Friday, March 26, 2010

Five Effective Ways to Curb Workplace Stress

Learning to curb office stress effectively is a sure way to improve productivity. Approaching tasks and situations logically can help meet those looming deadlines and complete the mountain of tasks that were due yesterday. Here are five ways to accomplish that.

Prioritize

Make a list of all the things that need to be done. Decide which of these things are the most important, which is second, which is third, etc. Remember to keep in mind due dates and which you have to do today. Fill out a "to do" list and follow it. Start with the first task and work your way down the list. If someone else comes to you with something "urgent, find its place in the list and keep on going.

Don't procrastinate

If you have a task or job that needs to be done and you are dreading it, deal with that task first. It may not be as bad as you first thought. Sometimes we put things off because we think they are going to take a lot of time, are going to be difficult or are just plain boring. We can be pleasantly surprised when we realize "it wasn't that bad!" Procrastination allows things to pile up and piles cause undue stress. A PhD is not short for pile it higher and deeper.

Say "NO"

If you are already overburdened and people have a habit of dumping their work onto you, learn to say no. The world won't end because you could not get something done that wasn't your responsibility in the first place. If it is a boss who is asking something of you, then you what work you already have do and explain that you just can't get the new work at this moment. Tell them you might be able to get to it later. Ask the boss to go over your priority list with you.

Don't be judgmental

Forming opinions of your coworkers can cause resentment. Resentment is me taking poison waiting for you to die. Not real productive. Don't stress yourself out by worrying about how other people conduct themselves at work. The only person you need to worry about is yourself. Be more tolerant and you will get farther and even if you don't you'll be happier where you are.

Take a short break

If things become overwhelming, remove yourself from your environment for a few minutes. Go have a coffee, take a walk. Just get up for a few minutes and stretch your legs. Take some deep breaths and relax.

Taking these steps can make a difference in how you feel about life and your job. Who knows? You might even come to enjoy it.