Stress is a silent killer. It is anti-productivity. A survey says that 40% of American workers report that their job are very or extremely stressful. Stress is a factor that we need to manage. There is no job that is stress-proof. It is a fact that, as office-workers, we go through some stressful situations in the many aspects of our office life. Here are some ways to keep stress at bay.
1. Organize Your Work Environment
Your desk might be one of the biggest sources of your stress. Job requests can easily pile up in front of you if you don’t pay attention to doing them promptly. Aside from the actual work that you need to accomplish, you also have other responsibilities to look after – meetings to attend, emails to respond to, phone and in-person conversations you need to engage in, and so much others. If you do not maintain an organization system chances are you will get easily overwhelmed anytime of the day. I could not recommend enough the GTD System of David Allen. But if you think that Allen’s system is overwhelming in itself, you can simplify it to suit yourself.
2. Step Up and Be The Go-To Guy
What is my point here? This sounds ironic but let me explain. One of the reasons why office-workers get stressed is the mere fact that they feel they are stuck in a rut. Find ways to get noticed by the higher-ups. Acquire new skills if you think your current job does not provide you the opportunity to step up. If your company does not provide in-house training program, you can ask them to sponsor you to go to an outside training facility. There are many other ways to create momentum in your job or career.
3. Get Help From Someone You Trust
There are many times that you get a task that is beyond what you know. As an office-workers, we sometimes are required to come out of our comfort zones. And this is not easy. You can find this situation in companies that have reduced their workforces due to necessary lay-off. Those that are left are oftentimes required, or even forced, to do more work beyond their usual limits. This is a fact that we need to live by. One way to get help in this kind of situation is to find your mentor.
4. Be Responsible
In one of his books, Richard Bach says: “If it is never your fault, you can’t take responsibility for it. But if you can’t take responsibility for it, you will always be its victim.” There are many times in our workplace that we are faced with things or situations that go beyond our control. These things or situations can easily become sources of our stress if something went wrong. The good thing about being responsible is you can gain the control that you need to correct situations. It also gives you the necessary attitude to stand firm and avoid the victim-type thinking.
5. Get Life Outside Of The Cubicle
Your cubicle, or office, can easily become a pit of boredom. Spend time with friends or family doing interesting things. Go to events and parties as much as your schedule allows. Don’t make excuses about “time”; i.e, lack of time, no time, little time, etc. The fact is there is always time for everything. If you do not have a family, seek companionship with your friends or loved one. Create a hobby. Join a marathon. volunteer to non-profit organizations. There are many other ways to find life outside of your cubicle. There is life out there.
So these are some of the many ways to combat stress at work. They address the multi-faceted source of our work stress. I am sure there are more techniques to fight stress specially in a workplace setting. I would love to find out about your own list on this. How do you combat your stress at work?