5 Ways to Be Less STRESSED in 2019

– Hey, what’s up guys? So we did it. Another year is on the books, and we are one step closer to the inevitable robot uprising. Possibly two or three steps closer, if I can just find that bug in my code. Anyway, about 365 days ago, I put out a video rounding out 2017 with 10 productivity tips that you could use to make 2018 a more productive year, and if you saw that video, hopefully you were able to implement some of those tips, and this year was a more
productive one for you. And I wanna do something similar for the end of this year, but instead of focusing on productivity this time around, we’re going to focus
on the topic of stress. In addition to all the emails and tweets and DMs that I get about productivity topics, like how to focus and how to not procrastinate as much, I get a lot of questions from people who feel that they’re overly stressed on a daily basis, that
they’re overwhelmed, and if you find yourself
in a similar situation, then hopefully one of the five tips I’m gonna share in this video will help you go into 2019 feeling a little bit more stressed, and like your life is a
little bit more balanced. First up, we’ve got a useful planning hack that I try to use whenever I’m taking on a future commitment, something that’s next week or maybe even further into the future. And it’s to ask myself,
if I had to take on this commitment this week, would it have actually fit with everything else that
I’ve already had to do or that I know that’s coming up. As we discussed in my
procrastination series, we human beings have this tendency to view our future selves as basically superheroes. We think that our future self next week or two weeks from now is gonna be able to handle a lot more than what we’re dealing with right now. We think that that person in the future is not going to have to deal with the same procrastination tendencies, the same distractions, and when we look at our calendars, usually next week or the weeks afterwards don’t seem as full as this week, and of course every single week when you find yourself
in that present moment, there’s always things that come up, right? So when you’re thinking about taking on a commitment next week, and you feel like oh, that’s super easy. I can easily fit that in, ask yourself, would that have actually
fit in to this week? With all the surprises that popped up? With all the tired spells
you found yourself in? And see if that would
have actually worked. If it would’ve, then maybe it would be a good idea to actually add that into your next week’s schedule. But if it wouldn’t have, you may wanna give it a second thought. All right, tip number two, which is something that I have used for a long time to great effect. Be a contrarian. Do things a different times or in different locations than everyone else tends to do them. One of the biggest causes of stress in our lives is the fact that resources are limited. There’s only so much food to go around, so much money, so much internet bandwidth, but certain resources are only taken up at certain times of the day, and at other times of the day, they’re basically free, or at least they’re a lot less busy, so if you can be a contrarian, if you can commute to work at a different time of the day, or if you can go grocery shopping at a different time than everyone else typically does, then you’re gonna run
into a lot less friction, and that cuts down on your stress. Now of course there are gonna be varying degrees to which you can be a contrarian based on your schedule. If you’re an entrepreneur, you can be a contrarian in basically any way that you want, whereas if you have a full time job, your options are a
little bit more limited, but regardless of what your life situation looks like, there are probably areas
where you can exercise a little bit of control and change your schedule up just a bit. You could wake up maybe an hour earlier, and drive to work and maybe work out at a gym near there, or you could go to the grocery store on a Saturday morning
instead of after work on Thursday afternoon. The typical times at which we do things are in part dictated by our schedules and our obligations, but they’re also set in part by our habits, and by the way that everyone else seems to do things, so, and this kind of calls back to a tip in yesterday’s
video about organization, if you can ditch the dogma, if you can stop doing things the way other people do them just because they do them, and be a bit of a contrarian, you can really cut down on the stress that you experience in your life. All right, tip number three, and this is a bit more of a specific tip, but be ruthless about your inbox in 2019, and this tip is on the list because email can be a huge stress creator for a lot of people. Most of us are being constantly bombarded with tons of emails on a daily basis, and a lot of these emails frankly are completely unnecessary, and even for the ones that you do actually need to look at, you might need to look at them right at the time they come in, or you may need to receive them, but not actually see them, so as you go into 2019, start taking some steps to tame your inbox a little bit, and I’ve got a few suggestions. First, ruthlessly
unsubscribe from newsletters, daily digests, marketing emails, anything that doesn’t bring you value, and I realize this is
kind of an ironic tip coming from somebody who literally has an email newsletter, but hey, if you get my email newsletter and it doesn’t bring you value, then I actively encourage you to unsubscribe from that, and that counts for anyone else’s newsletters as well. You might think that it’s not a big deal to just delete the
emails when they come in, but realize that every single one that you have to delete represents a little bit of work you have to do, represents a decision you have to make, and over time, as the day goes on, that creates mental fatigue. Secondly, start using filters and rules to automate the email that you do need to keep. For example, I get a lot of receipts sent to my business email for all kinds of transactions that go on in my business, and I need to keep these receipts for good record keeping and in case I ever get audited, but I don’t need to see them all when they come in. Like every single time I make a video here on YouTube, I have to order captions for it. When I do that, there’s an email receipt that gets sent to my inbox, but I don’t need to see that. I just need to have it in my records in case I ever need it down the line, so a long time ago, I created a filter that will automatically
add the receipt tag to that email, so I can easily find it if I need to, and it
automatically archives it. That way it’s there, but I don’t have to
see it or deal with it. That brings us to tip number four, which is going to sound like more work, but hear me out. In 2019, I suggest that you start keeping a journal. Now the astute viewers among you might realize that in my
