Between tight deadlines, demanding clients, and even more demanding bosses, it’s little wonder that work can stress you out from time to time. In fact, 40% of Americans say that they lie awake at night, stressing over that day’s events. But stress is terrible for your health and for your company, as it can cut down on your productivity. So here are 9 suggestions to help you reduce the stress you experience at work so that you can get more done and be a happier, healthier person.
Control What You Can, Accept What You Can’t
For most of us, we can only control about half of the things that affect our stress levels. While we may not be able to influence sales quotas or the demands being placed on our time, we can manage the way we react to these things, our outlook on the events, and the way in which various tasks are handled. If you learn to accept the things that are beyond your control and focus on the things that you can control instead, you’ll spend less time stressing over outside factors and more time getting things done.
Remember to Breathe
Taking a slow, deep breath in can go a long way towards calming your nerves and eliminating stress. When things get overwhelming, step away for just three minutes and take some time to breathe. Inhale deeply to the count of five, then exhale normally through your nose for the same count. Do this for several minutes, or until you feel calm. Then, you can go back to your desk with a clear head and tackle the tasks before you.
The average office worker is interrupted seven times in a single hour. That’s a lot of distraction, and it can become very stressful as you find yourself dealing with these interruptions instead of checking things off your list. Though some interruptions can’t be avoided, you should do your best to eliminate those that you can. Set aside a block of time during your day, and hang up a sign asking people not to disturb you for that period of time. If you need to, shut off your email notifications so they don’t distract you or pull you away from your work. Being able to focus on the items on your to-do list without interruptions, even if it’s just for an hour or two, can do wonders for your productivity and keep you from stressing out.
Schedule Some Breaks
In our previous posts about maximizing productivity, we talked about the 90-minute work block, followed by a short recovery period. Not only has this proven to be the most productive way to work, but it can also cut down on your stress at work. By scheduling breaks into your day, you can take time to clear your mind, catch your breath, and refocus before diving back in. This will help prevent that frazzled, exhausted feeling you get at the end of the day when you push yourself for 8 or more hours straight.
Eat Well, Exercise Daily, and Get Your Sleep
A body that is properly fueled, well cared for, and sufficiently rested is less likely to feel stressed, exhausted, and overworked. Always remember to take time for yourself during the day to get 30 minutes of exercise, and remember to eat well. Additionally, make sure you give yourself enough time to get a full night’s rest. By doing these things, you’ll be able to better withstand the daily stresses of the office.
Know Your Priorities
Most workers in America have between 30 and 100 projects on their to-do list. As you probably know, looking at a list that long is mentally exhausting and extremely stressful. That’s why it’s important that you identify your priorities and focus your efforts on the projects that will make the biggest impact. Not only does this prevent you from being distracted by the other, less important items on your list, but checking one item off your list is much more rewarding when you’re not looking at the 99 other things you still have to do.
Dealing with Presentation-Induced Stress
We’re not all cut out for public speaking, but at some point in your career, you may be asked to give some sort of presentation. If you become anxious and panicky before a presentation, remember to take slow, deep breaths. You can also use a simple acupressure technique by placing your thumb on the side of your middle finger and gently pressing. This instantly helps to regulate blood pressure so you can go into the presentation with a level head.
Think Positive Thoughts
You face enough criticism of your work from outside sources; the last person who should be adding to that criticism is you. Ridiculing yourself internally just adds to the stress that is already on your plate, so keep your self-talk positive. By encouraging yourself with positive thoughts, you’ll make it easier to look on the bright side of things and can pump yourself up to tackle whatever is set before you.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Finally, remember that getting more done and pushing yourself harder are not always synonymous. Employ the proper tools and resources to help you get more done without having to push yourself beyond your limits. eFileCabinet is one such tool that can reduce your workload and cut down on the stress you face in the office, all while helping you to get more done. Contact a business efficiency expert to learn more.