It’s no secret that stress can be incredibly damaging to your health and wellbeing, and yet, few of us take proactive steps to reduce stress at work (which inevitably impacts our personal lives, too). In a world that’s faster paced and more connected than ever before, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of professionals are struggling to balance demanding job responsibilities, hectic schedules and constantly evolving technologies. It’s also no surprise that it’s taking a toll on individual health and organizational productivity alike.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Ultimately, a great deal of the tension and anxiety that’s weighing so many of us down can be minimized (or at least managed) by setting boundaries, employing time-tested time management techniques and unapologetically claiming some time for yourself.
Here are three practical tips to help you learn to breathe a little bit easier (aka to reduce stress at work).
Tip #1: Create Productivity Blocks
It may not feel like it at times, but your calendar is yours to manage. If you’ve ever felt like “there just aren’t enough hours in the day”, you are not alone. Many professionals suffer from meeting fatigue – or that feeling that your entire day was devoted to preparing for, attending or following-up on meetings, conference calls, messaging chats, etc.
Pro Tip: Block off “productivity time” in your calendar each and every day. Think of it as setting a top-priority meeting with yourself. If you can’t avoid scheduling something during that period, treat your productivity block like you would any other meeting: reschedule your time.
Tip #2: Silence Distractions (Including Email)
Few of us want to hear it, but we’re going to say it anyway: multitasking isn’t a thing. There was a time when “ability to multitask” was worn like a badge of honor, and perhaps that’s because its meaning has evolved over the years. What was once a buzzword used to describe one’s ability to manage multiple requests and projects over the course of a day has morphed into the myth that we are able to successfully do multiple complex tasks at one time. The reality is that each time you check your email while working on that important report (for example), your brain switches gears – and switching your focus back isn’t as easy as we all pretend it is.
Pro Tip: In an ideal world, you’d only check your email two or three times a day, but that seems impossible for many professionals. Instead, try silencing all distractions for 45 minutes of every working hour. That doesn’t mean minimizing your email – it means closing it completely. That doesn’t mean just putting your phone on silent – it means making sure it doesn’t buzz and that you can’t see it light up. The productivity results from this simple tip can be transformational (which will inevitably reduce your work stress).
Tip #3: Create a Strategy for Avoiding Burnout
It’s pretty safe to say that all of us want to be the most productive and engaged version of ourselves possible – but that’s hard to maintain! Even in the best-case scenarios (when you truly enjoy your work, believe in your company’s mission and get along with your team), burnout can happen. And it has the potential to send your whole world into chaos. To reduce your stress at work and lower the very real risk of burnout, it’s essential to prioritize balance.
Pro Tip: Accept that taking “down time” isn’t only okay, it’s necessary. Take that walk at lunch. Exercise before work instead of checking emails. Attend your child’s soccer game. Whatever it is that lets you relax, laugh, cheer and/or smile – make that a priority. Here’s the simple truth. Giving yourself full and unapologetic permission to enjoy your life will actually increase your productivity and engagement at work.
Let’s Discuss Personalized Strategies to Help You Reduce Stress at Work, Maximize Your Productivity and So Much More!
At FocalPoint Canada, we guide our clients in overcoming challenges and leveraging opportunities with proven processes and methodologies that have been used by thousands of successful businesses over the past two decades. Our FocalPoint business coaches use their expertise to teach our time-tested methods through individual coaching, group sessions, or trainings and workshops.
It all starts with a conversation. Call us at 866-761-1616 or email firstname.lastname@example.org