previous year end video, I advocated keeping an
accomplishment journal, and I do still advocate doing that, but for this video, I’m going to recommend keeping a normal journal, a record of your thoughts and experiences, and the things that go on on a day to day basis. And yes, this does create a little bit of work for you, especially
if you’re making it a daily habit, but it has a hugely important benefit, which is that it
crystallizes your thoughts about the experiences you’re having in the moment, and it’s really useful to have this record to look back on, because we’re really good at rationalizing things, and we are especially good at looking at the past with rose tinted glasses, and if you don’t keep a journal, you might find yourself in a situation down the road where you’re looking back at the past, wishing that you could kind of go back to the situation that you were in, because where you are
right now is stressful, but if you have a journal, you can go and look at how you were actually feeling during that time, and you might realize that they way things are now are actually better than they were back then. Finally, if you wanna feel less stressed in 2019 and in the years afterwards, then stop rushing so much. A few months ago, I was browsing Reddit, and I found a thread from a guy who had remodeled his house. He was showing all the pictures, and the job was honestly excellent, but he was kind of lamenting the fact that a lot of the rooms were now empty because they didn’t own
a whole lot of stuff, but he also said that his dad gave him a really good of piece of advice, which is that you’ve now got the house, and now you have an entire lifetime to fill it up, and for me, that one line is a great encapsulation of the fact that we don’t need to rush as much as we think we do. We have a lot more time than we think we have, and the reason that a lot of us take on so many commitments is that we feel like we have to rush through all these stages of life that society sort of expects for us to go through. There’s all these things that we’re supposed to achieve, right? We have to graduate from college, buy a house, start a family, do all of these things, and social media makes this worse. Because we’ve got all these friends who in past decades we would only see once in awhile, maybe at reunions or family things or something like that, but now we can see them posting about all their life milestones. This person started a family. This person bought a house. This person got a new job. And we feel like we are falling behind for not doing all of those things, so if you are an ambitious person like me there’s this really strong temptation to keep taking on things because you feel like you have to get to that next stage as soon as possible, but just like that guy
who remodeled his house and now has a whole lifetime to fill it up, you and I have time to do the things that we want to do. You have time to achieve your goals. And whenever I feel
the temptation to rush, I try to remind myself of
what’s really important by asking myself the question, and I truly that unhappy right now? Usually the answer is no. I’m content right now. And I was content five years ago, even though I hadn’t achieved nearly as much as I have now. And I’m hopefully going to be content five years in the future as well. It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop working. It doesn’t mean I’m going
to rest on my laurels. But it does mean that I can afford to be methodical in my approach, and that I shouldn’t be sacrificing my mental health or my time just to get to that next stage as quickly as I possibly can, so stop rushing so much. If you are constantly stressed out, then pull back and assess the expectations you’ve put on yourself. It might actually be a good idea to edit them and to allow yourself a bit more time to meet them. Because when you have that time, you’ll feel less overwhelmed, and you’ll be able to put more care into your work. Plus, when you’re not always rushing to finish an
overwhelming task list, you’ve got free time, time to go on long bike rides, time to cook healthier dinners, and time to actually
keep your house clean, and since none of these things requires a ton of concentration in the moment, you can also use that time to learn something new with Audible, which is the best place on the internet to get your hands on audio books. Audible has an unmatched library of audio books, in a
ton of different genres. From science fiction to biographies to psychology. They’ve got tons of obscure stuff, and they have all the bestsellers, including my recommendation for this week, which is The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene. If you’re interested in becoming a more rational thinker and making better decisions,
and in controlling your emotions more effectively, especially in your interactions with other people, then this is a fantastic book to go through, and I highly recommend it. And you can actually get it for free along with a 30 day trial of Audible by going over to www.audible.com/thomas, or by texting Thomas to 500500 on your phone. Once you’ve got that membership, you’re gonna get one credit every single month, good for any title in their library, plus two Audible originals that you can’t get anywhere else and access to audio workout programs. Plus your personal library of audio books that you’ve downloaded
is yours to keep forever. Even if you end up canceling Audible, you’re gonna have those books as long as you want. So once again, go over
to www.audible.com/thomas or text Thomas to 500500 on your phone to get that free 30 day trial and a free audio book download of your choosing. As always, a huge thanks goes out to Audible for sponsoring this video and being a big supporter of my channel in general. And thank you guys so much for watching, both this video and
everything throughout 2018. And possibly further back, if you’ve been watching for awhile. If you enjoyed this video, definitely hit that like button to support this channel, and I also wanna hear from you down in the comments. What do you wanna see from me in 2019? Both on the academic side, the student focus side, but also in a broader sense? What do you wanna see from me that maybe doesn’t have
to focus on academics and productivity and all
those kinds of topics? I’m looking forward to hearing from you down below, and hopefully you had a great 2018. Hopefully 2019 is awesome for you as well. As always, you can subscribe right there to get new videos every single week when they come out. You can go right there to get a free copy of my book on how to earn better grades in school, whether you’re in high school or college. I think you’ll find it helpful. Follow me on Instagram right there, or last but not least, watch one more video on this channel by clicking right here or smashing your face
into your phone screen. Thanks for watching, and I will see you in the next one.

