress

Sometimes, day to day can be loaded with demands, obligations, different chores and tasks that accumulate. It is often complicated to organize our time every day and we are forced to leave some things behind, to leave them for later, for next week, next month ...

We usually say to ourselves "when I'm done with this and I'm free of ... I'll have time to ..." And the days go by, the weeks go by and we continue with the same argument. And in the end thanks to this argument, we often give priority to the urgent and do not pay attention to the important, neglect family members, friends, hobbies and hobbies, and worst of all we neglect ourselves and our welfare.

After all, it is the important things that feed our happiness and our well-being and not those that seem so urgent and steal our time and attention too often.

The overload of tasks and the absurd over-demand

Today's society surrounds us all in a vertiginous rhythm, and forces us to live too fast with hardly any time. Social success today requires us to be efficient in our jobs (which each time require more hours and more obligations, if you do not do it you will do another), keep us in shape (which means dedicating time to sports, fitness, etc.), take care of the family, take time for friends, and survive in the attempt, with days that only have 24 hours.

In addition, society demands that we be the best in everything, be the best fathers and mothers, the best couple, be the most attentive with our family members, do our job better and faster, keep us in shape, not take weight and take care of gray hair and wrinkles, take care of the house, etc. We live in a constant competition, in which we fight against nature.

If we look back, if we remember how our fathers and mothers lived, or better yet our grandparents and grandmothers, we will notice a big difference with the current lifestyle. It is true that they also had obligations and tasks, but unlike us, they did not overload themselves and did not feel obliged to be the best in everything. Probably they would think or be weighed now when they observe us that we are crazy trying to force our capacities, and reaching limits that have their effects on our current health and will have them on our future health.

Errors in setting priorities

The overload of tasks and the absurd overload in which we are immersed, makes us slaves, envelops us in the system and makes us at the same time suffer a lot of stress. We become slaves of ourselves, and as it is impossible to fulfill everything, we begin to select and establish priorities. We select those priorities that, a priori, we think will make us happier, we do the urgent first, because the urgent will lead us to social or work success, it will lead us to be the best in that absurd competition and without meaning.

We are deceiving ourselves, because we will never have enough, there will always be new urgent goals and when we get them we are not better, apparently we have more success, but our lives are empty of experiences. Full of successes but empty, because we have left aside the important and now we can not.

As a consequence, the epidemics of modern society develop: anxiety, depression, emotional distress, loneliness, dependence, etc.

How can we learn to set priorities?

Establish priorities that lead us to what is truly important, letting it occupy the space that corresponds to them. It is not about leaving aside the urgent, but about knowing what place to occupy everything, and above all, giving priority to ourselves to what makes us happy, to what fills us.

1. Learn to disconnect from work. It is true that it may be important for you, but remember that you need to rest and disconnect, if you do you can perform more and better.

2. Write down a list of things that really matter to you, and remember to take care of them every day, every week. It is not about being the best or the best, but about taking care of yourself calmly, it is enough with a call, telling a story to our children, or turning off the television and talking with our partner.

3. Enjoy those moments calmly. They do not have to be great things, nor do we have to demand that it is the day-to-day things that allow us to be ourselves.

4. Obligations: you can make a list and divide them into tasks type A (those that you have to do urgently, because the term is over), type B (they are not as urgent, but must be done in a short period) and type C (they are not urgent). Dedicate yourself to the tasks of type A in the first place, in this way you can manage your time in an easy way and attend to the urgent but with time for what is important.

5. Dedicate time to yourself. It's not about time to compete with yourself, to be better.We often dedicate ourselves to activities that suppose a competition, it is about doing something that we like, just for the mere fact of enjoying it.

6. Learn meditation and mindfulness techniques.

Celia Rodríguez Ruiz. Clinical health psychologist. Specialist in pedagogy and child and youth psychology. Director of Educa and Learn. Author of the collection Stimulate Reading and Writing Processes.


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