Have you ever noticed that when you get stressed out, you just shut down? Your body seems to get stuck between fight and flight—you end up just freezing!
I don’t think it takes a genius to point out that if you are frozen, you aren’t going to get any work done. The less you do, the more it piles up, and the more stressed you are. It’s a vicious cycle that has to come to an end to ensure that you are using those work hours to your advantage.
How can you manage the stress of your workday?
1. Leave early.
No, don’t leave the office early—although I wish it were that simple. Leave your house a half hour earlier than you normally do. Stress seems to act like a snowball. The more stressed out you are in the morning, the more it adds up throughout the rest of your day. Start your day 30 minutes before you normally would and take your time.
2. Stay on top of your email.
Is your email inbox stressing you out? Are you constantly getting notifications throughout the day making it seem like your to-do list is out of control? I have been guilty of this in the past, and I feel your pain. First, make sure that you aren’t receiving junk mail in your work email. They may seem harmless but it adds to the illusion that your workload is insurmountable. Set aside a block of time in the morning, after lunch and before you leave to respond to emails. If it was urgent enough, you would have gotten a phone call. Finally, subscribe to the rule of 3. If you and the person on the other end of that email have gone back and forth on the same subject—and haven’t reached a solution—pick up the phone and talk it out.
3. Keep snacks on hand.
Have a stock of sugar-free snacks on hand and a few bottles of water. If you’re like me, once you leave your desk, there are a million distractions. Anything that takes you away from the task at hand hinders your production. Expectations and deadlines don’t care if your colleague has an amazing story or the coffee shop has got a new muffin recipe. It’s asking for more stress to deviate from productivity.
4. Plan ahead.
Write down your deadlines, meetings, and things to do each work day in one place. This will work double-duty to show you what needs to be done in an organized fashion, as well as showing you how much you’ve accomplished on any given day.
5. Reward yourself.
Yes, it is important to keep your eye on the prize, but sometimes to de-stress, it helps to take note of all you’ve accomplished and pat yourself on the back. Morale is hugely important to your stress levels. If you feel as though you are not getting anywhere, or that your work is all for nothing, you are less motivated to get things done—starting the cycle all over again.
Are you stuck in the stressful workday cycle? What methods have you discovered to ditch the stress and get back on track?
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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