Whole Heart

How to Stop Multitasking and Lower Stress

Quit multitasking and youll slash your stress levels, says Robert Mack, a life coach and the author of Happiness From the Inside Out. Heres how.

Plan a real vacation
It doesnt matter if you go to Tahiti or your town pool, taking at least four or five days off dramatically lowers your stress level. “That allows your creativity and inspiration to resurface,” Mack says. If you have kids and opt for a staycation, take turns with your man doing kid-duty—or send them off to their own vacation at grandmas.

Take a mental siesta
Instead of racing through your to-do list, schedule in time every single day to just chill out, Mack says. Reserve 10 minutes after lunch to sit on a park bench and people-watch or drive around with the windows open and listen to music. Doing something pleasurable helps you tune into the moment—which will snap you out of stress mode.

Up the good stuff
To feel less burned out, do a little more of the things you love and a smidgen less drudge work. Try this: For one week, scale back on one or two chores that are not absolutely necessary (ironing, attending your least favorite gym class) and spend twice as much time on one or two activities you cant get enough of (gardening, after-dinner walks).

Hit pause
Feeling overwhelmed with a project? A five-minute breather will actually make you more productive. “Feeling stressed out means youre not focusing,” Mack says. “When you slow down and regain peace of mind, youll be happier and more efficient.”