Life’s little hassles mount up until you say to yourself, “If one more thing goes wrong today, I’ll explode.”
Stress. Pressure. Anxiety. Tension. Whatever you call it, there is no shortage of it in today’s fast-paced workplace. Can we totally eliminate them? No. The trick is to manage the stress versus being overwhelmed by it. Here’s how:
- Know the enemy.
What, exactly, is stressing you out? Is it your job? Your home life? Your relationships? Without knowing the root of the problem, you are unlikely to resolve it.
- Share the load.
Delegate whenever possible. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you are the only person who can do the job right. Your coworkers and boss might start to buy into that concept as well.
- Get a fresh outlook.
Whoops! I made a mistake. Okay. The world is not going to come to an end. Stress often comes from taking yourself and the job too seriously.
- Stop being the lone ranger.
Share your frustrations with someone you can trust. Talk it out. Ask for advice. Accept the concern and encouragement of key people in your life.
- Beware of the to do list.
First take note of all the good work you’ve accomplished and give yourself credit for it. Then look at what needs to be done and set priorities.
- Be a kid again…play.
Put your job concerns aside for five minutes and concentrate on something of fun. Use your break time to work a crossword puzzle, play a quick game of Frisbee, listen to some good music, etc.. A few minutes spent playing brings renewed energy to the job.
- Let go.
Recognize the difference between the things you can control and the things you cannot. Make a list of these two categories. Stop stressing about the things in your job you have no control over.
- Develop a tough skin.
Try not to personalize any criticism you receive. Look at negative comments as constructive criticism that allows you to improve your work.
- Don’t make work your life.
Job stress builds when our minds are constantly focused on work. Strive for balance in your life. Make time for family, friends, hobbies and, most importantly, fun.
- Finally, give your job the heave-ho.
You know it’s time to quit when: You’ve tried all the appropriate channels and methods for resolving your situation, to no avail. You hate going to work every day and it’s making you sick. Your boss is intimidating, disrespectful or demeaning to you.
Career Success Tip:
Distinguish between the areas of your concern (all the things that bother you) and the areas of your influence (what you can change or control). Focus your time and energy on things that you can personally influence or change either within yourself or with others. It not only leads to less stress but also a feeling of personal empowerment. What are some things in your work world that you can influence right now? Let me know.
Do you want to develop Career Smarts?
- For more resources, see the Library topic Career Management.
- Start with the Career Success System.
- Sign up for Career Power: 101 success tips.
- Fast track your career. Be part of a Success Team.
- Need a speaker? Get the Edge Keynotes-webinars-workshops.
- Find career and leadership boosters in the Smart Moves Blog.
- Copyright © 2011 Marcia Zidle career and leadership coach.