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Breaking Glass

Tips for managing time and stress

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I recently had a chance to speak with Linda Kester at the fourth annual Women in Banking Conference with the New Jersey Bankers Association in Somerset, where Kester spoke to a group of women about time and stress management in the financial industry.

As a nationally recognized professional speaker with 26 years of experience in sales, training and marketing management, Kester has presented more than 279 times to more than 57,000 attendees. She currently acts as a Rutgers University-approved trainer for financial institutions around the state that receive grant-funded training. She is also the author of “366 Marketing Tips for Equipment Leasing,” a top seller for Leasing Power Tools Press, and is the founder of the Institute of Personal Development, an equipment leasing sales training and management development firm in Voorhees.

“I was training all these representatives who were completely stressed out, so I eventually developed my own time and stress management seminars,” Kester said.

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Here, Kester gives her take on the top five time and stress management tips for women in business:

1.    When balancing a career, children and other priorities, Kester encourages women to spend time that gives them joy. “Spend your time how you want to spend it, with what’s most important to you — not getting caught up in the grind of day-to-day life.”

Kester says it is most important for women to discover exactly what it is that is most important to them in order to focus their time. “Is it spending a large quantity of time with your children? Is it developing yourself by learning new things? Is it getting rid of credit card debt? You have to decide.”

2.    Kester also stresses setting boundaries on your time, especially for women just entering the workforce. “These women go to bed at night checking their email, and first thing in the morning, check their email again. They’re constantly addicted to their phones with their heads down, and they’re not making time for themselves. Turn the phone off at 9 p.m., because it will affect your sleep and your stress level otherwise.”

And for those women that have trouble setting boundaries? “Focus on your breathing — three seconds in, three seconds out — before telling your employer that you’ve scheduled time for work, and also time for yourself. You can tell your employer, ‘Rest assured, I’m going to get the job done — but I can’t have you breathing down my neck and micromanaging me to get it done. You need to realize that I’m a professional.’ These young women need to put their shoulders back and stand up for themselves or else employers will walk all over them.”

3.    Kester suggests that although she provides numerous tips throughout her seminar, it is best that women try to implement only one or two at a time. “Be kind to yourself and take baby steps. The little things will accrue interest as long as you’re making taking care of yourself a priority.”

4.    Kester also strongly encourages women to find the right yoga for them. “I do Bikram yoga a few times a week — it quiets my mind and helps me feel much better. Yoga helps your mind and your body come together, so that your body’s not coming up with all this stress. Women think they don’t have time to meditate or exercise, but they really don’t have time not to.”

5.    Lastly, Kester suggests that women find their power hour, or the prime time of the day in which they will get the most work done. “When I was writing my book, I had to really protect my time. I am at my best first thing in the morning — that one power hour where I get the things done that will contribute to my goals.”

For more information on Linda Kester, please visit www.lindakester.com.


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