Handling Stress at Work
By Stephen R. Farris
It's late in the afternoon at work, about 30 minutes before you're scheduled to get off. You've been busy all day and all week scrambling to finish up reports as the month is closing in just a couple of days. You're under tremendous stress as it is, then your supervisor comes by your cubicle and asks you to take on a few more reports.
It's a time bomb ticking at that point. You're about ready to explode, but you remember there's bills to pay, family to take care of, the new mortgage on your house and just the fact you can't afford to lose your job, period.
You agree to take on another task -- although inside you want to toss everything up in the air and walk out -- then call your wife and proceed to tell her you'll be late getting home. And of course, this doesn't sit well with her.
The joys of adulthood. So what can we do to de-stress ourselves? Here's a few simple tips to better cope with the stress caused by your job.
Find Your Boiling Point
What sets you off, and why? Take a look at your situation and identify where your stress begins. Write them down if you need to and address them one by one. It could be a combination of things, but now you have a base to begin managing them better.
Make Better Use of Time
Set manageable goals and prioritize your workload to what's most important first and what can be accomplished later and still meet deadlines. Divide your tasks into smaller batches. This can help prevent you from being overwhelmed by your workload and set aside time so no one can interrupt you.
When that overwhelming feeling hits, see what others -- such as co-workers -- can contribute to help make your tasks easier and quicker. It never hurts to ask for assistance either, instead of trying to take everything on by yourself. Take a break every so often. Go outside and get some fresh air, or go to the gym for a quick workout. At least give yourself time to clear your mind.
Above all, make sure you're eating right and getting plenty of rest, because taking care of yourself should be priority number one.
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