Can you name at least 3 people among your friends and colleagues who do not experience any stress at work? I am sure most of you are already having a hard time trying to recall even 1 person who is stress-free. Well, that is the reality of today’s workplace.
65% of adults say that work if the major source of stress in their lives. No surprise why almost half of adults also report that they cannot sleep at night because of the stressful events at work. Stress and anxiety, if abused, negatively influence work productivity and motivation.
Moreover, studies have shown that stress can cause various health consequences ranging from flu and colds to heart attacks and metabolic syndromes. In fact, researchers have found that stressful jobs can actually lower life expectancy. Not funny, huh?!
The bad news is that stress is inevitable because it is a natural reaction of our body to events and things happening around us. But the good news is that there are, at least, a couple of things you can do to manage your stress levels and get rid of bad stress.
Let’s take a look at essential stress-relief tips you can use to achieve better productivity at work.
1. Start your day positively
A lot of people underestimate the power of starting their day off right. When people kick off their working day with stress, they become more vulnerable and handle challenges with more difficulties than if they start their day positively.
Instead of beating yourself up from early morning on, here is what you can do:
- Kick off your working day with a thank-you note to a colleague with whom you worked yesterday, a partner who helped resolve an issue, or even to a customer who stayed loyal despite ups and downs of the company.
- Get into a positive mindset by using positive affirmations and positive visualization. Instead of using negative phrases, put a positive spin on them. You will see how easy problems start to seem.
- Surround yourself with positive colleagues. Have a quick chat in the morning with somebody you get along with pretty well. It will give you a good start for your day.
2. Forget perfectionism and learn to prioritize
We all like a little bit of perfectionism in our lives. But by growing up and having a lot to deal with at work and in our personal life, it is important to be able to give up perfectionism and learn to prioritize, i.e. do first things first.
To do so, it is essential to realize that we are not invincible and we cannot do everything perfectly. Even if we try to do it, sooner or later our health will be affected and not in a good way.
So what to do?
- Clarify your goals and set clear objectives for your work.
- Prioritize your duties based on goals. Ask yourself, ‘How close does this task get me to my goals?”
- Learn to reduce your to-do list from 10-15 things a day to 3-5 most important ones.
- Set realistic deadlines and use your calendar to remind yourself of upcoming milestones.
Learning to prioritize also means knowing when to say NO. When your colleagues bombard you with extra tasks and requests, take a couple of minutes to see if you have time for more work. If your agenda is full and the extra task gets you nowhere close to your goals, say that you cannot take on more work.
It does not mean you neglect others. It simply means you have enough self-respect to prioritize what matters most at that moment.
3. Concentrate on your strengths and do what you are good at
Another big reason for being stressful is the simple fact that we beat ourselves up for our weaknesses. In stressful situations, people become more vulnerable even in the case of tiniest problems.
But a simple mindset shift can resolve all the stress related to work.
- Instead of weaknesses, set yourself in a ‘strengths mode’.
- Identify your top strengths and character traits by asking your friends and colleagues or by taking a strengths finder
- Once you identify your strengths, try to incorporate those into your daily activities both at work and at home.
When we do what we are good at, our levels of motivation and happiness increase dramatically. People who happen to use their strengths at work are on average 74% more engaged and 31% more productive.
Concentrating on one’s strengths does not mean overlooking one’s weaknesses. It means using one’s strengths to minimize the negative effects of our weaknesses. If we can use our strengths and be more productive at work, then why not?
All these tips will bring no result to your productivity if you do not take care of your body and mind first. Stress-eating, gaining weight and constantly being depressed and tired all indicate that you do not take enough care of your body. So if you want to handle stress and be able to manage its influence in the long term, you should make your physical and mental health a priority.
And here is how:
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep every day and do not sleep in on weekends.
- Turn off all screens 1 hour before going to sleep and do not get to your phone the first thing in the morning. Try to balance how much you use technology.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes every day. If you cannot go to the gym, then do small exercises at home or even at work. Stand up and move a bit in between stressful tasks. It will help your body release stress.
- Meditate and free your mind from all the unnecessary thoughts.
- Eat healthy and nutritious food. Remember that coffee is not your only savior.
- Spend quality time with family and friends.
Stress is a real problem nowadays but fortunately, it is manageable. Follow the simple tips outlined in the article to reduce stress levels and improve productivity at work. Remember that everything is in your hands.
And don’t forget to share your own tips on how you manage stress.
Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments section.
If you want to know more about improving your confidence, take a look at this article about strength-based confidence building.
About the author: Anatoli Chernyaev is a content marketing manager born in Armenia and currently living in France. A strong believer in the power of strength-awareness and strengths use, he writes about various topics such as self-awareness, positive thinking, personal development, and career advice. In his free time, he travels around the world in search of inspiration and positivity.
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