How to Manage Work-Related Stress on Busy Days

by Percival J. Meris on July 23, 2009

Work-Related Stress

EXCESSIVE WORK-RELATED STRESS COULD MAKE YOU PAY A PRICE in terms of personal and organizational consequences. Your reaction may at first be general (oversleeping, daydreaming), but may later turn more specific (absenteeism, migraine, poor decision-making, etc). You try to cope up with its unpleasantness by jogging, increased smoking, or job quitting. Your method of coping depends on your needs and value system. Combined with a busy schedule, stress makes you feel that time is always insufficient to complete your work.

Tips in Managing Busy-Day Stressors

How do you manage stress on busy days? Here are a few tips:

    1. Prioritize the various elements of your work. Identify and assign higher priority to the more important and urgent elements of your work. Relegate the performance of the less important ones to later times.
    2. Create a reasonable schedule for each specific task. Perform sequential tasks according to a preplanned time sequence. Do multiple tasks simultaneously whenever possible only to the extent that it does not cause you so much stress and reduce your efficiency.
    3. Eliminate clutter. Clutter distracts the mind, and makes you less productive. An orderly environment makes you concentrate better and finish your work faster.
    4. Set goals. Goals give your direction and justify each task you do. Activities that cannot be justified in terms of your goals should be excluded from your to-do list.
    5. Focus. Eliminate distractions from your environment. Bring out only the things you will need to complete your work.
    6. Reward yourself at the end of the working day. A simple neck massage or even a cup of herbal tea may be sufficient to unwind. The reward does not have to be elaborate or expensive.
    7. Ask for help when needed. Seek advice of friends, and delegate tasks to your subordinates.

Modify Your Attitude and Behavior to Become Stress-Tolerant

Changing your attitude and behavior can help you deal with stress as they come. During stress, learn to perceive negative events in a positive way. How? Talk to yourself in a positive way. Visualize positive, not negative, stress results. Be flexible enough to change. Finally, never try to be perfect. Attitude and behavior are closely linked. Behavior controls your attitude; attitude controls your behavior.

When you turn negative stress to positive, stress becomes constructive. This is the first step in your journey to becoming a healthier, stress-tolerant person. Stress tolerance is the result of conditioning that transforms negative situations to positive ones. You can develop this quality by learning to perceive events as stresses that you can control. It is not a matter of avoiding stress but of getting involved in it, in order to meet its challenges. You learn stress tolerance only by changing your thought patterns.

Your health is bound to fail, if you continue to stress about everything. It is not a choice between your job and health. It is a simply a matter of attaining that happy balance. Know when to say no and let go. When your work volume begins to affect your health and relationships, sit down and consider rethinking what you’re doing.


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