As you build up your career, the last thing you want hampering your progress is the strain of being overstressed. Too often, this leads to burn out, and it can be a real wrench in your plans if stress gets in the way of you doing good work. You would not be alone in this predicament, though, as the American Institute of Stress notes that a staggering 83% of employed Americans feel stressed about their work.
Though it isn’t always avoidable, there are many ways to get some of the weight off your back and manage it better.
Make use of the best tools you can have on hand.
It remains true that we are only as good as the tools we have. No matter how much productivity you have, it’s going to get hampered if you’re stressing about poor internet connectivity, a faulty printer, or a computer that keeps powering down randomly. All of these can ruin your work in the modern age pretty significantly, and that in itself is a big source of stress. Make sure you get enterprise risk assessment tools if you’re overseeing staff or operations to make sure that those worries can be swept off the table. This way, if things do go wrong with crucial equipment, you don’t have to worry about significant data loss or even leaks.
It’s essentially having a good backup plan while also monitoring what needs to be updated so that your staff or yourself do not work on inefficient platforms.
Make friends at work.
Humans are inherently social creatures. No matter how introverted you may be, it is important to have a good reliable support system in the environment where you are often thrown a lot of worry and responsibility. A study actually revealed that around half of workers end up being more productive and creative when they have work friends. This is because you are more likely to have a positive environment surrounding yourself and a built-up trust system.
Having work friends even increases employee engagement. If you feel down or have a gripe you want to share, it helps to have someone to talk to that knows just what you mean.
Cut off work when you are home (even online).
It’s important to separate your work life from your home life if you want to lessen the stress you carry with you. Make sure you establish boundaries that allow you to have a cut-off time from work. When you log out from the office or wherever it is, you conduct your work, make sure you no longer entertain messages or tasks regarding work, and you focus on your outside life. You don’t want to work at the back of your head all the time, and if you let it engulf your whole 24 hours, it will really take its toll.
This goes beyond just doing work tasks, too. Make sure you don’t open up work-related apps if it’s not necessary. Mute those chat groups if you have to. The separation will free your mind, and you’ll eventually get used to being able to relax the minute you step out of those doors.
Take short breaks throughout the day.
This doesn’t mean you’re going to slack off on paid hours, of course. However, if you’re overstressed and you’ve squeezed all the juice out of your brains, you’re just going to turn out half-baked work, and you won’t get as much done. That’s why stuff like the Pomodoro technique has gotten so much popularity. Successfully using this helps in minimizing distractions, improving productivity and focus, and letting go of procrastination.
So how does it work? You first pick a task you need to do, set a 25-minute timer, make sure you finish your task within that set time period, and then take a 5-minute break. That counts as one pomodoro. The technique also notes that for every four pomodoros you effectively finish, you get to take a 15-to-30-minute break to refresh.
Try to pinpoint the exact triggers you may have
Sometimes, specific factors really do the trick to bring your stress levels to the high heavens. Figure out what they are so you can actively take steps against them. Perhaps it’s an overbearing coworker, a project that you can’t seem to finish on your own, and any other unwanted circumstance. If you find that the workplace in totality is not conducive to your work, consider moving on.
Stress is not good for anyone, and it can be a big cause of a rut in any career. Try incorporating these into your work life and lessen that stress.