After scrambling to get the kids ready for school, sitting in traffic, fighting off road rage, and slurping down some coffee instead of enjoying your breakfast in peace, many people go to work already stressed, and in turn more reactive to stress at work. So, quite literary, if you start your day on the right foot you’ll be more likely to be able to handle any stressors your workplace throws at you.
But we all know getting up on the right side of the bed is easier said than done, so here are a few tips on how you can deal with stress at work!
Scribble those stressors
Before you start slaying your stress, you have to know what causes you to get riled up in your work environment. Try keeping a journal for a week or two where you simply write down the things that caused stress in your workday. You will be able to identify patterns and stressors that you want to tackle first. This task of writing your thoughts and feelings down in itself might help you to combat that stress before it spirals out of control.
Organization, organization, organization
Planning ahead to stay organized can really lower work stress. Focussing on time management at home and at work means you’ll be calmer and less rushed. Keeping yourself organized means avoiding the negative effects of clutter, and being more efficient with your work. It would be great if your perfectly planned day could happen in a calm and wonderful workspace. Afterall, you spend most of your day at your desk, why not make it a pleasant space!
Comfort is key
If you have to sit on a rickety office chair behind your computer all day, you are bound to be more antsy and susceptible to stressors at work. Ergonomics plays a very important role in your efficiency and ability to focus on the task at hand. Even small things like noise can be distracting and cause low-grade frustration. Do what you can and speak to the right person like the HR Manager to ensure that you’re working from a quiet, comfortable and soothing workspace.
Expect the (un)expected
Knowing what is expected of you can help combat burnout because you won’t be scrambling to fulfill unnecessary tasks and roles that you are not meant to be worrying about. If you know exactly what you have to do, you can focus on doing it well!
Curb the conflict
We know it’s tempting to listen in on or even add a tail to the daily office gossip session. But try to steer clear! Feelings are ultimately going to get hurt and then there is no turning back. If you have to work with someone you don’t get along with, try to stay professional and don’t let your emotions cloud the situation. If conflict finds you anyway, learn how to deal with it appropriately.
Quality over Quantity
Forget about multitasking. You’re bound to feel frazzled when you are splitting your focus all day long. The first few hours at work are said to be the most productive, so try to get all of the higher ranking tasks done first rather than starting the day with big cup of multitasking. You can try a new strategy known as chunking where you divide your tasks into similar categories and then group them together. This way you will be doing all the creative work when you’re in a creative mindset and all the cognitive work while you have your thinking cap on. There is no right or wrong way to do this though, so find what works best for you and stick with it.
Get on up
Let’s face it, many of us get to work sit down for 8 or more hours straight and then we get home to sit in front of the TV some more. Sure, you deserve a break, but sometimes getting a move on is more beneficial than working (or scrolling through Facebook) during your lunch break. So get some exercise in your lunch break or perhaps take short exercise breaks throughout the day. This can help you blow off steam, lift your mood, and possibly even get your creative juices flowing.
Treat yourself (in traffic)
We know sitting in traffic after a hard day at work is no one's idea of relaxation, but use this time wisely. This is a great time for switching off from work - listen to your favourite tunes (try the Spotify or Deezer apps), an ebook or catch up on some podcasts. Soon you’ll forget all about that thing Janet said in the lunchroom earlier today and you’ll be ready for a relaxing evening at home with your family before you even know it.
How do you combat stress at work? We’d love to hear how you deal with it. Read our blog for more tips and life hacks like habits on how to be successful and how to take the stress out of packed lunches to get your morning started on the right foot!