Stress Less: Keeping Work Worries in Check

Published Thursday, July 29, 2010 2:04 PM

Deadlines, shrinking budgets, economic uncertainty: work provides plenty of sources of stress. How to keep stress at bay, or at least keep it from ballooning into full-fledged burnout?

To begin, do a stress check. Are you experiencing any of the physical or mental affects of stress?

  • Attention. How is your focus? Energy levels? Are they off?
  • Mood. Are you less optimistic than usual? Have your thoughts become negative? Are you easily frustrated?
  • Stamina. Do you feel like you're running out of steam?
  • Body. Are you experiencing back pain, dizziness, a racing pulse, heart burn or headaches? These are all common indicators of stress. 

If you've answered yes to any of the above questions, you're experiencing some level of stress. So how to keep it in check? 

Combating Stress at Work

To begin, recognize that stress isn't always negative. Sometimes the adrenaline rush that comes on before a big meeting or presentation can sharpen the senses and provide for optimum performance. But chronic stress can have a deleterious impact on health and is linked with negative workplaces outcomes such as absenteeism and loss of productivity

Therefore, stress needs to be managed. For tips on reducing job stress by prioritizing and organizing read Stress at Work: How to Reduce and Manage Workplace and Job Stress. 

Highlights include:

  • Practice realistic time management: Don't over commit; understand how long it takes to get tasks done.
  • Practice task management: Prioritize, break projects into small, manageable tasks and delegate.
  • Organize: Clutter creates stress. Organize for optimum mental performance.
  • Use your Emotional Intelligence: Master your emotions. Be self-aware and work on techniques to quickly calm yourself and remain a rational thinker when under duress.

More useful ideas can be found in the following articles:

Combating Stress with Lifestyle Choices

Keep in mind that tackling stress at work isn't enough. While the upcoming quarterly earnings report may be the source of anxiety, lifestyle changes at home can help keep things in perspective.

  • Get enough sleep. Dozing on the commute or in front of the TV isn't enough. Deep, regenerative sleep is needed regularly.
  • Exercise. No time for a regular regimen? Walk around the block during lunch or midday to recharge.
  • Eat a balanced diet. You are what you eat. Enough said.
  • Think positively. Sounds clichéd but positive thinking can translate into positive outcomes. Negative thinking can take a toll on the body.

Also consider techniques such as meditation, yoga, aromatherapy or the ten-minute day dreaming break. For more ideas for stress-busters check out the following resources:

How do you combat stress? Does your workplace use any innovative stress-busting techniques? Share your thoughts here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter pages.

by Candie Harris


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About Beyond Folders™

Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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