Managing workplace stress is an essential life skill to master. This is especially important during these unusual times where there are so many other stressors in daily life. Whether it’s work or the virus or financial concerns or your children’s schooling, there can be stress everywhere you turn. Many of the people that I speak with each week are facing one type of stress inducing issue or another. Why not start off the year with a new approach in place so that you at least try to better manage the workplace stress? Here are some suggestions:
1. Schedule breaks. Working at maximum efficiency so that you can continually check tasks off your to-do list will keep your stress at a manageable level. However, to do this, you will have to take regular breaks. Whether you follow the Pomodoro method of taking 5-minute breaks after every half hour or take a longer break after 90 minutes, give yourself the opportunity to re-charge and re-energize.
2. Focus on what you can control. Start with your work environment and create a space that has the structure and systems needed to efficiently complete your tasks each day. Once you done this, devote your time and energy to work and family issues and not to those areas of life where you don’t have any influence.
3. Be an expert at delegating. Ratchet down your stress level by decluttering your to-do list. Delegate all those tasks that others can do just as well as you (and maybe better!). This not only keeps you focused on tasks where your expertise is required but also provides opportunities for members of your team to get more involved and acquire additional skills.
4. Work fewer hours. There is a lot to be said for working smarter not longer. By putting in long hours day after day, you’ll be less able to handle the daily stress. Look at ways that you can improve your own productivity without longer hours that jeopardize your health and well being.
5. Block time for exercise. Both your physical and mental health will benefit from regular exercise. Scheduling time for a run, walk or online class 3-5 times per week will help manage health issues like arthritis or high blood pressure and reduce anxiety. The benefits include a more positive outlook, more energy and better focus. All of which will help you get the work done more efficiently.
How are you managing workplace stress? If you have another strategy that is working well, share it with me.