After first nine days of September, I really need this post. Not only because writing this in less than 1,5 hours will save a Beeminder goal from failing, but also because I need the content itself. This hectic time is playing merry hell with Hacked Man on all fronts.
It's busy. What should you do?
As with solving any problems, I start by googling information on it. First I'll have to filter out all the good, but utterly useless, advice: sleep enough, don't stop exercising, ask for help. All these are exactly the things you forget to do, once you are busy.
I guess everyone has their own level of stress once the "forget to follow you own good advice" effect kicks in. I think I have a pretty high tolerance for this, but I still hit those limits every once in a while.
I see two solutions.
- Raise your tolerance level: increase the amount of stress you can take, before starting to lose good habits
- Make habits tougher: have a hard time at work or a relative died and your car burned down? Still, every day starts with a jog. It just happens automatically.
This is the simpler option and I already have a bunch of tools for this. Beeminder might not make habits tougher, but it's acts as a sort of an exoskeleton. Even if the habit is dead, Beeminder will swing your legs around and make you go on that jog, so you don't end up paying them for failing a goal.
Self help literature is also filled with tricks on making habits tougher. Making them fun, breaking them down to very small pieces that are practically costless to do, etc. etc. etc. I don't find this route promising or very interesting, at this point.
Building stress tolerance is more unfamiliar territory for me. A simple google search makes it immediately obvious, that increasing stress tolerance is not that unfamiliar for others. 63 000 000 hits sounds like a lot, so I guess someone has wondered this same thing and also written quite a lot of stuff on it.
Sadly, the first few articles and hits don't really offer any silver bullets. It's still all about keeping positive, remembering to sleep enough, etc. All the things that I'm doing and have a hard time of keeping up, once I reach very high levels of stress.
Still, I've managed to find some tricks that seem like worth a short. At this time of night, I'm choosing a single new trick to include into Hacked Man, effective immediately:
Yes, I'm starting a third journal!
A stress journal will include a daily note on the amount of stress and the sources of that stress.
If you want to improve something, measure it. This will probably help by itself, because writing is brilliant.. I realize this is another habit that I'll have a hard time keeping up if it gets very busy, but I guess there's no avoiding that. I'll be using Momento's star ratings to measure daily stress. Those I can export and slap on a spreadsheet if I want.
Let's see if this helps! At least I'll have more measurements and stuff I can put on spreadsheets, which is of course a good thing.
I feel better already!