About the author


  1. Spend less time on hair gel and more time cleaning dirty room and messy bed! Seriously if you trimmed your beard any more you will draw blood. #priorities

  2. Hey! Thank you so much for this, Thomas! Ever since I've subscribed to your channel, none of it went worthless. Maraming salamat!

    Greetings, as well, to everyone out theeeere! Happy 2019 from the Philippines. 💓

  3. I'm requesting for a video, I'm going to be 18 years old. But, now a days; I'm getting distracted towards a girl. If you have a time Can you make a video about this phenomenon. I'm not in love it's just a distraction, An attraction. I'm not in that age even for all these stuff

  4. Thanks. I hope I can make up 24x this year, especially with income and good relationships with people (relationships with God & Mother Mary's is excellent, I feel- I hope). God bless, Revelations 21:4. Merry Christmas & a happy new year.

  5. Could you please make a video about multi potentialist and how they can deal with the voices inside their heads to do more than less

  6. I would really like to see videos on how to organize ourselves but when it comes to social life. On how to priorize time for ourselves so we don't end up feeling drained. In my case, I try to stay on top of my work while maintaining my social circle but I struggle with having time for myself. Also thank you for your videos, I watch them all and they're really helpful 🙂

  7. Videos I want to see: how to do part time job while studying, how to make yourself more aware of the passing time(especially for serious procrastinators) and how to resist useless never ending desires like watching a movie, eating too much unhealthy food.

  8. You gave me a great idea indirectly that is I could call clients who are hard to reach, at unusual times during the week/ weekend. Thank you

  9. We brazilian don`t have a way to be less stress until 2022. We have a hue pig as president and his name is Bolsonaro. By the way, thanks for the tips.

  10. I'd like to know if you can always follow your own advices or if you have problems to be productive, stressed etc. sometimes. Sure I think that you have organized your live very well but even you must have some struggles sometimes or not? I'm really curious if someone can internalize your advices so well that there is no struggle at any point.

  11. On seeing people achieving many milestones, i think its important to realise that people are getting "all these milestones". They are usually hitting one, and that one took or takes up most of their time. Sure many people are hitting milestones around you but if you focus on one thing like a job or a relationship, you are "winning life" just as much of not,more than they are. You dont know their circumstances.

  12. You are very wise for such a young man! I love the tip about archiving receipts; I'm off to do that right now! Happy New Year!

  13. Thomas, I'd love to see more health/fitness stuff from you. I think your videos on the subject in the past have been helpful and uplifting without being faux-inspirational self-gratification which I find in a lot of other similar content. Plus I love how you tie it into an overall happy and productive life since how you are physically greatly affects how you perform in other aspects of your life.

    Keep it up! Love the videos!

  14. Dear Thomas, as I progress at school the amount of material i need to study for a test increases. On top of that i have many different sources such as websites, handouts, workbooks and a textbook to study from. Since the quantity of material i need to study is so large, making a summary and simply studying that is too inefficient. I was wondering if you, or anyone else reading this, could tell me how to study effectively from multiple sources without losing the security of the feeling you have studied all topics, a feeling that i receive whenever i make summaries. I make summaries by going through all the study sources and writing down relevant information by hand per paragraph.
    Thanks in advance

  15. how to learn something new everyday and how to track progress? Not a student but I like to learn but somehow lose interest along the way and not stick to it. Your content is always so helpful, thanks Thomas! Wish you a happy 2019. Love from an old subscriber.

