Here is a simple way to reduce one type of stress.
I used to get annoyed when people would show up late to meet me. I imagined them disrespecting me and such. One day I made a rule for myself:
Everybody gets fifteen minutes.
That’s it. If someone shows up anywhere less than fifteen minutes late, it’s fine. I don’t ask questions, I don’t ask where they were, I don’t suggest anything. After practicing the rule enough, I genuinely don’t care. It’s fine.
Before this rule I might have wondered if I would lose time, people would take more for granted, or other unintended side effects. The contrary has been the case. A huge source of stress and judgment disappeared. My feared unintended consequences never happened, but even if they had, the benefits are worth it. It’s like letting go of being right all the time.
In fact, when I shared the rule with someone who works at the David Allen & Company (David wrote Getting Things Done, guru of time management and productivity) she said she was going to implement it for herself.
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