That looming deadline. The boss breathing down your neck. The coworkers you don’t love. The list of to-dos you have to take care of when you get home.
There are lots of things that can stress us out at work. It’s natural, it’s normal, and we all feel it at some point.
And while you may never be able to get rid of work stress completely, there are some things you can do to ease it and make the day go smoother.
Ready to learn how? Here are seven simple ways to reduce stress at work.
Being unorganized can actually cause stress. Why?
Because when you’re already busy, wasting time looking for important files and notes can increase your anxiety.
If you want to be as stress-free as possible at work — get organized.
Organize your paperwork and digital files. Keep your desk clean. Create a filing system. Place frequently used items within easy reach.
You’ll be more productive once it’s all organized, and you know where everything is. If it’s a lack of productivity that’s stressing you out, this may be the only thing on this list that you need to do!
Does looking at a lengthy to-do list stress you out?
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you have a ton of things to do, try to limit your stress level by creating one clear goal to focus on.
Start your day (or your week) by making a schedule. Identify your key goals and focus strictly on those tasks.
Do the most important tasks at the beginning of the day. That way, by the time the afternoon rolls around, you’re already well on your way to finishing your to-do list.
Setting goals and deadlines for yourself is a great way to boost productivity. You’ll reduce those anxious, stressful feelings that make it hard to focus on the task at hand.
Learn Some Relaxation Techniques
A few minutes of meditation or deep breathing can relax your mind, relax your body, and help you focus. And all these things will help to reduce stress.
Take some time (at home, not on the job) to learn and practice some deep breathing techniques and meditation exercises. Once you master it at home, practice it in the office the next time you’re feeling stressed out!
Learn How to Problem Solve
Do you immediately feel extra stress when a curveball comes your way at work?
It’s common to feel pressure when a problem arises — but if you know how to problem-solve, that issue will be a lot easier to deal with.
Problem-solving is an eight-step process that starts with defining the problem. From there, decide if the issue needs solving right away and set its goals.
Identify the cause of the problem, develop an action plan to resolve, and execute it. Once you’ve solved the crisis at hand, look for ways to prevent the problem from arising again.
By mastering problem-solving, you can reduce your stress level at work and home.
We all have coworkers that continuously gripe about the workload or complain about the boss. And if you work in a big office or on a large team, it’s also likely there are a few people in the group who don’t get along.
The easiest way to reduce stress at work is not to get sucked into the drama.
Keep your distance from those co-workers known for being constant complainers. Listening to them complain will only take time out of your day and increase your stress level.
As for conflict, avoid it at all costs.
If you and a co-worker don’t get along, keep your distance, and only interact with them when it’s absolutely necessary. Also, don’t try to play mediator between two co-workers who are always bickering or arguing. That’s an issue for HR to resolve, not you.
On the rare occasion that a conflict does arise, lean on your problem-solving skills to figure out a resolution.
Make Friends or Find a Work Mentor
Your main goal in the workplace is to do your job, not make friends. Yet, it’s essential to find someone you can rely on and talk with when you’re feeling stressed out.
Find one or two good friends at work or look for a senior staff member that you can think of as a mentor. Having someone to talk to in tough times may be all you need to lower your stress level and get back to work.
If you find it difficult to make friends or personal connections in the workplace, there are a few things you can do to make it a bit easier.
For starters, don’t spend your entire lunch hour or break time on your smartphone. Instead, have actual face-to-face conversations with your coworkers in real life.
Another thing you can do is start attending work-related events outside of work. Go out with the group for that Friday night happy hour. Attend team-building exercises, retreats, and networking events. Sign up for company-sponsored volunteer activities on the weekends.
The more you socialize with coworkers outside of work, the easier it will be to lean on them when you’re having a tough day in the office.
Improve Your Sleep Habits
Good sleep habits are the key to living a happy, healthy, and successful life. Without a proper night’s sleep, you only set yourself up for failure the next day.
Learn to maintain healthy sleep habits, and you’ll be more energized in the morning. You’ll be more focused throughout the day. That higher level of focus will make you more productive.
The more productive you can be, the less you’ll need to stress about being late on projects or scramble to meet deadlines.
Stress comes in all different forms and from all sorts of factors.
You can’t altogether avoid it, but you can reduce it by:
- Get organized
- Prioritize goals
- Learn relaxation techniques
- Learn how to problem-solve
- Avoid conflict
- Make friends or find a mentor
- Improve your sleep habits
By following these simple steps, you should be able to take your stress level from a nine out of ten to almost non-existent.
Angus Flynn has five years of Property Management experience working primarily in high-end apartment community living. His ability to consistently deliver white-glove service to his residents and prospects has propelled him in a successful career that now finds him leading the team at Turtle Creek.