Stress and a clean shirt
Anita Sharpe on Life
I had coffee this morning with one of my favorite businesspeople, Mark Kaiser, who has run companies ranging from $40 million to $1 billion and now works as an adviser to CEOs around the country. We got off on the topic of managing stress.
'During my most intensely stressful periods,' Mark says, 'I'll take 30 minutes and run an errand. I might just go to the dry cleaners. This drives some people crazy -- they can't understand why I'd run an errand in the middle of a crisis. I do it partly because it helps me put my world back in order and partly because it gives me tangible results in a very short period of time. But the real payoff is it gives me a few minutes in another environment to think about a problem differently.'
I loved hearing this from one of the most talented problem solvers I know, because I practice a variation of it myself.
I try to build thinking time into every day, but I always add 20 or 30 extra minutes when I have the least amount of time to spare -- a practice that does indeed drive certain personality types crazy. Much to the shock and dismay of some editors, I'd go out for a walk when I was on the worst kind of deadline pressure at the Wall Street Journal. Worked then; works now.\n