Sales Success

Take This Quiz And Learn The Warning Signs Of Stress Before You Burnout, Or Worse
by Bill Cole

   How stressful is your world? Everyone has stress. That's a normal part of life. All too often though, pervasive stress creeps up on us before we realize it. Once this escalating stress locks onto us, our performance can rapidly take a nose-dive. You can't afford that.
   In my years working as a stress management and peak performance consultant, I've seen six stages of "stress":

  • Stress
  • Overwhelm
  • Brownout
  • Burnout
  • Breakdown
  • Death

   Unfortunately, many of us live in the unhealthy stages 2-4 and consider them "normal".
   It's time to stop being a member of the walking wounded and reclaim healthful ways of living and working. The first step in getting out of the stress line of fire is to become aware of critical warning signs. Notice when you are beginning to feel overwhelmed and you can begin to reclaim control.


   Take this quick quiz to find your Overwhelm Quotient (OQ). Check any item that applies to you.

   You Might Be Starting To Enter The Overwhelm Zone If:

  • You continually arrive to meetings at the last minute or late.
  • You begin missing appointments.
  • You accidentally double-book appointments.
  • You live in the middle of a mess.
  • You are losing things that you shouldn't.
  • You make stupid mistakes you never used to make.
  • You just can't seem to focus on tasks.
  • You are forgetful.
  • You use artificial stimulants to stay awake.
  • You are not taking good care of yourself.
  • You stop taking rest breaks, and the only time you slow down is to sleep.
  • The day just started and you are already tired.
  • You can't recover after a long hard day.
  • All your days are long and hard.
  • You eat while you multi-task.
  • There is little joy and fun in what you are doing.
  • You have nothing but deadlines to meet.
  • Work that used to be interesting has become tedium.
  • You have more work than time to do it in.
  • You are under constant time pressures.
  • You race from task to task and meeting to meeting.
  • You clear one task off your desk and two more instantly take their place.
  • You never feel like you get traction on anything.
  • You are thinking, "Will this treadmill ever stop?"
  • Your schedule is so busy, friends stop calling you.
  • work becomes your life.
  • You have no life.
  • You ask, "Is this all there is to life?"

   1-5 warning signs mean you may be going through a stressful period or you have some poor personal and work habits that need attention.
   5-10 warning signs mean you are probably in brownout. You are in continually high stress mode and have some habits that are adding to your stress.
   10-20 warning signs mean you are in burn-out, yet this mode of existence may now seem "normal" and "the way required to do business".
   20 or more warning signs mean you are in major self-destruct mode and should probably get to a professional who can help you right away.

   Being overwhelmed is no way to live life. Don't accept anything less than a full, vibrant work life and fulfilling personal life. The first line of defense in stopping escalating stress is to become aware of your impending signs of overwhelm.