How to keep work stress to a minimum

How to keep work stress to a minimum

Most jobs/careers have hiccups along the way, and have their good and bad points.  Here are some tips to minimize stresses at work and build job satisfaction.

Triggers for job satisfaction

  • Triggers for job satisfaction usually are things like the actual wage or pay, the compensation you get for a week’s work. Another trigger is getting promoted, and the status, power and pleasure that goes with that.  But with a job you are passionate about it is the work itself that is the compensation, and the pleasure and the job satisfaction.
  • But not everyone is satisfied with their job, and all jobs are different and have their own challenges. For example, a job with a lot of repetitive work needs some creative thinking to overcome the boring aspects of the work.  For example, even some simple things like changing positions in the workplace and varying your work may help, even repositioning your desk or work station, getting outside for lunch, and trying to get the most interesting work you can. Having an interesting time outside of work may help a lot too.

Keep track of any overtime you may work

  • With all jobs, even the ones you are passionate about you need to watch that you don’t continually work overtime. You will wear yourself out, you don’ do the right thing by your friends and family and you usually don’t get paid adequately for the extra hours you put in.  If you continually work overtime you need to look at 1) whether you are being exploited by your boss – and take action on this, and 2) whether you are not working as efficiently and effectively as you could.
  • Do the most difficult job first

By getting rid of the most difficult job first you and you will have energy to knock off the other smaller ones after. Don’t procrastinate about the bigger jobs otherwise they will eventually seem huge. You always have to do them, so do them first. Beware of job burnout!

Keep distractions to a minimum

Be as focused as you can be, have a list of tasks you have to complete and stick to it.  Make sure that you are working on tasks that are the ones that are valuable for your work and for you.  Don’t get involved in office gossip, and keep to your own work.

  • Cross off tasks as you finish them. Keep these lists, as they are a good record of where your time has gone, especially if you feel that you have not achieved much in a day.  When you look at your list you can see that you actually have.  It’s not a bad idea also to log your ‘phone calls as they take up your time, and they may be one of the interruptions which is a distraction from other work, but are actually part of your work.
  • Remember to get up and move around regularly, just for a couple of minutes. Sitting at a desk all day and not moving is bad for all of us.

Watch what you eat

  • Keep away from the vending machine which sells candy bars or soft drinks. Take your own nutritious lunch from home, and a handful of almonds to snack on.  Keep a bottle water on your desk to keep hydrated too.  You’ll save money and you won’t put on weight by following these simple rules.

Watch what you think too

  • Thinking negatively about your work, or about your colleagues drains you of energy and causes you to be anxious. If you have a habit of being like this, monitor your thoughts, and if you find yourself getting on a negative bender, monitor your thoughts and learn to change them to more positive ones.
  • Take time out every couple of hours to breathe in and out slowly and relax. Consciously relax every muscle of your body. Choose a happy place to visualise, and close your eyes and imagine you are in this happy place for a couple of minutes. You will feel relaxed and lighter and more energised after doing this.  Even if you are in a busy office you may still be able to do this by turning aside and blocking out the other distractions.

In summary

Get into a conscious mindset of working smarter not harder.  Plan your day with effective to do lists and work with discipline to get through your work effectively and efficiently.