We get it, sometimes it’s hard to handle stress at work. However, working while stressed can negatively impact the outcome of your projects and decrease productivity overall. With summer on the way, it may seem like you’re rushing to finish up projects before the kids get out of school, you take your much earned vacation, or need to begin switching gears to prepare for new projects.
Whether the stress is coming from work or your personal life, it’s imperative to focus your attention on your job to avoid negative consequences. Full service employment agency Pascoe Workforce Solutions has come up with 10 Ways to Conquer Stress at Work.
1. Take a Deep Breath
While this may seem like a no-brainer, sometimes all you need to feel better is to practice deep breathing. This is something anyone can do from whatever workspace they have. There are many benefits to deep breathing, even beyond stress relief.
2. Massage Your Ears
This may seem like a strange suggestion, but it works. The feeling of massaging your ears releases endorphins that make you feel good. Not only will you feel more relaxed but you’ll also feel more focused once your quick self-massage is over. The best part is that a worker in any industry can use this tactic!
3. Make a To-Do List
Listing what tasks you need to accomplish is a good idea whether you’re stressed or not. Writing down what you need to do along with deadlines is a great way to set a realistic timeframe for yourself. This way you can plan your schedule around the most imperative tasks.
Bonus tip: Try writing your list by hand. Not only will it feel more productive but it helps with actually remembering the tasks you need to complete. Get a pad of paper or a whiteboard and keep it in front of you so you can physically cross off completed tasks. It’s very therapeutic, and lets you see exactly what you’ve accomplished.
4. Designate Specific Times for Specific Tasks
Do you feel like you’re bombarded by e-mails and returning calls all day? While these tasks are important, there are possibly more pressing tasks for you to be focusing your attention on. Figure out what time(s) during the day you will check and reply to e-mails and voice-mails, and worry about them only during scheduled periods. The same principle can be applied to almost any other task. Knowing when you’re supposed to do something can make prioritizing easier and help you stay on track if unexpected work pops up (and it will).
5. Put Away Your Cellphone
Even though you think your cell your only link to the outside world, constant interruptions of texts, incoming e-mails and social media alerts will distract you and take you off task. There’s nothing wrong with using your phone during break or lunch, but not while trying to be productive. Your notifications can wait and your work phone can be used for any at-home emergencies.
6. Have a Snack
Take a snack to work with you. A snack can help pick up your mood and give you a burst of energy. If you don’t have access to a refrigerator or aren’t able to have a sit-down snack, grab a bite-sized piece of chocolate or a granola bar for a quick pick me up. Here are some great office-friendly healthy snack options.
7. Take a Walk
Do you get even a 5 minute break at work? If so, take the opportunity to go for a walk. Stepping away from your desk or work space will help to clear your mind, and you may even return with a great idea on how to solve a problem you’ve been struggling with. Walking also benefits your health, so this is a win-win!
8. Listen to Music
It’s no secret that music increases productivity, but certain music also has a calming effect. If possible in your work environment, see if you can plug in your headphones for a while, or if it would be acceptable to have the radio on in the background for the whole office. Music is also a great way to bond with your coworkers by finding out about their preferences.
9. Get a Stress Ball
As silly as this one sounds, sometimes you need to physically relieve your stress. Chances are you can’t perform your exercise of choice during work hours, so check out the next best thing. Little foam balls you can get for less than a dollar (sometimes even for free from various companies that use them as promotion tools) take up almost no space and keeping it on your desk means it’s available whenever you need a moment of relief. Give it a few squeezes when you’re feeling antsy or angry to let out your frustrations.
10. Decorate your Workspace
Even though everyone doesn’t have this opportunity, if you have a cubicle or office, decorate it to your liking, within reason of course. Bring in work-appropriate pictures of things you love (your family, pets, travel destinations to name a few) or even a plant to help make the space feel more welcoming.
Bonus tip: Candles and incense are dangerous and should not be burned at work, but try some essential oils to create calming, pleasant smelling atmosphere.
Even in the position of your dreams, sometimes you can have a rough day and end up feeling the effects of stress at work. Use these tips to stay on track. Pascoe Workforce Solutions aims to deliver employment advice and insights to individuals. Contact us today so we can help you find the career of your dreams.