Workplace pressure is inevitable and it can sometimes even motivate the workers to work and learn more effectively. However, when this pressure turns into a daily thing, or becomes unmanageable, it causes stress, which often negatively affects the health and the ability to work well. The World Health Organization reports that American businesses loose 300 billions USD because of stress. (link) Discovering the ways of successfully dealing with workplace stress can be beneficial for both our professional and personal life. Here are 10 techniques to help you reduce stress at work:
Learn to manage your time more effectively
Stress is often caused by the lack of time needed to perform the tasks assigned to us. But we need to ask ourselves if the lack of time is the real problem, or it’s our lack of organizational skills. Sometimes it is both. But improving our time management skills, we will surely make progress, and reduce stress. One way to successfully manage your time is to set realistic goals that can be met in reality and not just in your mind. Another very important skill to develop is prioritizing, and ranking the tasks according to their importance and urgency. Finally, when you are working on something important, don’t let yourself be distracted by other people, social networks or other sorts of interruptions. Put your mind into what you are doing, and you will finish much faster, and the product of your work will be of better quality.
Physical activity is considered a great way to relieve stress. Make sure that your life doesn’t revolve around going to work and sitting at home thinking about work. Finding some time to be active will improve your overall health and you will be more energetic and motivated. At the end of the day you may feel physically tired, but your mind will be replenished.
Work on your communication skills
If you don’t understand an instruction, ask for clarification. By guessing and doing what you think might need to be done, you’re at risk of wasting your time on something unnecessary, which will lead you to stress when you realize that you did all that work for nothing. Effective workplace communication will save you time and make your life less stressful.
Be friendly with your colleagues and share information in order to achieve maximum workplace efficiency. Being petty and mean helps nobody.
When you are under stress and feel like there is no way out- stop for a minute, and breathe deeply. Breathing this way makes our brain relax, which makes the body relax as well. This may sound silly and too simple to help, but try it and you will see that it is effective. It will not solve your problems, but it will help you calm down, reevaluate the situation and take a step back to have a more objective look at the cause of your stress.
Tidy up your workplace
Sometimes, a messy desk can make you nervous, but you don’t feel like reordering the things on it and you let the mess cause you stress. Do yourself a favor and keep only the things you are using on your desk, and put what you don’t need somewhere else. This will make your workplace look more orderly, calmer and peaceful, and there will be no reason to stress over it.
Stop obsessing about perfection
Realizing that you are only human and that you are allowed to make mistakes may make your life a little easier. Focus on the things you can change, and don’t let those that you can’t control ruin your mood and motivation. Be aware of your abilities and possibilities, and don’t beat yourself up about what you cannot do. This may help you lower the stress level in your daily life, especially at work.
Ask for help
If none of these techniques are helpful to you, you should ask for help or counseling of a professional who will find effective ways of dealing with stress personally for you.