Steps to Stop Worrying and Working Effectively
Worry starts with a single thought. That thought, if not addressed or killed promptly, feeds on itself to become a whirlwind of thoughts or stress. Stress lives on the energy of the mind and the body. Since we got limited energy, stress is definitely not a good use of it. Stress is a parasite on the mind and body.
How do we then identify thoughts that create stress? How do we focus our mind on the action that drives result? How do we stop worrying and work effectively? Let’s learn about the steps to win over worry.
Plan your day but always be ready for change.
Once you put together a daily plan or list of tasks you set out to finish, your mind will work with clarity and conviction. Competing priorities, or new demands on your time, can change your plan but the new plan will be based on new facts. Don’t let emotions or thoughts derail your plan.
Execution is the key to progress.
Just like a farmer cannot expect a crop by thinking about it, no work is accomplished by merely thinking or worrying. Identify the inputs needed to execute a project, estimate the amount of time and effort required, assess any help that may be needed from others, and finally create a tracker to monitor the progress.
Break-down complicated tasks into small, manageable tasks and do Simran before each block of time. For example, if a particular report might take an hour, divide your time into 20-minute blocks. Try doing 2-3 minutes of Simran before each 20-minute segment for mental clarity.
Focus on controlling your mind, not the outcomes.
Months of hard work can amount to nothing when a flood destroys a crop. A wise farmer will learn from this adversity and come out stronger next time. Similarly, if we apply our mind and efforts with the best intentions we have no reason to worry about the results. We should apply logic to understand the relationship between inputs and outputs to frame a strategy and then focus on execution. Outcomes, successful or not, will follow. Treat failures as teaching moments and celebrate the success.
Trust Waheguru with the outcome.
As gursikhs we need to spend our swaas (breath) wisely. Worry robs us of our breath that we can instead save by remembering Waheguru. We should entrust our worries or distressing situations to Waheguru and focus on doing simran. Simran gives strength to our mind. This strength helps to discern between right or wrong, useful or useless. Simran helps instinctively identify thoughts that are vague fears and of no utility.
ਨਾਨਕ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਮਤਿ ਕਰਹੁ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਤਿਸ ਹੀ ਹੇਇ ॥ O Nanak, do not worry; the Lord will take care of you. ਜਲ ਮਹਿ ਜੰਤ ਉਪਾਇਅਨੁ ਤਿਨਾ ਭਿ ਰੋਜੀ ਦੇਇ ॥ He created the creatures in water, and He gives them their nourishment.