Have you ever experienced the “chaos stress”?

Yes, I mean the daily stress for your mind to cope with different tasks, different sources of input (email, incoming calls, skype and chat, open office rumors), and different information that is requested to achieve the result.

In the Agile philosophy, if the inputs are too much for your mind so that you can’t manage them efficiently, you should apply some simple but effective rules:

1.Don’t panic.
If inputs are increasing up to an overwhelming figure, it doesn’t mean you are dead.
Good managers know how to solve problems, isn’t it?
If modern life was simple, would be better to become a farmer; but modern techniques help a lot 😉

2. Keep it simple.
More than a rule, it’s a philosophy.
Perfectionism isn’t always requested, and sometimes it would become a symptom of a sort of paranoia, coming from the idea to keep control of everything – that shortly turns out in loosing control on other tasks.

3. Download your load.
It means that if you imagine your mind like an elevator that brings heavy boxes from one floor to another. More boxes means more efforts, and it means more power needed to lift them up as well.
But if you store boxes at the first floor, you “download” your mind, keeping problems and task “to-do” ordered with some criteria: priority, or budget impact, or some other.
It’s a good idea to write down things to do, sometimes with the old-style pen on the paper.

Choosing your criteria, keep in mind to avoid the false criteria of the time the input arrived: for example, if a customer doesn’t go to bed before 8 a.m., it doesn’t mean that you have to reply quickly to his email before making other tasks. Keep in mind that only you can control your own work: I mean that sorting the priority of your own tasks must depend on your criteria, not by someone else’s one.

4. Time-box your efforts.
If you don’t know how much time the task will require, you must give a time-box lag, generally from one to 4 minutes. Time-boxing helps you to avoid focusing on a task, that means wasting time and generating stress as a consequence.

 

The 4 rules, if applied, will help you mainly to keep your mind lean, without useless stops in thinking on a task before you can manage it.

In other words, the goal is to reach a state of mind that can be defined as “on the edge”, just like a surfer on the wave.

But if you forget to apply these rules, your mind could grasp hardly to return on the top.