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Jen Butler: Coping Methods for Situational Stress

The most common form of stress is called situational stress. You experience it throughout your entire day. Recognizing this stress and coping with it well, will enable you to perform better and also eliminate the build up of physiological stress throughout your day. 

Daily Goals

"Situational stress always has some time bound component to it," says Butler. "Creating small daily goals are really important to coping with situational stress."

You always want to make sure that your coping methods include time management. Goal setting to give yourself adequate time will eliminate the feelings of being rushed or late. Perhaps, leave earlier to arrive at the office and schedule the morning huddle earlier, so if you or someone else shows up late you have some wiggle room. Avoid becoming involved in heavy conversations at home before you go to the office. Try to create an evening routine for discussions, clearing the air and making family decisions. Some partners use a weekly date night with the goal of working on their relationship.

Calendar Management

Another coping method is calendar management. "This is essential," says Butler. "What I always recommend is to use Google Calendar where you can overlay multiple calendars. You can click them on and off, and invite multiple people to each calendar. Each of my family members has a Google calendar, and I always share mine with them, even if it's just to come to Sunday dinner.  I send them an invite so that they can accept it. When they accept it, that lets me know we've communicated. We're all on the same page. There's not going to be any miscommunication."

We can set timed alerts in our Google calendar that are automatic reminders of upcoming events that come to our cell phones, smart watches, etc. We can set as many notifications as we need to not show up late. Make sure that you are packing your calendar with all the essential tasks and duties from work and home so that they can overlap," says Butler.

The 50/10 Rule

Another time management coping method is called the 50/10 rule, and it applies to all areas of your life, including how you schedule your patients. Butler recommends you schedule patients for the first 50 minutes of every hour and leave the last 10 minutes blank. You can use the 10 minutes to run over the allotted time if needed and still get to your next patient. Or you can go to the restroom, get a drink of water, and check for messages. You won't feel always rushed.

"At the end of the day, you can schedule a 10 minute meeting with a vendor, make a phone call, sit in your office, close your eyes and take a deep breath," says Butler. "There's a lot of things you can get done in that 10 minutes." 

Prioritize Based on Effort and Impact

Butler asks us to think about what resources (effort, time, and money) it will take to achieve our to-dos. If something requires low effort but will have high impact, yielding a high reward, "it is a big win, and those are the things you should be doing right away."  Give those priority.

If something will require high resources but have a big impact, it will be a major project. Butler advises not having more than one or two major projects going on at one time.  

If something requires low effort and will have low impact, "it's a fill in," she says, "and this is where working on your social media presence and emails, etc. come in."

If something takes high effort and has a low impact on your business, "it's a time waster and you should never do it at all."



About this Industry Leader:

Minal Sampat, BA, RDH - Profile Pic

Jen Butler, M.Ed, BCC

Stress Management and Business Consultant, JB Partners Inc.

Jen Butler is the founder and CEO of JB Partners, a SMaRT (Stress Management and Resiliency Training) firm dedicated to the success of leaders and teams and the long-term sustainable profitability of businesses. Building on her MEd in educational psychology and 25+ years of experience, Jen is a Certified Coach (Center for Credentialing and Education; and International Coach Federation), a Certified Book Yourself Solid (TM) Consultant (Michael Port), a Kolbe System Certified Consultant, and a Nationally Trained and Certified Presenter, who is also IAS Certified. As a dental consultant and then dental executive coach, she has worked with dental professionals to reduce stress, identify areas of opportunity, set actionable goals and enjoy more fulfillment. She travels throughout the United States to provide leaders, teams, and businesses with one-on-one onsite guidance in managing stress, turning around their business, and achieving real, long-lasting results.

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