Work-related stress is more common than ever. Studies have shown that between 29 and 40% of Americans are ‘extremely stressed at work’. Which aligns perfectly with findings that show that 40% of adults are kept up at night stressing about the day.
If you’re like me, you’ll not only be kept up at night by a brain racing faster than bullet train with the brakes cut, you’ll also find yourself working in your sleep! I’ll sleep-train new employees; sleep-debate new policies; and sleep-explain to clients the importance of a well-planned keyword strategy, the importance of reviews for local ranking, timelines for Google indexing… etc. etc.
For people like me, it’s important to find ways to cope. That means taking control of the little things so that the big things don’t get overwhelming. I’ve narrowed down my list to 7 simple steps to lower stress at work. Let me know your tricks in the comments below!
If you’re expecting to have a stressful day at work, do everything you can to reduce your stress before you get there. Some things you can control and some things you can’t. Most people don’t get to control their own deadlines, their own workload, or the people they work with. But they can control their morning routine.
Make your lunch the night before. Get up a little earlier. Take time to enjoy your favourite morning beverage. Read a book. Walk to work. Whatever it is, make sure to find a little time to slow down your morning before diving into your work.
If you’re affected by stress at work, stay away from conflict—like the plague!! After all, the main problem with conflict is that it’s very contagious. The moment you’re let in on the gossip, you’re implicated in it. Everyone’s been there. And while gossiping was fun in high school, it’s best left to the kids.
Keep your workplace friendships professional and keep your stress-levels low.
Turn big projects into small tasks. Not only will this make big projects appear more manageable, it will also give you a consistent feeling of satisfaction as you work through each part, one by one. Reduce your stress by taking control of your workload.
Employers nowadays tend to make multitasking a priority. But when it comes to actually getting your work done and maintaining a sense of well-being, my advice it to forget it. Focus on one task at a time. This will speed up the time it takes to complete and improve the quality. It will also prevent the feeling of being overwhelmed with too much work when it’s actually very manageable.
It’s so easy to fall into a routine of checking your phone or chatting with colleagues on your break. But if you’re easily stressed out at work, it’s probably the worst thing you can do. Snap yourself out of your routine by taking a walk or sitting in silence. Just think for a bit. Have a thought—your own thought—and when you return to work, you’ll carry that little bit of calm with you.
I’m not saying that you should hand in incomplete, poor-quality work. I’m saying do a good job—but do it with the actual expectations of your job in mind. Every workplace has different standards of quality. These standards dictate timelines and deadlines. By understanding what is expected of you, you won’t have the self-imposed pressure to do an award-winning job on every minor project.
Remember that you’re not working for yourself, you’re working for your employer!
Whether that means sitting down with your boss to talk about priorities or getting help from a more experienced coworker, everyone needs a hand once in a while. Ask your coworkers how they deal with similar situations. Sometimes even just talking about it can lead you to the solution!
What tips and tricks do you have for managing stress at work? How do you cope with your day-to-day workload? Tell us in the comments!