You can reduce some job stress by learning how to manage your time and your job duties. Think about the kinds of events that trigger stress for you at work. Then you can focus on one or two things you can do that will help the most to reduce stress. Here are some ideas:
You and your job
Get organized. Keep track of your projects and deadlines by making a list of what’s urgent. Decide what matters most and what can wait.
Don’t put things off. Use a schedule planner to plan your day or week. Just seeing on paper that there is time to get each task done can help you get to work. Break a large project into small steps, and set a deadline for each one.
Learn to say “no.” Don’t over commit yourself. If you take on too much, you’re creating stress.
Focus. Do one thing at a time. In some cases, you can do two things at a time. But if you start to feel stressed, go back to doing one thing at a time.
Concentrate. Try to limit distractions and interruptions. Ask others to give you a block of time when you are not disturbed.
Delegate. Ask someone else to take on a task. It’s not always important to have all the control.
Take care of yourself
Make time for you. Leave your job at the office, even if your office is a room in your home. Leave your cell phone at work if you can, or decide not to answer it during times you’ve set aside for you and your family. Don’t check work e-mail at home.
Stay positive. Remember that everyone has good days and bad days at work.
Reward yourself. When you finish a difficult task, celebrate. Enjoy a snack at your desk, or-if your job permits-take a short walk or visit with a coworker.
Schedule time for fun. If you spend every second of your day getting things done, you may resent never having time for yourself. If your employer offers a flexible work schedule, use it in a way that fits your work style. Go into work earlier and take a longer break at lunch to make time for a yoga class or a walk.
Practice breathing and relaxation techniques. You can do these at home or in a quiet place at work.
Tips for handling Stress
First, identify what’s creating stress at work. Maybe it’s lack of control over your job. Or maybe it’s worry about losing your job or how you are doing at work. You might feel stress because you’re unable to express your thoughts and ideas to your boss and coworkers.
Think about why you want to reduce stress at work. You might want to protect your heart and your health by reducing stress. Or maybe you simply want to enjoy your life more and not let work stress control how you feel. Your reason for wanting to change is important. If your reason comes from you-and not someone else-it will be easier for you to make a healthy change for good.
Next, set a goal for yourself that involves reducing your stress level. Think about both a long-term and a short-term goal.
After setting your goals, think about what might get in your way. Use a personal action plan to write down your goals, the possible barriers, and your ideas for getting past them. By thinking about these barriers now, you can plan ahead for how to deal with them if they happen.
Most important, make sure you get support from friends and family in your efforts to reduce job stress. If your company has an employee assistance program, you might use it to talk with a counselor. A counselor can help you set goals and provide support in dealing with setbacks.