KISS to de-stress

Feeling stressed? Then you need to KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. Ask yourself these five KISSing questions to simplify your life at work or at home.

It is very easy to become overwhelmed by all the things we need to do, whether at work or at home, especially approaching big events – Christmas, financial year end, summer holidays, etc. When you start to feel the walls close in, these KISSing questions will help you to replace that stress with simplicity and inner calm.

What can I leave out?

Are there tasks that don’t really need to be done at all? Do you really need to hand make mince pies or could you eat shop bought ones this year? Do you really need to go to a meeting to discuss what you’re going to say at the next meeting? If you don’t need to do it then don’t.

What can I leave until later?

There are tasks that can be completed tomorrow or after the holiday. Yes, you do need to wrap the presents before Christmas Day. Yes, the accounts do need to be finalised before the deadline. No, you do not need to organise your January night out before Christmas – just get a date in the diary for now.

What can I delegate?

Do you really need to go to a meeting that a colleague could cover for you? Could your partner or children help you to wrap the presents? Could you employ someone to do the work you find time consuming because it’s not your specialism? Someone else would love the opportunity to do that work and would be twice as fast as you are.

How can I simplify what is left?

Now that you have a list that is manageable, can you simplify it further? Are there tasks that are similar that you can do together? If you have to make those mince pies, can you buy the filling? Can you create a formula in a spreadsheet that halves the time it takes to complete those calculations? Can you send a Doodle Poll out to your friends to choose a night in January when you are all free rather than starting a complicated group text?

What do I enjoy the most?

We all have tasks that we enjoy. Book-end your day with these. Start off with something simple and quick, then complete some tasks that you have to do, and finish with a task you find very satisfying. Your memory will be of an enjoyable, productive day.


In summary, simplifying your to-do list will bring you a sense of inner calm. It will reduce your stress and that will allow you think creatively about the remainder of your tasks.

These KISSing questions work anywhere, at any time, at work or at home.

The next time you’re feeling the pressure of too much to do in too little time, KISS.