If you’re feeling too much pressure at work, try these five strategies to manage stress better.
- Shift your thinking
We have all felt the physical symptoms associated with stress: the racing heart, the tense muscles. According to research, a simple shift in thinking about these symptoms may be beneficial. Instead of seeing your racing heart as a result of nerves, focus instead on how well your body is being supplied with performance boosting oxygen. Studies show that when people reframe in this way their stress levels drop and they are more confident.
- Avoid over-scheduling
Realistic goals and schedules make you feel in control, give you direction and lower stress levels.
Schedule in all your work, not just meetings and appointments, and be realistic about how long each task will take. For small jobs, such as opening emails, try allowing 15 minutes at the end of every hour. Additionally, allowing extra ‘empty’ time in your daily schedule will let you catch up if you’ve fallen behind.
- Reconsider all meetings
Examine each weekly meeting. Is it necessary and efficient? If you need to share information or solve a critical problem can it be done in a ten-minute stand up meeting instead? Ineffective, time wasting meetings limit your ability to accomplish your goals.
- Analyse where you spend your time
Events and activities fall into one of four categories.
- Not urgent and not important
- Urgent but not important
- Not urgent but important
- Urgent and important
Make sure the majority of your time is spend on the last two categories.
- Manage procrastination
Most people avoid a task because they don’t know how to approach it or they simply don’t enjoy it. But when we leave important tasks for too long, they become big stressors.
Efficiency experts suggest that small jobs, those that take under 2 minutes, should be done immediately. Bigger jobs can be managed by break them down into as many small tasks as possible. Make a written list of every task and reward yourself when they’re completed.
Written by Mela Lush, Marketing Manager at IMNZ