Regardless of what type of work you do, more than likely, you’ve experienced stress on the job. In fact, according to The American Institute of Stress, 83% of American workers suffer from work-related stress. Of course, stress levels vary according to age groups and genders. But the bottom line of this survey shows there’s a whole lot of work-related stress going on out there. And so, unless you happen to be in the 17% who reported no stress, keep on reading to find out how to be less stressed at work.
Coping with stress: How to be less stressed at work
Even though you can’t control everything in the workplace, it doesn’t mean that things are hopeless and you have to stay stuck in a difficult situation. But just the contrary, when the stress starts to interfere with your work performance, health, or personal life, it’s time to do something about it. Fortunately, learning effectively to cope with job stress can benefit you both professionally and personally. So, let’s get started.
1. Figure out your stress triggers
To know how to tackle your stress, you first have to figure out what and where it is coming from. Here are some common work-related stressors:
- Work pressure
- Poor organization
- Conflicts with Colleagues/Manager’s
- Lack of information or support
- Endless emails
- New technologies
- Personal problems
- Constant interruptions
- Poor communication
Once you get a handle on the causes of your stress, you’ll be in a better position to assess each situation and look for solutions.
2. Implement time management skills
Set realistic goals
Setting goals is great, but more so is keeping a balanced schedule. Attaining your set goals isn’t going to amount to much if you burn out in the meantime. So, yes, go ahead and set some goals, just remember to find the balance between work and family responsibilities while leaving time for social and personal pursuits as well.
Create a daily plan and write it down
This might seem simple, yet it can be so helpful and effective. For example, when you have a busy schedule, and your mind is full of everything you have to do, sometimes by writing down the things you have to do, you can free up your overwhelmed brain. It also helps you look at what needs to be done so you can organize your day.
Assign an order of importance to each task
You can also ask yourself if each task is getting you closer to or further away from reaching your goals. That can help you ascertain if it is a priority or not.
Set a deadline
That is, set a realistic and attainable deadline for your task to be completed. If you don’t, it typically will get pushed aside for one that does.
3. Protect your time
Overcommitting yourself is a sure-fire way of becoming overwhelmed. So don’t take on more than you can handle. If you find you have too much on your plate, re-evaluate your tasks and identify the “shoulds” from the “musts,” and then drop the tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list.
4. Establish healthy boundaries
Being available 24/7 is not only unhealthy but can put you on the fast track to burnout. So, it’s important to set healthy boundaries between your work and home life. Yes, it can be challenging to ignore those texts and emails just begging for your attention. But, you have to be determined and set a designated time aside where you won’t think about work, touch your phone or computer for work-related things. Your family, friends, and doctor will thank you!
5. Break bad habits
Consider and change any bad habits you have that could be contributing to the stress you feel at work, such as:
- Being a perfectionist
- Looking at things from a negative perspective
- Focusing on things you can’t control
- Poor sleep habits
- Not getting a proper nutrition
- Having a cluttered or messy work environment
- Working through breaks and lunch hours
Breaking bad habits such as these can help you to be less stressed at work significantly.
6. Know when to reach out
Stress and overwhelm can manifest in ways that are often overlooked or blamed on other things. These are some signs and symptoms of excessive stress:
- Feeling depressed
- Trouble concentrating
- Stomach problems
- Problems sleeping
When you realize you are dealing with stress, sometimes the best way to tackle it is by sharing your feelings with someone close to you. That someone can be family, friends, co-workers, or even your supervisor. They don’t necessarily have to fix your problem, but just be a good listener and maybe help you see things from a different perspective.
“A job is a job. It’s a way to pay for a living, but that’s it. Don’t let it define your happiness. You work to live, not live to work. Work on what makes you happy.” — Unknown
While dealing with stress in the workplace can be a real problem, it’s definitely solvable. Often, all it takes is to take a few simple and practical steps to regain control and be less stressed at work.
Working with a coach is a great way to learn additional ways to develop more coping skills to manage job stress which can help you be more successful in the workplace. I’d love to hear from you.
Hi, I’m Kris Henderson, LPC. I want you to know that I am here to help. If you would like more personalized support, I invite you to contact me or schedule your phone call . Together we can work to bring your stress level back into a healthy range so you can feel confident, competent, and in charge at work.