Stress in the workplace. Stress is, unfortunately a by product of the world in which we live, we are never able to fully switch off. A daily commute and a full day in the office is stressful in its self, especially if you have had to get the family ready before you even step out of the door. Lets not forget those who work from their home, that too has its own stresses. Wherever our work places maybe, the constant bombardment from different media platforms and the competitiveness that is in almost all industries cause stress related illness. This is a fact. Stress is responsible for lost work days and in the current financial having to take time off work causes more stress and a cycle of anxiousness that can be extremely detrimental not only to our own health and well being, but also to those around us.
Most work related stress is caused by ourselves or an employer putting too much pressure on us. Dare I say that as women we beat ourselves up over the smallest things? We want to be good at our jobs, but also an outstanding mother, accomplished cook and at the end of the day a desirable partner. It is perhaps worth reminding ourselves that we do not have to excel in all these things every day, even the best jugglers drop a ball occasionally! As an employee, we are entitled to certain courtesies from our employer, not least proper lunch breaks and realistic goals as stated in our contracts, these are often overlooked. As self-employees it is very hard to switch off and relax.
We all want to be successful but doing it at the expense of your our health, rather defeats the object. Here are 10 top tips to help you manage your workload and daily activities to minimise your stress levels.
Prioritize your workload. This might sound obvious but many people don’t do it. Decide what is important and do that first. Leave less critical work until later, or delegate it to someone else.
Keep a stress diary. When you feel stressed and things are becoming too much to cope with, write down how you are feeling and what you were doing at the time. Try to identify what is causing you the stress. A diary will help you do this.
Set your alarm clock 30 minutes earlier so you have more time to eat a proper breakfast before you go in to work. Many people skip breakfast but it is the most important meal of the day.
Keep your desk at work free from clutter. Remove all unnecessary items and just keep things that enable you to do your job on your desk. Maintaining a tidy and uncluttered work environment helps you focus on work.
Learn to relax. Stop for 5 minutes each hour if you can. Look away from your computer or get away from the telephone. Take some deep breaths and try to empty your mind.
Learn to say no! You can’t do everything even if you think you can. Managers and colleagues might ask you to do work but if you don’t have the time, then politely say no. If it is that critical then make sure they understand your current work will have to be put on hold. Explain that any existing deadline you had will have to be extended. This might prompt them to ask somebody else.
Eat properly. You are entitled to a lunch break so make sure you take it. Move away from your desk and eat your lunch in a relaxed space so you aren’t tempted to continue working or answer telephones.
Set realistic goals. It’s healthy to make targets for yourself but make sure they are achievable. If you have to make a certain number of phone calls to clients each day then work out what’s reasonable for you to do.
Curb your aggression. As things get on top of you, it’s easy to become aggressive towards people. Try not to lose your temper when things go wrong, or when people don’t do what you ask them to do. When you feel that rage starting to build, sit back, take a couple of deep breaths and smile.
Show some humour. Being able to laugh can be a great tonic for stress. You can turn a stressful situation around just by injecting some humour into a conversation.