To Your Health
April, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 04)
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8 Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress

By Editorial Staff

1 Plan your day. Feeling out of control is an incredible source of stress. How do you stay in control at work? Each day, create a "To Do" list, and cross off each item as you complete it. If you have appointments, meetings, etc., on a particular day, make sure you put those on your list, too, so you don't run into any scheduling conflicts.

2 Prioritize. What needs to get done first? Prioritizing your tasks from most to least important will keep you focused on what matters, rather than wasting energy on work that doesn't need to be done right away.

3 Take a break. If you're feeling overwhelmed, take a break. It can be a short one, like getting away from your desk for a few minutes and walking outside, or even taking your eyes off that computer screen and stretching at your workstation. Or it can be a longer one, such as using a day or two of vacation time to relax and get away from it all.

4 Don't be afraid to say no. If an "extra" project comes across your desk, consider your current workload and priorities before accepting the new assignment.

5 Do it right. No matter how busy you are, each task needs to be done right. If not, you'll end up spending even more time correcting your mistakes.

Office worker spread-eagle on the ground surrounded by office supplies. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark 6 Do a little at a time. When faced with a challenging or time-consuming task, don't try to complete it all at once. Work on it for small chunks of time during the day (15 minutes or so at a time); before you know it, you'll be done!

7 Evaluate how you're spending your time. Keep a diary of everything you do for three days to determine how you're spending your time. Look for time that can be used more wisely. For example, could you take a bus or train to work and use the commute to catch up on reading? If so, you could free up some time to exercise or spend with family or friends.

8 Don't be afraid to ask for help. Most companies emphasize teamwork and don't want their employees to "burn out." They know an unstressed employee is usually a happy employee, and a happy employee will stick around for the long haul. If you're having trouble managing your workplace stress, don't be afraid to talk to your boss about it.