  16. I really enjoy your content, you tackle things I want to do and you have really helped me be more self-aware. The quality of your videos show how much effort you put in. I watched nearly every video you make, you are soo consistent. Thank you 😁😁

  17. I got this tip from one of your videos from years ago 🙂 I have been keeping an accomplishment journal for 2 years now (it's based on resolutions that I want to work on) and it has definitely helped me get more stuff done, see my patterns of procrastination and just generally build my life towards my goals. I have a list I make at the beginning of the year, and then from that list I choose a few to work on every month. At the end of the month I analyze how far I got and see how I could improve. I write notes almost daily (takes less than 5 minutes) and this has reshaped my life completely 🙂 thank you and keep up the awesome work!

  18. wonderful video as always, been a fan for years. As video ideas, as an ex-competitive Ice Dancer, It would be interesting to see how you adapt your techniques for work and productivity towards your training, ie, self-adapted warm up/cooldowns, off ice jumps, on ice training, gym-based conditioning? be interesting how you audit your skate specific skills 🙂

  19. Honestly I just want to keep being inspired by you, you always inspire us to be better, in any possible way
    Just, how to live better
    It doesn't need to be a topic in specific
    You always manage to give us excellent advice
    And I'm grateful for that
    Just keep doing what you love and we'll continue to love it ♥️

  20. You should do a video about frustration!…I have found that people constantly mix up stress with frustration (the stress response of the body is adrenaline which with perspective can always be positive -there is a Ted talk about that and showing that depending on how you think about stress influences your life span) and that the later is the actual cause for dissatisfaction and discomfort

  21. Hi Thomas! I think it would be interesting to hear your opinion about the "Passion Hypothesis" and your advice in general for graduate students who are struggling to find work or clients.

  22. I just wish that all the silly people I work with would TALK. One person I work with will pull out emails from months ago. I’ve been working more than 30 years now. I really think we were more productive and accomplished some tasks faster because we communicated and didn’t email.

  23. Hi Thomas can you do a video on handling Fear of Failure? A lot of the time my self belief and Negativity Bias is the only thing holding me back from reaching my potential

  24. Dear Tom, in a video of yours, you told us that in order to get stuff done we should rely on habit, or discipline rather than motivation. I totally understand. Although i have been trying to be disciplined i fail everytime. I have tried all of the tips from your videos, and also to change my mindset, but after a couple of years of trying it still hasn't worked out for me. Do you have any tips to get stuff done without it being fear driven?

  25. Hi Thomas, I just discovered your channel and I love it already! I am new to personal development and I find your videos very useful. For 2019 could you please talk a bit more about dependencies? Those things we depend on that we need to take care of. Thank you very much! Lara an Italian in France

  26. The stop rushing part is something I actually somehow experience with gaming. I'm just not mentally fit to go for long hours of gaming anymore without breaks, and get a bit jealous about people being able to game for long hours, and I keep pushing myself to want to be like I used to be.

    While games can simply wait. They're there many years from now, so why should I want to play them right now?

    Taking a break, because of overstimulation (for me personally) is a much more important task, but somehow I keep trying to do things that I could do when I was younger. I'm not that age anymore, and need to accept it.

    So with that, I need to stop rushing to keep up with a lifestyle I just have grown out of because of age.

  27. Book Recommendation: Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
    Thank you

  28. With regards to the email one, I've found a pretty nifty way to keep your newsletter subscriptions while not having it in your inbox. Gmail has this cool feature where you can separate your emails into categories. So all your newsletter subscriptions can go into the forums category.

  29. Please do a video on how to deal with anxiety too! Like overthinking and how to prevent not thinking rationally

  30. I tried to journal in the past… hated it. It's time consuming (even if it's just 10 minutes) and I never looked back on what I wrote. It honestly felt like a waste of time. It would often leave me stressed for having to relive my day again while I wrote it.


    We'd love too see videos with you and Martin. Videos about how he organizes hes routines, hes way of doing stuff and getting job done. The reason behind this is that Martin and you are very very different, and since college info geek podcast has him in it, could you bring him in sometimes? Thank you!

    Salutation from Zaragoza, Spain!

