(Some stress is a good thing: if you feel you can manage a particular situation, it might be productive. Check out Kelly McGonigal’s 2013 TED Talk, it’s great.)

Managing Stress:

  • Stay present. Remind yourself to focus. Learn to meditate, and to pause before you take an action.
  • Prioritize. Don’t think that you can multitask and perform. Do fewer things and do them well. What you decide not to do might be as important as what you actually decide to do.
  • Develop routines. Keep the same daily schedule as much as possible. Prepare for the day the night before by reviewing your calendar. Exercise and eat at regular times, use a divided pillbox to remind you to take your medications properly.
  • Retain a sense of humor—it’s lighter than you think. Self-forgiveness is an important way to “get over it.”
  • Sometimes something that seems terrible can be viewed from a different angle, and regarded as not only not so serious, but maybe as a benefit—and possibly as a great benefit.
  • Find the best doctors for any specific illness, and then make them look like geniuses by having the best recovery possible.
  • Find gentle ways of challenging yourself, look for your true talents—your gifts will always be your gifts, in my experience.
  • Practice—aim for continual improvement and develop good habits.
  • Treat your attention as a valuable resource, spend it wisely.

Manage your technology:

  • Use email to make a data trail of conversations and commitments and ask family and friends to sign on too to this method of communicating.
  • If you have a task to accomplish, don’t respond to every email as it comes in—look at them and respond to them in batches.
  • Manage the phone—don’t answer unless you know who it is and it’s someone you want to talk to at that moment. 
  • Minimize television viewing, especially TV news. 
  • Use your phone or computer’s alarm functions to remind you to do certain tasks—moving the car for street cleaning, for example, or picking up kids.
  • Leave messages for yourself as reminders.
  • Use a timer when cooking, stay near the stove when it’s on, don’t wander away from the kitchen.


  • If you drive a car, be aware that a car is a weapon to bicycles and pedestrians. 
  • Drive carefully, on familiar routes, being patient and generous with other drivers. 
  • Allow enough time or permit yourself to be slightly late—“caught in traffic” is a completely valid excuse. 
  • If you are feeling iffy about your cognition—we can often tell when we’re not 100%–either stay home or, if you’re out, drive slowly and carefully home. 
  • Drowsiness is a cause for red alert—pull over immediately.
  • Let professionals drive you where you need to go.

“Ever try. Ever fail. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
– Samuel Beckett


Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity 
by David Allen

One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way
by Robert Maurer