Sure-fire steps for dealing with stress at work
Reading Time: 7 minutes
77 ways of strangling your stress and get stuff done.
Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to effectively deal with it. The average business professional has 30 to 100 projects on their plate. Modern workers are interrupted seven times an hour and distracted up to 2.1 hours a day. And four out of 10 people working at large companies are experiencing a major corporate restructure, and are therefore facing uncertainty about their futures. This may be the reason why more than 40% of adults say they lie awake at night plagued by the stressful events of the day.
“Frustrated and hard-working managers come to me for advice on how to handle stress at work,” says Martin Probst, founder and CEO (Chief Education Officer) at PROfound Leadership. “They feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to reduce their stress levels to get their work ethic and joy back.”
Well, we got busy and put together a list of “stress stranglers” to empower yourself, stress less, get your productivity back and in due course free up some much-needed quality time with family and friends.
77 Simple Stress Stranglers
- Set your intention for the day EVERY MORNING.
- Pack your bag and lay out your clothes the night before. Set a stress-free tone for the day.
- Write a to-do-list for today with only the 3-5 most important tasks (everything else off the ongoing to-do-list will be a bonus).
- Focus on one thing at the time.
- If you must multi-task, set aside a time frame, for example one hour per day, where you knock off a few things in one big swoop.
- Write stuff down, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting.
- Keep your workspace and home neat and tidy to reduce stress of trying to find seemingly lost items.
- “Eat that Frog” - Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that this is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long. Your ‘frog’ is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.
- If you have a big task at hand that lingers around in the back of your head, identify a small thing you can do today to bring you closer to finishing it.
- Keep an “irritation list” with things that are bothering or frustrating you. Which things or situations create the most stress and what is the pattern? You can then tackle these stressors and work on making the list smaller over time.
- Say NO in a nice way. No is a complete sentence; you do not need to explain yourself, you can just say no.
- Be a few minutes early to whatever you do to avoid stressful situations.
- Don’t create drama where none is necessary. Surely, you have other things to do.
- Don’t compare yourself with others; you don’t know what their goals are. Your focus should be on yourself not on others.
- Spend 80% of your time focussing on solutions, and 20% at most dwelling on issues and problems.
- Delegate what you can. Make sure you give the person taking over an appropriate induction or training.
17. Ask instead of guessing to avoid misunderstandings. Leave the mind-reading to others.
18. Act rather than react.
19. Don’t worry about what others are thinking or saying – have some confidence in yourself. What other people think of you is none of your business 😉
20. Instead of being harsh and critical of yourself, actively have positive and encouraging thoughts.
21. Check your email inbox only once every hour or two, log out of the program in between.
22. Keep instant messaging programs offline, and turn your smartphone to silent mode for specific times.
23. Only take and return phone calls during dedicated times.
24. Have a closed-door policy – only “open your business” during dedicated times.
25. Keep your workspace simple and decluttered to focus on what truly matters.
26. Get up and stretch every 45 minutes.
27. Take 15 deep breaths every 45 minutes.
28 – 77 can be downloaded for free in one simple step. Get it now.
“Knowing is not enough. We must APPLY.
Willing is not enough. We must DO.”
~ Bruce Lee
Apply some or even all our 77 Simple Stress Stranglers, and you will find yourself being calm, composed, energised, enthusiastic and eager to go within no time. And when you have freed up enough of your time and unleashed some lost energy, the only question to ask yourself is: “What can I change next to get to the next level of leadership success?”
“Dare to make a difference!”
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