How Chill Are You? 10 Ways to Learn to #CHILL

By BryanRobinson 10/31/18

  How Chill Are You?

Take the Test and Learn 10 Things You Can do to #Chill

Are you fried from too much to do without enough time to do it? Are you burned out from too many responsibilities? There are 1440 minutes in one day. If you take just 5 of those minutes to #Chill, you still have 1435 to finish your obligations with greater clarity and ease. But first, take the #Chill quiz and learn how chill you are.

The #Chill Test

          Rate yourself on the following habits using the scale of 1: never true, 2: sometimes true, 3: often true, or 4: always true. Put the number that best describes the person you’re rating in the blank beside the statement. Then add the numbers for your total score.

___I prefer to do most things instead of ask for help.

___I get impatient when I have to wait for someone or when something takes too long.

___I seem to be in a hurry, racing against the clock.

___I get irritated when I’m interrupted while I’m in the middle of something.

___I stay busy with many irons in the fire.

___I do two or three things at once such as eating lunch, working online, and talking on the phone.

___I overcommit myself by biting off more than I can chew.

___I feel guilty when I’m not busy doing something.

___ I think it’s important to see the results of what I do.

___ I enjoy completing a task more than actually doing it.

___ Things don’t move fast enough or get done fast enough to suit me.

___ I get upset when things don’t go my way or work out to suit me.

___I ask the same question over again after I’ve already been given the answer.

___I spend more time thinking about the future than in the present moment.

___I keep busy after others have called it quits.

___I am bothered when people don’t meet my standards of perfection.

___I get upset when I’m not in control.

___I put myself under pressure from self-imposed deadlines.

___It’s hard for me to relax when I’m not doing something.

___I spend more time doing than being with friends, enjoying hobbies, or having fun.

___ I dive into projects to get a head start before plans are finalized.

___I’m hard on myself for making even the smallest mistake.

___I put more thought, time, and energy into tasks than into relationships.

___I forget, ignore, or minimize celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays.

___I make decisions before getting all the facts and thinking them through.

Interpreting Your Score

25–56: Your chill needle registers cool. Your risk for burnout is low, you have great work/life balance, and your mellow lifestyle isn’t a problem for you or others.

57–66: Your chill needle registers moderate. You’re busy too much of the time and could benefit from integrating other chill activities to achieve better work/life balance and prevent burnout later on.

67–100: Your chill needle registers hot. You have poor work/life balance, your risk for burnout is high, and your health could be on red alert. People get a busy signal when they try to connect with you, and loved ones could be stressed over concern for your health.


10 Tips to Help You #Chill so You Can Deal

#Chill isn’t just something you do. It’s a perspective—a way of being present in the world. It’s about finding that sweet spot and living between doing and being so your life runs more smoothly and you’re happier. If you didn’t do as well as expected, here are 10 tips that can help you raise your score:

1. Slow Down. Even the fast lane has a speed limit. Think of yourself as a human being instead of a human doer and make a conscious effort to unplug and recharge. It’s counterintuitive, but true; plodding puts you at the finish line in time, plus you get to enjoy life instead of rushing through it. Remember: the tortoise won the race. Eat, talk, walk and drive more slowly, and give yourself extra time to get to appointments so you’re not always rushing.

2. Practice Self-Care. The trifecta of health is good nutrition, ample rest, and regular exercise. This Holy Grail of physical and mental health also includes how you talk to yourself inside. In the face of obstacles, instead of kicking yourself when you’re already down, be on your own side with pep talks, and self-compassion.

3. Manage Your Schedule Instead of Letting It Manage You. Be master, instead of slave, and prioritize jobs and personal tasks. Focus first on projects or family responsibilities that require immediate attention. Don’t let your schedule call the shots and don’t impose unrealistic deadlines on yourself. Integrate personal time into your workday (such as taking your child for a doctor’s appointment) as often as you integrate work into your personal time.

4. Learn to Say No. Draw the line when someone asks you to do something you don’t have time for. When you say yes but mean no, you’re not taking good care of your mental and physical health.

5. Share the Load. Don’t require yourself to do everything. Learn to ask for help when you need it. Delegating tasks is a sign of a confident person. If possible, hire outside help for household chores or job assistance. Not only will you have more energy at work, but you’ll also have more personal time.

6. Simplify Your Life. Tell yourself there’s a limit to what you can do and put the rest out of the picture. Start to see this attitude not as weakness but as strength. Setting aside just five to fifteen minutes a day for yourself can make a difference in lowering stress and raising your energy level. Indulge yourself with a nap, massage, or manicure. Practice being in the present moment with yoga, mindfulness walks, or meditation to take your mind off red alert.

7. Avoid Multitasking. Studies show that multitasking isn’t what it’s cracked up to be and in fact that it takes longer to go from one task to the next because of the added time to refresh your memory of each task. People who focus on one task at a time are more efficient, productive, and effective at work/life integration.

8. Come Up for Air. Put time cushions between tasks and appointments. Your body isn’t designed to be desk bound for long periods of time. Take time to breathe, stretch at your desk, go to the bathroom, or just look out the window.

9. Tune Out Your Inner Critic. Instead of attacking yourself when you make a mistake or fail at something, practice holding your Critic at a distance. Practice loving-kindness and give yourself pep talks. Keep a treasure trove of the supportive and affirming emails, notes, gifts, and comments colleagues and friends send you. Look at them often to remember how much others appreciate you then treat yourself with the same support.

10. Set Boundaries. Stop making yourself accessible to tasks 24 hours a day and avoid working during personal times with family and friends. Protect your personal domain from electronic leashes and know when to turn them off. Create clear boundaries between work and home by carrying a separate cellphone for the job if possible. Use a laptop for work and a desktop for home to keep lines clearly drawn. When you’re already overloaded and need personal time, let that be a sign that you’re in no condition to bite off more. After a reasonable day’s work, put away your electronic devices in the trunk of your car or in a drawer so they’re out of sight out of mind—just as you would put away carpentry tools after building shelves or baking ingredients after making a cake. Integrate more time into your schedule for face-to-face human interactions and heart-to-heart talks with important people in your life.

If you want to learn more about unwinding, achieving better life balance, and becoming more effective overall, check out Dr. Bryan E Robinson’s new book, #Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2019). Visit  Dr. Robinson at for more info.



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