What is it about those people who have a million things to do and don’t get stressed out? Here are their secrets from the life coach who helps guide them.

A stress-free life
You know that saying, “You want something done, give it to a busy person”? There’s truth to it. So what is it about those people ­– the people that have a million things to do and don’t get stressed out? Here are their secrets from the life coach who helps guide them. 

They have help
Why is it that the busy mum with four kids is the one who is head of the PTA? And what about that two-job-in-the-city power couple who has three kids? How do they do it? In both of these (real world) situations, both families have full-time help with caring for their kids, and they use it. In one situation, the mother wanted to stay at home, while being extremely active in her community. In the other, both members of the couple wanted to work, but someone needed to be near the kids for afternoon activities, and sick days. In both situations, the “busy people” have full-time help with the home and the kids so they can do other things.

They prioritise sleep, eating right, and exercise
One of my clients is a 60-year-old executive who has a simple recipe for a successful day, “Make your biggest meal breakfast, then taper down the rest of the day. Exercise every morning, make it part of the routine.” He’s asleep by 9 p.m. and at the gym the following morning by 6. Not an early bird by nature? Here are 12 ways to brighten your mornings. 

They take care of their emotional health
One couple I know jokes about seeing a therapist after they knew they were serious, but not yet sure they’d be married. It was (potentially) her first marriage, his second, and he had a child from the prior marriage. As she recalls, “I was about to enter the double black diamond of life: step-parenting, marriage, a move, plus we knew we wanted to have more kids. In order to handle all of this when, quite frankly, I didn’t even know how to ski, I knew that I, and we, needed help.” Today, they’ve been married almost a decade and have four children. Talk about a busy couple! Head here for 7 more secrets on how to make your relationship last. 

They avoid drama
People who are driving fast down the highway know how to avoid potholes, and drama is the ultimate pothole in life. Gossiping might be scintillating for a moment, but it rarely makes the speaker feel good. And what goes around, boomerangs and smacks you in the face. Low-stress people don’t gossip; they avoid it like the plague. It takes time and emotional energy that they’d rather use on other things, like these 50 simple pleasures that make life worth living. 

They have a dependable social network
I have a coaching client who recently became a foster parent to a teenage boy. It became clear early on that he needed things (shoes, a backpack) as well as services (dentists, doctors) that were going to add up and become costly. Instead of taking on this burden herself, she turned to Sign-Up Genius, and her vast friend network. By calling upon her friends and community, she was able to give her foster child the care he needed. She didn’t take it all on herself. What does friendship mean to you? We asked our readers what friendship means to them and the answers may surprise you. 

They fill their own bucket
Doers know how to replenish. Whether it’s a night out with the girls, weekend away with friends, or simply a Saturday afternoon at home with a book, busy people know when they’re running low on energy, and how to replenish. They know if they need to be social, have some downtime, be in nature, or catch up on Netflix. They don’t wait until they get sick, or depressed, they can see that their tank is on empty and they know how to fill it. If there’s a movie this person really wants to see, they don’t wait to find a friend – they go on their own. Do you struggle with filling your own bucket? Here are 7 ways to feel like you're on holidays every day. 

They are athletes and artists
When I meet a new potential client who is looking for coaching, and I learn that they were a pro tennis player or musician, I know we’ll be able to identify and meet their chosen goal. Someone who has experience achieving big goals, whether it’s running a marathon, winning a state championship in high school, or being an equity actor knows what it’s like to work hard and achieve. They have a sense of discipline and know that to achieve something you often have to make sacrifices in other areas. 

They call in sick
The most effective people stay home with the flu. They know when they’ve got a real cold, and they yield to it, because they know the sooner they get some sleep, the sooner they’ll heal. They are also considerate of those around them and want to make sure they don’t pass on illness to others. Low-stress high achievers go to doctors, they get mammograms, and have their regular dental appointments. They know how important their health is and they take good care of it. 

They avoid analysis paralysis
General Patton is quoted as saying, “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”

Doers make change happen. They don’t overthink things. They look at something that is broken, assess the solution, execute it, and move on (imperfect as it may be). They don’t hem and haw. They assess and problem solve.
Two clients of mine knew they wanted to leave the city and pursue more [rural] opportunities. They didn’t know where they wanted to land, but they knew it was time to go. After selling their house and touring the country for a bit, they bought an RV, where they could continue to be on the move. They realised they weren’t ready to commit, and didn’t have to.

They smile, have fun, and enjoy their lives

Life moves more smoothly with a good attitude. You feel good, you have more friends; life generally favours those who appreciate it.
The low-stress doers differentiate between what they can control and what they can’t. Things like flight delays and traffic don’t upset them. They recognise that these things may happen, and if they want to avoid them there are ways to do that (don’t fly, work from home). They guard against obligations and interruptions, and often say no to plans, parties, and people they don’t feel good about. They take care of the life they’ve built, appreciating what they have. Read more about the power of gratitude here.

This article first appeared on Reader's Digest