Stress – your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat by releasing a flood of stress hormones that rouse the body for emergency action.
People have more to juggle these days than ever before – and feeling stressed at least at some point during our lives is an inevitable part of this. But when feeling stressed becomes an everyday emotion it’s time to do something.
You can love your job but still feel overwhelmed by it at times. You can think you’ve got your day planned to a tee and then find yourself in a flap trying to get everything finished on time. So how do you deal with this stress at work and, ultimately, enjoy your job more?
The key to this is to not get stressed in the first place. This may sound easier said than done – but it IS doable:
Tackle one thing at a time
Try to prioritise what is of most importance and plan to complete these tasks first. It’s much easier to concentrate on one project at a time rather than flicking between several different jobs.
Write everything down
Having all your tasks jotted down in one place will make it much easier for you to remember everything that needs doing. Consider buying a physical diary or notebook – we spend so much time on our phones anyways that having a physical to-do list will help to differentiate work from pleasure.
Keep your to-do list to a minimum
Speaking of lists, try to keep your immediate to-do list to a minimum. This will make your tasks seem less daunting and will stop you from worrying about things that aren’t a priority. If needs be, keep two lists close to each other – one for immediate tasks and an ongoing one for things that you’d like to achieve in the future or are of less importance.
It’s better to ask questions and be sure of what you’re supposed to be doing than second-guessing and spending your time worrying you’ve done the wrong thing. This is particularly pertinent if you’re new at a job and still learning the ropes, so don’t be afraid to ask! At the end of the day, your fellow employees would also prefer you to ask and do the right thing than potentially end up causing problems for the whole team.
Be sure to sort your outfit, lunches, bag, etc. for the next day the night before. This will give you one less thing to worry about in the morning. You can still do this while working remotely to give yourself the sense of a daily routine.
Take a break at the weekend
Try to completely disconnect from the stress at work over the weekend. This means avoiding emails, not doing any extra work, etc., and if you really must do this don’t let it take over both your weekend days. By having a break from work you’ll go back on Monday feeling much more refreshed and clear-headed.
Always leave early
If you travel a lot with work make sure you give yourself at least an extra 10 minutes to reach your destination. The same can be said about leaving for work in the morning. It’s better to arrive early and be calm than arrive late (or just on time) and be stressed out. But if you do happen to be running late to a meeting/appointment/interview etc. make sure to always phone ahead to pre-warn rather than just hope you’ll make it on time. This is still applicable during the Covid-19 lockdown. Avoid jumping out of bed and turning your computer on five minutes before your start time. Instead, give yourself the time to complete your usual morning routine (shower, dress, breakfast, exercise etc.) and get set up ahead of your required working time.
Keep your workspace clear and tidy
It may sound simple but having a clean, organised workspace will immediately help to lower your levels of stress at work and ultimately make your working day more productive.