How do you beat stress? I don’t know … I don’t know because the way we deal with stress is a deeply personal thing. We all have different coping mechanisms. We all do things different.
But what I do know is that stress can creep up on us and have a devastating affect on our personal and professional life.
Stress at Work
Stress cannot be ignored or shrugged off as part of the job. And, for those managers who think stress is healthy … you’re an idiot! Stress affects how people feel, think and behave, as well as how their body works.
Intense or prolonged stress increases the risk of health problems and absenteeism. It also causes people to feel distrust, anger, anxiety or fear, which all can severely damage relationships at work. As I say, if you think this is conducive of a healthy workforce … you’re an idiot!
Stress is no good in any shape or form. And, intense stress is not the same as pressure … but undue or constant pressure can turn into stress.
Effective leaders need to understand this.
They also need to understand that everyone is unique and everyone deals with stress in a different way. So, never judge people from your point of view. While some situations may be motivating to you, they could be stressful to someone else.
Rather, you should provide support and leadership. Help to remove the causes of stress or give people valuable breathing space so they can deal with stress themselves.
Dealing With Stress — A Daily Checklist
Here’s a list I’ve drawn up to help beat stress. I don’t know if it will help … all I know is it helped me to focus and take positive action.
1. Concentrate first on those activities that are most important to you
Devote your time to your highest priorities and your most important objectives. In so doing, you minimise or halt those things that have little importance.
2. Work to improve that which you do best
In other words, rely on yourself to accomplish your goals, and look forward to a sense of achievement when things get done. And, stick to what you find most rewarding.
3. Do things that help accomplish your goals
The key is to take action and do something to get you closer to fulfilling a goal. What can you do to move the action forward? Set small goals, especially when you feel overwhelmed.
4. You have all that you need
You already have all that you need to complete the task. Just dig a bit deeper and focus only on what you set out to do.
5. Plan your day beforehand
Set out to do certain things each day … things you can achieve that are important. And, finish one activity at a time. Don’t be distracted.
6. Stay focused
Don’t procrastinate. Keep your focus on the actions you’ve set yourself. Avoid postponing a task.
7. Work with a common purpose
You are not alone! When working on a common goal everyone has a role to play. The team is accountable to its members, so let the team take some of the load away.
8. Learn to let go of the things that don’t matter
Just accept that you can’t do everything. It’s okay to let go and tolerate those things that won’t get done. Everything is not important.
9. Be yourself
You’re not superhuman. Accept who you are, why you feel the way you do, and stop resisting what is happening. You can only beat stress when you acknowledge it. So, learn about it rather than trying to escape from it.
10. Take time out
Never cancel time out because you’re too busy. Things can wait. Your health and wellbeing are far more important than everything else.
How do you beat stress at work? I’d like to know.
Creative commons image courtesy Emergency Brake.