Many millions of people are now back at work following the holiday season, and many are facing the large amount of stress that work can entail. Research indicates that four out of ten people who are working for a large corporate are facing some kind of restructure in the near future, adding anxiety on top of the usual workload. Prolonged periods of high stress are detrimental to both physical and mental health, so taking a few steps to reduce work stress could be a bonus for your body.
There are many interruptions during a regular work day, while you cannot control all of these you can control how you respond to them. In the case of electronic distractions such as alerts or emails, have these turned off and your email program closed until set times where you are willing to check them.
Mobile phone are another big distraction; turn your phone to silent when you need to work and put it away where you can’t see it. If you have a desk phone, switch it to voicemail for the time being.
If you work in an office with a door, closing the door may be enough to avoid non-urgent interruptions when you need to focus on work. Otherwise, let people know that you need to focus on what you are doing and set up a time to speak with them later.
Take time out
If work stress is leaving you feeling overwhelmed, take a few minutes to have a breather. Take a walk outside or spend a few minutes doing a deep breathing exercise. It often only takes just a few minutes away to clear your head and return refreshed.
Take any scheduled breaks and do not get into the habit of skipping breaks such as lunch. You need that time to rejuvenate and refuel – it can be very difficult to focus if you are not well nourished!
Prioritize – Do your big ‘rocks’ (tasks) first or your jar may overflow…
Spend time either at the beginning or end of each day planning and prioritizing for the day ahead. Looming deadlines can be stressful and it is important not to get sidetracked by small tasks that do not contribute to the end goal. Reduce stress by being prepared and working on the tasks that have the most impact.
We all have somewhere around 60,000 thoughts each day so imagine if most of those were negative! Reduce stress by training yourself to have motivating and encouraging thoughts. There are many exercises to help with this such as ‘Create a Positive Thought’. This works by having you switch tracks every time you have a negative thought to think of a pre-programmed positive thought. Consciously choosing positive thoughts will not only reduce stress, but can make you a happier person overall.
What do you do or suggest to reduce work stress? Let us know in the comments below…