Workplace stress is a way of life for some jobs and in some industries. It can manifest itself in many ways – headaches, muscle tension, moodiness, social withdrawal, irritability, depression, eating problems and the list goes on. Do let work stress drive you crazy, or to an early grave, here are 5 ways to possibly overcome work stress.
- Insulate yourself from work for short periods during the day – as recent as a decade ago, most persons worked from 9-5 and left work at work when they went home. These days, with the advent of modern technology – Mobile phones constantly downloading emails, text messages and the like, laptops that you take home etc. – it seems almost as though you always have your work (and accompanying stress) with you. The solution is to be disciplined and allocate two 1/2 hour or 1 hour blocks within the day (morning and evening) when you do nothing work-related.
- Avoid others who are ‘stressed-out’ – stress breeds more stress, and although it may be impossible to avoid stressed persons all the time, you should try, as much as possible, to limit your contact with these stressed-out persons – at least until you’ve conquered your own stress.
- Is your workload reasonable? – if you’re stressed out because you’re overworked, you (and your boss/supervisor) need to take a look at your workload to see if it’s actually reasonable. You will need to look closely at how much time you actually have during a typical day, then assess the amount of work that actually needs to be done, and, based on that, be realistic about what is actually going to get done.
- Chip away at that ‘task list’ - if you don’t have a daily/weekly task list, start doing one, then try to categorize each task by difficulty (e.g. easy, medium, hard) and then by possible impact (e.g. small, medium, large, epic), then try to get those tasks out of the way that are both easy and will have a large impact. In many instances, you’ll achieve 80% of your goals by only doing 20% of the work, and this will help to take the pressure off, thus helping to reduce your stress level. As a bonus stress-reliever, try to ignore those tasks that are hard and won’t have much of an impact anyway.
- Be careful of the news that you ingest – if you make it a habit of watching or reading the news, business reports etc., take note – whenever there’s a news item that starts to make you get upset or angry, change the channel or click to another webpage (unless it’s 100% relevant to your life). Much of the news we see today tends to provoke the following emotions: fear, anxiety, anger, dread, and frustration. You don’t need the added stress that this can help to cause.
That’s it from us, and don’t forget this one last critical tip – spend more quality time with your family (doing things that make you smile). Good luck!