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How to defeat stress at work?

Photo by Johnson Wang on Unsplash

Stress at work is one of the biggest enemies to productivity, performance, good relationships with colleagues and even health. Know your enemy: identify the main sources of stress at the workplace, find out which ones apply to you, and find a solution for each of them. In this article, you’ll learn about 6 major stressors that need to be eliminated and stress management tips that help defeat them.

How to avoid stress if I’m working 10 hours a day?

Working too hard and too much without taking a break can lead to burnout. That means you’ll later have to take some time off to recover and will then need time again to get back on track.

That’s something many people experience when they don’t take into consideration the importance of frequent breaks, resting properly and making time for other things other than work.

To defeat this source of stress at the workplace, you should know your limits. Even if you don’t feel like you’re overworking, stop often during the workday to take a break.

Use short breaks (10–15 min) to switch off from work and recharge your brain. In the morning and evening, make time for relaxing activities.

I’m multitasking as hell! Is no-stress work even possible?

Multitasking is a productivity killer because it takes your focus away. It’s overwhelming and stressful to work on more than one task or project at a time. This dramatically affects performance, as you constantly need to refocus on the previous task.

Instead, do one thing at a time and give it your full attention. The outcome will be getting things done faster and being satisfied with the end result.

What about stress levels when I have unpredictable workloads?

What about those moments when something unexpected happens at work, when there’s a crisis, when you need to take care of twice the workload you usually handle? That might lead to being so stressed out that your mental and physical health are affected negatively.

Don’t let that happen. Prepare for cases like that with proper time management, good organizational skills and perfect planning. What’s also important, learn to say no to additional workloads.

Whenever heavy workload comes your way, be able to take a breath, outline all the work that has to be done, give it a realistic deadline, break the project down into manageable tasks, and simply start with the first item on the list.

Does stress… oh wow, Fergus just liked my post on FB!

Another one of the biggest work stressors is any distraction that makes you forget what you were just doing, lose focus and then need more time to concentrate on the task at hand again. That might even lead to wasting hours every day.

In the long-term, a manager will understand that getting distracted so often interferes with the team productivity and company objectives.

To manage stress better and get rid of any distraction, define what takes your attention away during the workday. That’s usually social media, email, people coming in the office, chats with colleagues, long meetings, overthinking. etc. If it’s hard to resist any distractions, consider using special tools to block them out.

How to manage stress if I’m already exhausted?

Another thing that might be stressing you out at work is the lack of energy which also means no desire to take up new projects, not being able to complete current ones on time, lacking focus and motivation to make it through the workday, etc.

It’s important to know which of your habits cause this. Usually, you should look for sleep-related issues. Do you have a hard time getting to sleep? Do you wake up often at night? Are you groggy in the morning ?

If so, it’s time to create a fixed sleeping schedule, have a relaxing evening routine, avoid caffeine at the end of the day, and improve your diet.

They expect me to work twice as hard. Is that the new stress level?

This stress factor can come in different forms. Maybe you feel like too much is expected from you and you just can’t meet your manager’s requirements.

In this case, it’s worth having a meeting with them to discuss what you could do better. Once you share your opinion and how much time and energy you’re investing in the project, the team manager might realize their expectations are unrealistic.

It’s also possible that you expect too much from yourself. That’s stressful as our energy and focus during the day are limited and there’s only so much we can do. You need to learn to accept and adapt.

Stress is a strong negative factor for productivity and environment at the workplace, so we need to fight it. Following the simple tips above will help you decrease stress and distractions, get more done, and create a better work environment.

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