Deadlines. Some people hate them, some people love them, and no matter how well we plan they always seem to happen at the same time.

So today we are looking at ways to avoid stressing out when your to-do list seems more like a to-do book, and some one seems to have sped up the clock and five o’clock seems dangerously close.

Make a list

If you know that the day ahead is going to be super busy, make a list with what you need to get done. Prioritise it and run through what each task entails. If you are waiting for others to get back to you, so that you can get a move on, chase them up first thing. If you are emailing people, make sure that you make it as easy as possible for them to provide you with what you need. Avoid lengthy and complicated emails, if you can. Just let them know that you need A to get to B. And then tackle those tasks you can do now, whilst you wait.

Let other people know

If you have a super busy day ahead, and really need to get stuck in, let your co-workers know. Ask them to take messages instead of passing on the phone, and ask if they have any time to spare to maybe lend you a hand with some of those tasks, that you can easily delegate.


Yes, it’s true. Even if you don’t feel like there’s anything to smile about as you are staring into the face of a hundred deadlines, just give it a go. Actually, as Ron Gutman explains in this TEDTalk, one smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2000 chocolate bars and it can help you live longer. But most importantly, when in a stressful situation, smiling helps reduce the levels of stress enhancing hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine.


If you are feeling flustered, loosing focus and just generally feel a bit overwhelmed, try counting your breaths. Find a place where you can get a little peace and quiet for a quick breathing session, the bathroom works too. Next you count 1 when you breathe in and 2 when you breathe out until you reach 10. If you feel your mind wandering, then just return to where you lost count, and keep counting, till you feel a bit more at ease. If you want more exercises like this check out Headspace – an amazing tool, which helps you get more, well, Headspace.

Step away from the computer

This might sound counter intuitive if you are working to a tight deadline, but taking a few minutes to just go outside and take a few deep breaths of fresh air and move your body a little bit, might give you that extra kick to make sure you regain focus and meet that deadline.

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