If I´m penning this, naturally, there´s no need to clarify that I´m the walking stereotype of a Type A person: Prone to worrying, biting more than I can chew, and running (not exactly the marathon type of runner).
The schedule chasing type to be more precise.
Let´s face it. Burnout´s waiting for me around the corner.
BUT I happen to successfully dodge the guy with a few strategies.
Simple methods really. And that´s why I´m here today.
People like me have a knack for schedules and highlighters which make them particularly excel at fitting multiple tasks (and a host of birthdays!).
But the concretion of the sacred schedule sometimes unfolds as what I like to call the forlorn-hour workweek.
Before you think anything —and judge me — I haven´t read it. I was probably putting 35 hours a week as a mere mortal. But I wanted to work smarter…I really did.
And I still do.
We (Type As) also have this funny thing for doing A LOT OF STUFF in order to counteract all our particular stressful features.
So, we take up yoga, we stretch, we turn off the cell phone to sleep and we go to learn mindfulness or—why not—we self learn it.
Also, we practice countless visualization techniques so we can cope with our “there´s just not enough time for everything I wanna do” recurring motto.
Sometimes it makes me wonder if the very intention of performing all these activities makes us even more anxious or stressed.
In doubt, ask neuroscience if those things work. (But that´s another article.)
I´m here with you today to throw some light on what we can learn from Type B personalities, particularly four simple things.
I think these people have a lot to teach us when it comes to facing our intense routines. And learning how to finally worry less and lay back while we´re still productive.
Because there´s no type A without a strong timetable out there.
Or at least, if you can´t instantly start to worry less, you can at least try to see things differently and seriously, give yourself a break.
Because there’s nothing worse for your brain that repeating those patterns that are limiting and restricting your full potential.
So why not embracing the thought (just for a while) that your schedule is NOT the answer to each and every single question?
But first of all, let’s see some of the basics of each personality type.
According to the Type A and Type B Personality Theory, type As experience more stress and worry than type Bs.
That means, these people are suffering from a higher risk of stress-related diseases like high blood pressure—or even heart attacks.
On the other hand, type Bs tend to be more focused on processes than on results. That´s the reason why they´re generally perceived as more laid back than we, type As.
It doesn´t mean that type As can´t enjoy processes or that type Bs can´t set life goals. They´re luckily grey areas, as with everything in life.
But guess what?
Type Bs are less prone to the negative effects of worry and stress.
So, if you happen to be a type A too, I´ll tell you what I learned to lower my stress levels.
It truly works for me. Hope it does for you too.
1. Scheduling can mean VERY little sometimes — and it´s ok!
When doing arrangements, I pen the exact day, time, and place to do something. And stick to it.
From my point of view this is a really strong compromise on my front.
It´s not a maybe if/when that day comes, I´ll see if I can make it.
Type Bs happen to see it that way sometimes.
However, they kind of remember pretty accurately that they have to meet you somewhere and do something. And they even show up the day you arranged and everything.
(Perhaps not at the correct place, time, or both.)
Anyway, I don´t know how they do it. They are actually able to live and function without a schedule where to write plans down.
I´d like to learn how to pull it off.
I did learn not to get angry at those moments of arrangement confusion between two different styles.
Tip: Just a brief reminder on your front one day before the event will do.
However, I don´t run anymore to show up on time to those plans. Because type Bs generally won´t. I decided I was only gonna be punctual with another type A.
Worst case if a Type B doesn´t remember to show up?
They may be on a trip, sleeping, or doing other things with other people. They can even cancel last minute. Anyone would get angry at that point. Me too.
But, breathe deeply and remember your time is as valuable as theirs.
Your brain will get more oxygen, and your situation less drama.
So, instead of becoming a type b, why not designing a plan b?
You´re so not going to abandon your precious schedule, and they´re so not going to start following one.
So, avoiding stressing out so much (and literally running) to meet them is a good place to start.
Don´t schedule ABSOLUTELY everything.
Please leave some room to spontaneity and breaks.
Your brain will appreciate it. It´s proven that schedules and other waking up / calling it a day rituals (like journaling) lower anxiety levels.
However, isn´t it unhealthy to feel that everything in your life has been already scheduled and can´t be changed?
2. Trips can be organized faster
Type Bs have this uncanny ability to organize trips last minute without stress.
Trips that can actually turn out really well.
I think that sometimes Type As can miss all the fun because they didn´t have their proper time to make lists, or whatever ritual they need to perform before leaving their house and actually going on a trip.
Learn to travel LIGHT and minimize the rituals before leaving your house. (Not the one of locking the door, please.)
Say yes to a last-minute trip even if it takes a while to adapt to this unplanned plan and implies making some changes in your schedule.
Say yes especially if you´re going to the countryside with no wi-fi.
Please don´t get angry about the spontaneity and laid backness of others.
You could totally use it and benefit from it.
Because what we can control is very little.
Moreover, devoting time to connect with nature (instead of screens) will help you feel less overwhelmed.
3. They seem to know where things are
When I was a teenager and saw quite messy desks I instantly judged people thinking that they weren’t going to move forward because of that mess.
Even though it´s true that a complete mess is not exactly an invitation to creativity and productivity, all these people made successful careers and proved my theory wrong.
These people had an internal roadmap for the mess, and didn´t lose things frequently—in spite of not being able to tell exactly where stuff was. Amazing.
Stop fearing being less productive because you don´t know where a couple of your things are.
Being obsessive with order will only absorb you valuable time that you can invest in doing actual productive stuff.
And I personally think order freakness is just the other face of being total chaos everywhere. None of them will lead you to realistic goal setting and reaching.
Conclusion: A messy desk means nothing as long as you can come up with super creative ideas. A spotless desk means nothing in itself either. But, if you waste time over tiny details and miss the big picture, you´ll find yourself procrastinating.
4. They do have life goals
The fact that they don´t have a detailed life timeline to stick to doesn´t mean they won´t achieve what they want.
They simply don´t find any fun in putting so much energy into writing those goals down, scheduling them, and displaying them chronologically and why not colorfully.
However, there´s scientific evidence of how writing down your goals helps you achieve them.
From the viewpoint of the personality theory mentioned above, type Bs are prone to make important decisions on the fly. And they don´t stress over changing directions in the middle of the road, instead of doing something important only after thoughtful planning like a type A would (and after scheduling, of course!)
Quit judging people because they don´t have a Prezi presentation of their life developing exactly the way they envision it at the present day.
Accept the fact that you (as a type A) will have to tolerate the frustration that having to change things on the fly generates.
After all, survival isn´t for the most intellectual or the physically strongest. It´s for those who can adapt, may have said this Darwin guy.