MANAGING STRESS AT WORK
Work stress is not necessarily a negative force. In fact, without a certain level of stress to challenge us, our jobs would be boring and unrewarding. Stress becomes a problem, however, when it builds up to such an extreme that we are unable to cope with it.
Here are ten of the best simple strategies for keeping stress in check. They’re easy to remember, and they work…
1. Create a pleasant work environment for yourself
Make your office pleasant, convert your office into a place for you to enjoy – art pieces, rug, greenery, bookcase, etc. Discipline yourself to keep that desk uncluttered.
2. Manage your time
PLANNING! Set time aside for planning, contemplation, relaxation, and problem-solving. Tackle the problems of interruptions and procrastination. Remember that time is the lit fuse of stress
3. Avoid false guilt
Be tolerant about your own mistakes. Try not to criticize or devalue yourself and your sense of adequacy. Be prepared to lose a few battles without feeling you are losing face.
4. Keep perfectionism in check
Trying to be perfect in everything is not only self-defeating, it’s also a major stress generator. Learn what you are good at doing and perfect those skills.
5. Drive your own bus
You can’t allow everyone’s problems to become your problems. By all means provide a sympathetic ear – but remember that most people are capable of solving their own problems, and will grow from the experience
6. Be selective of what you take on
Resist the urge to take on everything. Remember that your’re judged on the work you complete, not on the amount you take on. Slow down. Be selective. Say ‘no’ a little more often. Focus on the things that really matters.
7. Plan and prioritise
Stress often results from loss of direction. So, by establishing clear, detailed objectives and formulating plans and priorities to meet them, you will eradicate many ambiguities, eliminate confusion, and remove the anxiety that accompanies unplanned activity.
8. Develop a support system for yourself
Create an informal support network which will enable you to let off steam, receive moral support, accept helpful advice, and share ideas and feelings in a leisure or social setting.
9. Look after your body and soul
You can go a long way towards managing personal stress at work by improving your own lifestyle. Consider taking short breaks every few hours, practice relaxation techniques daily, eat only nutritious food, get enough sleep, think positively, have fun, and protect your leisure time – make time for play and hobbies.
10. Accept stress as a natural part of life
Remember that you are not life’s target, so don’t react to stressful situations with ‘why me”? Instead have confidence in your ability to work through the potentially stressful periods and recognize that ‘this too shall pass’.
The solution to stress therefore, is not to eliminate it altogether, but to maintain it at a level where it remains a positive motivating force.
Keeping you informed
Source: Just about everything a manager needs to know in SA
Authors: Neil Flanagan & Jarvis Finger