  32. Yes, your advice to be a contrarian is really good! A few months ago, I needed to adjust to another time zone before traveling. I was getting up at 3 AM. It was super efficient: there was no traffic, the gym was almost empty, and there were no lines at the grocery. Every day matters took a fraction of the time (its crazy how much time we waste waiting for strangers). To be fair, I live in a major city, so it's actually possible to get a lot done at odd hours like 3 am. And for activities that I couldn't do at odd hours (like going to the bank), it was easy enough to show up a couple of minutes before opening and still get the benefit of no line. Odd hours are great for getting stuff done, but it has drawbacks. Your social life suffers a bit. Going to bed super early (like before 7 pm) might be an issue if you live with others. It's a tradeoff.

  33. I really enjoy your videos, but I am a high school student and I don’t get much time to watch your videos during the semester as I am stressed and fully occupied by academics and extracurricular commitments. I think it would be a good idea for you to keep your videos short and preferably under 6-7 minutes as when I look at the videos on your channel as I always question if I have the time to watch one of your videos at that time and most of the time put in watch later. If videos are shorter and more concise, I think you can receive more views and hence more subscribers on your channel.

  34. I live in the Midwest. I do not attend church of any kind. Guess when I go grocery shopping? 9:00am, Sunday morning, the store is pretty much all mine. :).

  35. Bro, I love your content, but beware of Robert Greene.

    First, his syntax is terrible for an "accomplished" author.

    Second, he's far from a researcher and at best, he can be considered "pop" authorism.

    If anything, look at his resources and go straight to the source–he's not a good correspondent for research.

  36. Organisation definitely helps to lower stress. Whether that's planning your long-term goals so you can feel on track, or simply tidying your room/workspace – things just seem to feel better when they're well organized. I often feel like I have just so much to do, and then I write down an actual list in terms of when things need to be done by, and usually it actually does't seem so bad once it's all laid out right in front of me.

  37. Thank you! I really enjoy your videos and how you view the world. Keep sharing that thoughtful way of being productive and creating a satisfying life.

  38. 1) mi futuro yo podra con este trabajo ?
    2)haz tus cosas en un tiempo que no es tan usual para no toparte con tantas personas y salir de la zona confort mundial
    3) email desuscribete
    4) comienza un diario para poner tus experiencias pensamientos jejje cristaliza tu mente
    5) para de apresurarte tranquila

  39. The last point about not rushing really resonated with me. I've suffered through that, and its made worse by the fact that I come from an Indian family so taking a step back isn't a part of the deal. I basically rushed into college because I had to keep studying.
    Well, fast forward two years and I just gave in my drop forms and left the college. It was terrible as my grades dropped, my social isolation and loneliness began to wreck havoc on my mental health and I was in a really, really bad place, where I was actually aware of the fact that I was having suicidal thoughts. In confiding in my mother, she immediately kept me at home and my family and I made a plan forward.
    I've got a new plan and a new direction now, and a couple of months to relax and work on myself. I will be losing two years of study, but honestly, losing two years is better than giving your life to it.

  40. I actually wrote a diary back in high school all four years. I often look back on it and be like "How much I've changed." There were some thoughts whee I wish I could go back and change but the past is the past. I started my diary when I was 14 years old, I am now 22 years old just turned on December 29! It was a way to relieve stress during my high school days!

  41. 1. pray/meditate 5 times a day
    2. exercise regularly
    3. journal regularly
    4. cut back on social media
    5. choose wisely who you spend your time with

  42. I have a Mail rule of 2 months. Any Mails older than that get the trash. If I haven't gone through them yet, It probably don't matter.
    And Only visit my social Accounts Biweekly.

  43. This video is so, so timely for me. The last month or so has been extremely stressful, so I am now trying to emphasize relaxation and mental calmness in my daily routine. As usual, fantastic work, Thomas!

  44. I love tip 5… I so need reminding of this! Though I do have a hard time sometimes because I lost my dad early in life so there are times I don't feel like I have a lot of time to accomplish all I want to.

  45. Thank you again for your videos. I have made a number of positive changes in my life recently, and many (most?) of them were influenced by your work. Not being a student, I favor more content in 2019 that is not unique to students. In particular, I like your advice on lifestyle and health (sleep, for example) – and I appreciate how you take the trouble to show us the evidence. I also like recommendations on apps (and other similar resources) that can help us get more organized, be more productive, etc.

  46. Geat tips, Thomas! If you want to save even more time on a daily basis you could make it a habit to use ClipClip. It's a great option for journaling since files are saved as regular files which you control, not in the cloud of some company which might get hacked or go bankrupt at some point.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *