5 Ways To Manage Work Stress

5 Ways To Manage Work Stress

To learn how to manage stress at workplace you need to know where and how your workplace stress is coming from? Confusing? Let me elaborate.

Solutions to any problem lies in its origin. If work stress is due to deadlines and submissions then the root problem is time management. If your stress emanates from presentation, group work then interpersonal and communication skills needs your attention. If day to day work load is draining you down then maybe you need to talk to your manager and get rid of that extra work-load on your shoulders. You see, the trick is to go deep to the root cause of your problem.

The moment you figure that out follow these five steps for effective stress management. Always remember, stress management skills are important for your overall health and well-being. They are an absolute must for a healthy, happy and efficient lifestyle.

1. Goal Setting and Time Management

Realistic goals and time frames are the keys to an organised life and stress-free environment. Remember the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome from the book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll? Alice is walking in the woods. She comes to a fork in the road. Not knowing which way to go, she asks the Cheshire

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to, said the cat.
“I don’t much care where, said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter, said the cat.
“—so long as I get somewhere, Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that, said the Cat, if you only walk long enough.”

Realistic goals are important to avoid aimlessness and chaotic busy schedules. They help you find direction and in control of your life. Goals also give you a yardstick against which you can measure every time commitment.

Scheduling more than you can handle is a great stressor. If you are feeling overburdened with some of your activities, learn to say, “no.” Learn to eliminate any activities that you don’t have to do and carefully consider any time-based commitments you make.

Use a planner to schedule each goal and activity you need to accomplish, not just your appointments and meetings. If that report will take two hours to write, schedule the two hours just as you would schedule a meeting. If reading and responding to daily emails takes an hour per day, schedule time for that.

2. Is that meeting really important? Ask again!

Meetings should only happen when an interaction is required. Meetings can work to your advantage, or they can weaken your effectiveness at work. If much of your time is spent attending ineffective, time-wasting meetings, you are limiting your ability to accomplish important objectives at work.

“TheWall Street Journal” quoted a study that estimated American managers could save 80 per cent of the time they currently waste in meetings if they did two things: Start and end meetings on time and follow an agenda.

3. Be in control of your time

A study was done some years ago that revealed symphony conductors live the longest of any professionals. Looking into this longevity, researchers concluded that in no other occupation do people have such complete control over existing events.

In his book, “Time Power,” Dr. Charles Hobbes suggests that there are five categories of events:

  • Events you think you cannot control, and you can’t.
  • Events you think you cannot control, but you can.
  • Events you think you can control, but you can’t.
  • Events you think you can control, but you don’t.
  • Events you think you can control, and you can.

There are two major issues pertaining to control:

  • Each of you is really in control and in charge of more events than you generally like to acknowledge.
  • Some things are uncontrollable. Trying to control that which is uncontrollable is a key cause of stress and unhappiness.

Not feeling in control is the enemy of time management and a major cause of stress in your daily lives. So, learn to distingusih between things that are in your control and those that aren’t. Latter shouldn’t be your concern, former is in your hands. Manage it in your best interest.

4. Where is your time spent?

Take a pen and a paper and honestly write down how are you currently managing your time? What are the daily activities, how much time do they take? Analyse your current situation. Be your own critique. Remember, events and activities fall into one of four categories. You need to spend the majority of your time on items that fall into the last two categories.

  • Not Urgent and not important
  • Urgent but not important
  • Not Urgent but important
  • Urgent and important

No one can tell you what’s important for you. Therefore, an honest reflection and self-analysis is your doorway to higher productivity and efficiency.

PS: The days you’re most productive are the days you’re the happiest, at least retrospectively. Nothing weigh us down more than our procrastination, delays and detours created by us. Focus on spending more time on the things that you value that will give you a sense of satisfaction later.

5. I will do it later! STOP SAYING THIS

We procrastinate for three reasons:

  • We don’t know how to do the task.
  • We don’t like to do the task.
  • We feel indecisive about how to approach the task.

Deal with procrastination by breaking the large project into as many small, manageable, tasks as possible. Make a written list of every task. List the small tasks. Prioritized your To-Do List. Reward yourself upon completion. If you do procrastinate, you’ll find that the task gets bigger and bigger and more insurmountable in your own mind. 

Our life will present us with opportunities to worry and stress, but then it also gives us a chance to learn and adapt the skills of decision making and time management. Either we can learn now, or let life surprise us time and again until we finally ace the essential life skill.


Written by Prithiva Gupta

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