I’m a perfectionist by nature and this tends to make me anxious about everything I do – especially when it comes to my work place. Presentations, deadlines, meetings, even having a conversation with the boss…they all mean one thing for me; stress. What’s worse is that this stress and anxiety that I face sometimes affects my work performance.
Not the best thing for a perfectionist, now is it? For all you others out there who face such challenges, here are some ways to manage stress at your work place, to be able to get work done more efficiently and maintain a healthier work environment for yourself.
Reflection: Before you even start your day at work, try to start the stress management process right from the time you wake up, to the time to get in the car and drive to work. Reflect on the tasks you have planned for the day and try to make a workable, achievable timetable for yourself. Writing it down may help too. Time management and planning go a long way in helping one manage high stress days with barely any time to catch a breath. After completing each task, refer to this timetable and you will be less likely to miss anything out in the middle of your work day, when you mind is racing.
Identify Sources of Negativity: Stress may sometime come from performing badly, from other colleagues who seem to be doing better than you, or from other such sources. Identify these sources of negative emotions and stress and make a conscious effort to avoid this stress from arising in the first place. If your performance isn’t up to the mark, try to go that extra mile in understanding how to get your tasks done to the best of your ability. If the stress arises from a fellow employee who seems to be bragging about their stellar work, or if you feel inferior to them, consider avoiding this source of negativity. It does you no good to interact with someone who always seems to bring you down. Instead, find a crowd that makes you feel at ease, one that encourages and motivates you to do better.
Take Breaks: If you have a job where you’re constantly on your feet and your brain is constantly working, you tend to need breaks to make it through the day without collapsing from fatigue and pressure. So try taking energising breaks of 15 minutes when you feel like you can get away for a while. You could even do this as a reward yourself on finishing work on time. (I used to do this and walk across the street from my office for a delicious roadside roll, or sometimes just go for a small walk around the building).
Congratulate Yourself: Before leaving for home, congratulate yourself on finishing all that you had to finish in your day. A large part of diminishing stress is finding pleasure in the small things, or the things that we often overlook. Remember the approving smile your boss gave you when you handed over that report, remember that applause that you got after a great presentation. Focusing on these positives helps you move forward, and understand that work is not just a place for worry, but also a place where you push yourself to achieve and succeed.
Tartakovsky, Margarita. “6 Ways to Stress Less at Work” Psych Central.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 July 2014. < http://psychcentral.com/lib/6-ways-to-stress-less-at-work/0007478>
Martin, Judy. “5 Daily Rituals to Manage Work Stress”. forbes.com. N.p, 2012. Web. 30 July 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2012/12/26/5-daily-rituals-to-manage-work-stress/