Do you get stressed at work? All those deadlines to meet, the to-do list getting longer, things getting in the way all the time? You’re not alone! Many of us find that even the smallest setback can be a stressful event, and when they all come together, things start to get very stressful indeed!
Stress in the workplace is a common cause of loss of productivity. It can also lead to poor work relationships, and is not conducive to an enjoyable work day! Let’s have a look, then, at a few great ways to make sure that you can work in a stress-free environment, so we can help you get the best out of your work life.
Plan Your Time
Now this may seem like a logical step – it is – and you might think you already plan your work day, but when you take a step back and think about it, how carefully or thoroughly do you plan your schedule?
It’s all very easy to list all the jobs and tasks you have to do, but what about taking a break every now and then (more of that later)? Have you factored in the time needed to recharge your batteries once in a while?
Stress in the workplace can come about due to a heavy workload, that much is true, but it can be exaggerated by allowing your workload to be heavier than it really is. Have a look at what you need to do, allocate a time to each job, and then add a bit on. Don’t simply fill your list up with everything – you won’t get it all done – and make sure you allow for 15 minutes here and there, to take some time to yourself. Try it, you’ll see the results immediately.
The Right Tools
Whatever job you do, if you are struggling with inadequate equipment you will not operate to your full level of efficiency. Take the computer you work with: it will most likely do the job very well, but what about the screen? You probably spend a lot of hours every day looking at your screen – we’re back to taking breaks again – and there are many ways to make things easier on your eyes.
Technology has brought us many impressive developments in recent years, nowhere more so perhaps than in audio-visual equipment, and some of the monitors you can buy now are impressive.
We recommend that, if you want to give your eyes the easiest time, you get a curved monitor. The wrap-around effect gives you an impression of how you see things generally and is much easier to work with. They are not expensive either, so you can get equipped very cheaply indeed.
There are a few reasons why an early start can help reduce stress. Firstly, if you have to commute, heading out an hour earlier than everyone else means you miss the traffic, and the stress that goes with it.
Also, you will find that if you get to the office earlier than everyone else, you can settle down with your first coffee of the day and get those little jobs that are niggling at you out of the way. The basic housekeeping is done, you can start your day properly at the normal time, and be ready to tackle whatever is thrown at you.
It really is a very sensible way to make sure that you are fully prepared for when the phones start ringing, or when your manager begins to make demands on your time. Try it, and you’ll see what we mean!
Take a Break!
We had to reach this point eventually, and it really is an essential part of making sure your day is as stress-free as possible. If you work with a computer you need to take a break every now and then to prevent damage to your eyes.
Even if you don’t, it is vital to withdraw from work, even if it is just for a few minutes, to get some time to yourself. It’s not healthy to simply work, work, work – you need to have a few minutes on a regular basis where you can stop.
Go to the coffee machine, get yourself a drink and sit somewhere away from your desk. Don’t take it back to the workplace, or you will find you have dragged into work again, without having taken any time. Do it, have that couple of minutes to yourself, and you will find life is much easier.
For some people, work is a place where they go to, well, work, and that’s it. For others, and they tend to have the least stress in their work lives, it’s also somewhere to make new friends. A good social life with your work-mates can make things a lot more fun in the office.
If you’re new to the scene, people will want to know about you, who you are, and what you are like. Take up invitations to go for a drink on the way home on Friday night, get to know them and you will find it adds to the enjoyment of your days at work. Naturally, you are not going to like everyone, but it helps if you can keep things on a cordial level!
Don’t Take it Home
Finally, a lot of the problems with stress in the workplace stem from not being able to separate your home and work life. Do whatever you can to not take your work, or its attendant problems, home with you. By all means, talk to your partner about your concerns and worries, but don’t make it the main topic.
Work should remain in the workplace, and that will reduce the stress you have in your home life.
So, set off early, grab a coffee, get a curved monitor for better visuals, take regular breaks and make friends in the office – and when you go home in the evening, leave it all behind you until the next day!