Stress in the workplace is an unfortunate reality that accompanies most jobs, especially ones that tend to be more fast-paced. According to Stress.org, “80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress…” Although stress might be a part of your everyday job, there are ways to avoid or reduce the level of stress you experience.
In this blog post, guest contributor Patrick Chism shares four tips to help you reduce stress and burnout while at work.
1. Identify your stress or burnout triggers and work around them
Some of the stresses of your job are unavoidable, which is common in most workplaces. In order to help reduce the items that are causing you the most stress, track and identify these tasks first. When you can point to a specific stressor on a list, it becomes easier to figure out how to work around that.
Once you’ve identified your most stressful items or ones that cause you the most burnout, find out if there are any that you can eliminate from your job. Is this something that you could ask someone else to do? Does this task have to be done as often as you are currently doing it? Find the stressful tasks with the most flexibility, and work on eliminating them from your schedule.
For the ones that are unavoidable, try and plan your time and day around them. If you find you have the most patience for this stressor in the morning, try and complete it then. Know when you feel the most able to take on this stressing factor, and give yourself the time to complete it then, as opposed to when you are already busy or dealing with other issues.
2. Reduce outside stress factors as much as possible
Stress easily carries over from one factor to another, so bringing in stressors from the home or elsewhere can amplify the stress you feel at work. Making sure that you are taking steps to reduce the stressors from other areas in your life can help you make sure you approach your job with a stress-free attitude.
Finances are often an extremely stressful part of people’s lives, one of the most common aspects being credit scores. Credit scores impact the maximum you can spend using credit cards, your ability to get a loan, and especially your housing, as there’s even a minimum credit score needed to buy a house. Take the time to go over some basic financial literacy tips to make sure that you are growing your credit score and allowing yourself more financial freedom. This can greatly reduce your stress and help you stay more focused at work—preventing burnout down the line.
For others, their stress may stem from a lack of sleep. Over one-third (35.2%) of US adults get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep at night, which can heavily impact stress levels. Look into a few tips to help you sleep better, which can range from the quality of your mattress and pillow to creating the perfect pre-bedtime ritual.
Although workplaces are often a main source of stress, bringing in outside issues can sometimes magnify the issues. By reducing the outside stressors in your life, you’ll have more time and energy to focus on the stress that you encounter at work, and better handle it there.
3. Prioritize workplace wellness wherever you can
Workplace wellness is something that companies are focusing on more due to the positive results in reducing employee stress and burnout. Although what it looks like can vary from business to business, try to take advantage of their wellness offerings in addition to creating your own.
Try and take a break to go for a short walk during your shift, preferably outside if possible. There are many good reasons you should take a walk, from helping you reduce stress to lowering your blood pressure and helping you sleep better.
Some employers offer mental health assistance such as access to helplines or sessions with a therapist; others offer increased training courses to fight the stigma around mental health. If unavailable, many times something as simple as meditation can help you reduce stress or burnout, and help you better prioritize your workplace wellness.
4. Organize and focus on your goals
The workplace can often become hectic and fast-paced, which can become overwhelming leading to burnout or increased stress levels. Try organizing and setting your goals to better help you focus and accomplish what you aim for each day.
Time management is a large part of goal setting, and it’s important to not get overly ambitious. Set goals that you know you can accomplish - as we all know, Rome wasn’t built in a day. SMART goals are an organized way to make sure you are crafting legitimate goals and can strive to accomplish them.
Multitasking is often the death of productivity, as it frequently causes more issues than it solves. Instead of trying to finish three projects at once, and often finishing none of them, try and focus on one task at a time, and work on it until it’s finished. Not only does this increase your motivation for the next piece, but is a show of real progress, which can help alleviate some stress that you may feel due to a mountain of projects.
Stress is an ever-present part of everyday life, but it can be controlled. By identifying and reducing your stressors at work and externally, you can help combat burnout and other negative aspects of your job. Prioritizing workplace wellness and organizing your goals more effectively can also help you stay engaged at work, and help you reduce any stress or burnout that you may encounter.
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