Stop the planning! Tips to reduce stress

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DETROIT - It's one of the greatest ironies of life -- we're too frantically busy to deal with the stuff that makes us feel frantically busy. So what is the key to overcome all of this and stress less?

Do you have a "to-do list" -- or maybe two -- started somewhere?  

It's easy to get overwhelmed. But what's more concerning, experts say -- is that we may be mis-perceiving all this multi-tasking as productivity.

We try to juggle it all -- and then end up feeling stressed by our massive to-do lists.  But what exactly are we getting done with all this stress and list making?

A study in the Journal of Communication found that people may be misreading the emotional high that they get -- feeling like we are doing it all -- when we aren't actually being that productive at all.

What is the key to a calmer existence?  Experts say it's all about finding bite-size solutions and getting rid of all that other psychological clutter.

Here's how to do that -- according to the experts:

  • Track your time:  Write down exactly what you're doing each day.  Are you on facebook for 30 minutes?  Identify time periods where you are not using time as well as you would like
  • Stop the auto-yes.  Evaluate if you can really do what you are being asked.
  • Have a plan.  Jot down exactly how you will tackle big tasks.
  • Just do it.  Experts say if something can be done in two minutes -- go ahead and get it done now.
  • Consider rewards.  This is the fun one -- thinking about the payoffs will energize you to get through what you need to.

Experts say all of this will help you finally feel in control, sharpen your focus, ease your load, and let you enjoy life a lot more.

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