Almost every job has it's fair share of stress and the fact that the present economic climate does not seem to be buoyant has added more anxiety and stress to people whose jobs are vulnerable or where they have been told that there would be cut backs.
The fact that unemployment seems to be rising by the hour, has added to the stress some workers feel. They feel the stress because they know that there are 101 other people out there who might be able to do their jobs better and the fear that they could lose their jobs over non performance or most commonly where the company can no longer afford to pay its staff.
There are however, ways in which stress can be managed in the workplace. Once these methods are mastered, instead of being stressed out due to the fear of being unable to complete a target or deadline, the simple methods outlined will be able to give you a way to manage yourself and in fact help colleagues who are feeling overwhelmed or stressed at work. These methods are so simple, one could almost pass them off as trivial.
Believe it or not, there are things in the workplace that you have absolute control over - that is your time! "No" you might say,"I don't have control over my time because my employer dictates the hours and I don't have time to fulfil all the tasks given to me in any one week". We all have our own "little" habits and perhaps one of these habits has contributed to the stress we feel at the workplace.
Not getting to work on time
If you are the type that tends to get to work late, then think about what you would have achieved had you been at work. It is amazing what only 10 minutes difference can make. You may want to re-set your alarm clock so that you wake up a bit early. At first this may prove to be difficult to accomplish, but once you have done this a couple of times, you will find that you wake up early, get to work on time and accomplish a lot of things at work.
Constant checking of e-mails
An example of how you have control over your time is how frequently you check your e-mails at work. Whether you realise this or not, checking your e-mails all the time will sometimes distract you and cause you to focus on things which may not necessarily be urgent at that particular moment in time.
The solution here is to plan ahead as to when you will check you e-mails everyday and stick to it. I have learnt from personal experience that when I have the e-mail off and only check at certain planned intervals, I tend to get a lot more done. On the flip side, when I am constantly checking my e-mails, I notice that all of sudden all the e-mails are urgent - when in actual fact they are not. I only believe they are urgent because I have opened them up and believe I need to respond to them all before I move on to something else.
Leaving tasks to the last minute
Another way of removing stress in the workplace is by ensuring that you do not leave things to last minute. Perhaps you are the type that only gets things going until the last minute - this would no doubt put you under a lot of stress and apart from that, either consciously or unconsciously, you might even become irritable towards colleagues because they are not allowing you to get on with your work.
What you could do here is to try and develop an attitude of planning ahead. This will not come naturally to those who are used to one particular way of doing things, but with practice you will see that you will be able to achieve a lot more by planning.
One of the ways you could pre-plan the project or task that you have at hand is to do it in chunks. You may want to record it in your office diary or wherever you find acessible and appropriate, what you intend to achieve for the day and mark it off as you go along. The mere fact that you have recorded your plan for the day, may serve as an incentive to get you going and to make you want to move on to the next step.
Coffee and cigarette breaks
Whilst there is nothing wrong in taking breaks - as a matter of fact you must take breaks! The point I want to raise here is that sometimes there is the tendency to spend a lot more time at such breaks especially if there are colleagues around. It might be during such breaks that you decide to have a 2 minute conversation which unfortunately turns into a 15 minute chat. By developing a conscious attitude about the time when going for such breaks can reduce the amount of time taken which could be chanelled into proper use completing a task or two.
Another simple way to manage stress in the workplace is to ensure you eat properly. If you eat properly, your energy level will be maintained and therefore you will be more productive at work. Apart from that, if you eat properly, you will avoid being easily drained before you even close for the day at work.
Engaging in simple exercises such as walking or cycling to work will not only keep you fit, but also reduce the level of stress you may have as you have found a place to channel some of your stress. Whilst it is not necessarily advisable to take your work outside, sometimes just thinking about the task or target you have to do at work may perhaps give you ideas as to how to go about it and how to plan ahead. In addition to this, you may want to look into doing some breathing exercises which would impact your stress level positively.
So here are some simple ways you can manage stress in the workplace yourself.