Analysis of Worrying

If you are in a leadership position, stress is usually part of the bargain. That makes stress management a necessary skill for leaders. The first step in time management, stress management and managing other people is self-management. If you can’t manage yourself, you can’t very well manage other people. Today’s self-management topic is about worrying.

Food for Thought ~

Stress management experts say that only 2% of the average person’s worrying time is spent on things that might be helped or somehow improved by worrying. The other 98% of the time is spent as follows:

~ 40% on things that never happen
~ 35 % on things that can’t be changed
~ 15 % on things that turn out better than expected
~ 8 % on petty, useless worries

Therefore, the self-management practice is to consciously resist worrying about something unless you have reason to believe it will do some good. Instead of worrying, I recommend doing something more active and useful, such as gathering and analyzing information, creative brainstorming, or a frank discussion about the situation with a trusted colleague or coach. Another alternative is to “go fishing,” (or whatever healthful activity you prefer) that frees your mind from obsessive thinking.

Question of the day ~

Do you have a tendency to worry too much? Have you practiced self-management techniques to curtail your worrying habit? What stress management resources have you developed?

One example of a highly stressful leadership challenge is managing change and transition. My new column in the North Bay Business Journal includes information on this subject that can help reduce stress. To read the article, please click here.