Q. Work has been beyond stressful and I’m starting to lose it. Do you have any advice on how to reduce stress or how I can work more efficiently? No one in my office seems to care that I am over the top stressed out. I’m ready to quit and start over.
A. Between tight deadlines, endless meetings and office politics, work can become pretty stressful; however, it can also be very rewarding. Countless people experience the overwhelming nature of a stressful job, and there are many ways to alleviate stress and succeed as an employee. Here are some tips for keeping your cool and working even more efficiently.
- Get enough sleep. Make a concerted effort to get at least eight hours per night – being well rested is key to keeping an emotional balance at work.
- Get physical. Exercise is the best stress reduction tool there is. You can walk, do yoga, run, any type of exercise any time, use this tool to help prevent stress and in the midst of stress as well.
- Eat well. Coffee is a primary food group – but not the only one. Fuel well, and you can alleviate impacts of stress.
- Make a plan. Being overwhelmed can happen the moment you hit your desk. The night before, or first thing that morning, make a plan for what you must do, would like to do, and add time for more planning.
- Learn how to meditate, or at least breathe. During the day, pull away from the action for a few minutes regularly. Give your brain a chance to recharge and distress.
- Identify what you can control, and what you cannot. Do not stress over the things you have no control over – like an upper level meeting or the prospect of corporate restructuring. Instead, aim your focus on the tasks on your plate.
- Communicate with your manager. Let your manager know about the tasks you have going, new ones that have been presented to you, and any messages of urgency you are getting from him/her, or others who can give you work to do. Let your manager help prioritize, and talk to others who may have unrealistic expectations of what is doable in a reasonable period of time.
- Stay focused. When people are stressed, they can allow many things to interfere with their focus. Close out the email reminders, shut your door, or move from your cubicle to a private work space. Do not answer your cell phone – but first tell your manager.
- Do something outside of work. Join a softball league, or a book club. Find an activity that interests you and gives you something to look forward to outside of the office. Find a harmonious work-life balance.
There is no doubt about it, work can be stressful sometimes. By taking measures to monitor your activity, find time for yourself, and engage in things outside of work, you can minimize your stress in the office.