Unproductive and depressed. That’s what you get if you let the stress monster dominate yourself. Among all causative factors, workplace stress tops the list with 46% share according to the American Stress Institute. But despite all the bad news, there’s some respite too – not all stress is bad and the good stress, in the right measure can actually boost your immune system, giving you the energy to cope with today’s fast paced social and professional lives.
If you feel workplace stress is getting to you, here are four ways to take charge and prevent it from becoming a full blown stress crisis.
#1 Be proactive, rather than reactive: Taking charge of the situation is better than having to scamper for remedial measures when the damage is done. Identifying the cause of workplace stress is the first step. Is low salary your concern? Do you feel overwhelmed with excessive workload or opposing views from co-workers? Does your current job offer scope for career and skills growth? Sharon Melnick, the author of Success under Stress says “You can only control some of your actions and responses, not all. Be impeccable for 50% of what you can control. As for the rest, let go.”
#2 Ditch interruptions: Umpteen social media notifications, a constant email stream, or a noisy co-worker – interruptions can come from anywhere and in all measures. Research shows modern workers are interrupted 7 times an hour and waste over 2 hours a day due to these distractions. Designating specific time slots in a day to check your email and social media feeds and cutting off interruptions completely at other times is a good way to eliminate stress. Better still – you can get a virtual assistant to manage email and social media activities for you and never have to worry again!
#3 Instead of ‘push push’ try ‘push, pause, and push’: If you practice a push only approach for 8-10 hours a day to get more done, you are heading for burnout. Tony Schwartz, CEO at the Energy Project advises professionals to practice intense concentration for about 90 minutes, followed by a brief period of recovery to help clear the build up of stress and rejuvenate energies. In your recovery time, try some stretching exercises, deep breathing, go for a walk outside, or grab a light healthy snack.
#4 Focus on priorities rather than necessities: According to research, American workers in large companies spend only 45% of their workdays doing primary job duties. The rest 55% of their time is spent in administrative tasks such as managing paperwork, responding to email, team management, unscheduled meetings, etc. Outsourcing all such tasks that eat into employees’ productivity could prove to be a boon to help manage stress.
#5 Revisit your perspective: Sometimes your subjective interpretation of office situations can cause undue stress. Try taking a step back, evaluate the situation from your management’s or co-workers’ perspective and refrain from getting personal or overly self-critical. Curbing your internal negativity and frustration can go a long way in managing stress.
Most workplace stress can be easily tackled if you have the right resources and hiring a good corporate administrative assistant such as one from Habiliss can help get those sticky tasks like vendor management, recruitment, document and email management, lead generation, social media marketing, customer service, etc off your back.