Taking The Pressure Off At Work

You don't need research to tell you that a large number of Americans find work stressful. But just to put this statement into perspective, looking at some numbers won't hurt. The CDC's National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health concluded that between 29 and 40 percent of Americans consider their works situation stressful. 

And to make matters worse, work-related stress is known for leading to several health issues. From increasing the odds of suffering from a stroke or heart-attack to making you more vulnerable to common colds and flu, work stress can be incredibly dangerous.

The only problem is where do you find a job that doesn't come with a certain amount of pressure? The fact is every job can have pressure moments that build stress, but there are things you can do to curb all this negative energy. 

Try To Start Your Day Off On The Right Foot
Work-related stress is made more intense when you already suffer through a hectic morning. In other words, if traffic and family responsibilities get your pulse racing before you even get to work, you already know what the rest of the day is going to be like. You even expect bad things to wait around every corner given the morning you had. 

So, do your best to start the morning organized and focused. Prep as much as you can the night before, get up 15 minutes earlier if you have to, and have several routes planned if you can possibly avoid a traffic jam. The more prepared and organized you start the day, the less intense work stress is likely to be. 

Get Clarity Regarding Your Position And Duties 
Many individuals don't realize that confusion regarding their work and responsibilities can be a major factor for work stress. Not only do you keep wondering if you are doing your job right, but you are not sure if you are overachieving in a position that never required it. 
If you are not clear about what your employer expects from you, schedule a meeting and sort it out as soon as possible. The more clarity you have about your purpose, the easier you can organize and prioritize your time. 

Avoid Politics At Work 
Unless you are working alone in an office, you are going to be dragged into office politics. And work politics combines habits like gossiping or engaging negative opinions about co-workers or management. But the truth is that the more time you spend with negative people at work, the more likely you become negative yourself. 

The best advice is to stay polite while staying out of work politics and focus on getting your job done. Because once you get involved, you will become distracted, less productive, and much more stressed than you need to be. 

Try To Keep Things Organized 
You can really reduce work stress by planning ahead. Because the moment you stop rushing through everything is the moment you gain more control. Of course, you can't prepare for everything in life. But if you plan and organize responsibilities that need to be addressed on a daily basis, surprises won't ruin your day like they usually do. 

Change Your Surroundings If Possible 
It goes without saying that your workspace should always be clean and ready for you to be productive. At the same time, consider if there are certain distractions that make work more challenging. For example, do you sit in a comfortable chair at work? Or does it leave your back in pain before the day even starts? And what about the noise around you? Is it loud enough to constantly break down your concentration? If so, try to make some changes and get comfortable in your space. Tidiness impacts your mind and your mind impacts your body as this post from New York Meditation Center explains. 

Multitasking Isn't Always Impressive 
There used to be a time when multitasking was considered an impressive trait. But talking with clients on one side while crunching non-relevant numbers on the other has caused more bad than good over the years. The truth is that multitasking increases the risk of making mistakes. And you have to come back to these mistakes later on, which means you weren't more productive. So, instead of multitasking, learn to prioritize and don't overwhelm yourself. 

Break Away At Lunch Time 
If you are able to break away from the office during lunch, then do it. Take a slow walk around the block if you have to, but allow yourself to blow off steam. A change of scenery can be very effective for fighting work stress, and it can help you to cope with the second part of the business day. 

Don't Get Caught Up In Perfectionism 
It's one thing to always give your best. But when you reach a point where you are not happy with anything less than perfect, it's going to burn you out while annoying your co-workers. Just remember that perfection shouldn't get in the way of excellence. 

Decompress On Your Way Home 
Before you get home, listen to some tunes in the car, sing out loud, and allow yourself to relax. You can even hit the gym if you feel like. The day is over. You can't change anything you've already done. More importantly, you should do your best to separate your personal life from your professional one.

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