For many people, overwhelming stress is a natural feature of the workplace — but it really doesn’t need to be that way. You can find better ways to identify and deal with stressors which can leave you more motivated, more productive and, ultimately, happier at work. Here are some great tips for reducing stress at work.

 

Accomplish tasks that make a difference

It can be very stressful to look at your task list for the week and see a mountain of work that needs to be completed. It’s even worse when you then vow to yourself that you’re going to work extremely hard to get it all done. What usually happens is you will complete the smaller and easier tasks first, as you’ll get a sense of satisfaction with getting them done. This might work as a strategy for a little while, but before long you’ll begin to realise that you don’t have enough time for the rest of the tasks.

You’ll be left with a situation where you’re both stressed from being overworked and also stressed because you didn’t get key tasks done. This is why it pays to work smarter rather than harder. This is where you pick the most important tasks that will make a difference and get them done first. You need to understand that you will always have new tasks, so you need to prioritise the important stuff.

Avoid interruptions

Interruptions can sometimes be a very good thing — a distraction that gets you away from a problem you’ve been working on. But other times they can completely take you out of the flow of what you are doing, causing you to lose momentum and waste time. Many of these interruptions are entirely avoidable: closing your email program so that you won’t see them come in, for example. When you need to stay focussed it is a good idea to shut out distractions in order to get the work done.

Support your health

In the majority of cases, work stress does not happen in isolation; you need several factors to come together to bother you. When you’re overburdened with work it can be easy to let your health slide, but feeling stressed at work is the exact time when you need to be supporting yourself.

This means you need focus on good nutrition and getting plenty of exercise. Exercise is a mood enhancer than will increase your energy and relax your body. You should try to aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days. You should also enjoy a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Get enough sleep

It’s well publicised that you should aim for eight hours of sleep per night, but in practice this is something that many people fail to do. Getting more sleep will leave you better equipped to deal with stress as you’ll have extra focus and creativity with a rested mind.

Don’t be afraid to ask

If you’re stressed at work it’s often because you are unsure about something or you feel that you are being asked to do too much with your time. In this case it’s a good idea to talk to a manger – you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. It may even be the case that your manager has accidentally given tasks to you that were supposed to be assigned elsewhere. Rectifying this problem can leave you far less stressed.

Disconnect

It’s vital that you get the time to disconnect from your work. Unfortunately, in the modern world many of us have our work emails coming directly to our phones, making it almost impossible to switch off. It’s a good idea to ensure that you avoid all work-related activity in the evenings and at the weekend. You might think that this will make you unproductive, but it will actually give you more focus during the time you are at work. Use a work scheduling software wherever possible, and make sure that you give yourself ample time to switch off. Do something unrelated in order to relax and recharge, ready for the next day.

Don’t rush to work

One thing that can leave you enormously stressed is your journey to work. Many people like to wait until the last minute to leave in the morning. This can lead to a stressful journey followed by a stressful morning of work. So give yourself a little more time to get to work in the morning and you’ll arrive in a better mood.