Stress at work can be seriously curtailing and cause all sorts of problems and issues. Understanding how best to handle it can make your life a lot easier. So, here are some great tips.
1. Don’t multi-task unless necessary
Multitasking can increase stress levels in the workplace, and can be the cause for multiple expensive mistakes. Focusing on a single task at a time therefore not only reduces the probability of making mistakes but also helps reduce stress levels. If you have to handle many tasks during the day, consider drafting a timetable to guide you through each task. You will be amazed at how fast you will be able to clear of tasks without pulling your hair.
If you have to multi-task, then schedule all the tasks that need to be handled together till afternoon. You will have accomplished much more in the morning, hence have some breathing space.
2. Take notes
If you tend to forget some of the most important tasks and chores, it would be much better of you write everything down. Any idea that crosses your mind, tasks to be handled, or even stuff you need to remember can be written down in sticky notes or a notebook. You can always refer to the notes taken whenever you need to remember anything. Jotting everything down helps free up your mind thus reducing stress levels.
3. Keep a short to-do list every day
A to-do list not only keeps you in check but also ensures every task is completed in time. Most of the people who don’t keep to-do lists find themselves overloaded with pending tasks, which elevates stress levels. You also need to keep the list short and precise (with important tasks only) to be able to follow it.
4. Be realistic
One of the best ways to manage stress is by being realistic. Do not create mountains out of molehills as this will only make your day stressful. Try not to overreact, overthink, or create a problem out of nothing. If/when faced with a problem, learn to pause and think it over before acting on it. Taking a minute before jumping onto anything can help reduce conflict or other stressing moments while at work. This technique also helps improve cognitive functions as you will handle problems while in a relaxed state. If faced with a problem you cannot solve, seek help from colleagues or workmates. Additionally, keeping a sense of humour also helps.
5. Focus on solutions, not problems
While problems are there to be solved, it would be much better if you spend more than 80% of your time on solutions and only 20% on problems. When you spend most of your time looking for solutions, you will be able to achieve more without feeling pessimistic or demoralized.
6. Don’t guess, ask
Communication is vital in every work environment. Spending your time trying to read other people’s minds will only result in anxiety, stress, and conflicts. Instead of wasting your energy on assumptions, learn to ask for help or direction on how to handle certain tasks.
7. Prepare for tomorrow, today
Most people iron their clothes, pack their briefcases, or even polish their shoes on waking up. This increases the chance of forgetting something (especially if you wake up late). Preparing everything in the evening before going to bed can, however, reduce the risk of forgetting anything. Always put everything you will need the next day on a dressing table before going to bed.
8. Balance your work
Balancing how you work can also help reduce stress while at work. If you spend most of your time working behind a computer screen, consider working for at least 45 minutes per hour, then take 15-minute breaks between chores. This should not only help you relax but also improve your productivity. Some people use 5 minutes of their break time to walk around as a way to help their minds relax. You too can adopt this strategy.
9. Set boundaries between work and rest
Knowing when you should sit down to work, and designating relaxation times is important. You too need to set clear timelines on when you are required to work and relaxing time (family time) if possible
10. Disconnect for the weekend
Learn to disconnect from work during the weekend to help your mind relax. If possible, stay offline and only check the social media or emails once a day. This should keep you from the hustle and bustle of the internet and work related stress. If anything needs to be done, let it wait until Monday or the next business day.
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