Stress is inevitable at just about every job. Sometimes it is a particular project, a task that has to get done, a looming deadline or even just the technology that you are using. Stress can eventually hinder your productivity, so you want to nip it in the bud whenever possible.
We talked to some members of the Forbes Coaches Council to ask them how they manage stress. The ideas varied a lot, but they mostly focused on mindfulness, task-oriented solutions and adjustments to mindset. Try some of these tips the next time you are feeling stressed and unfocused at work. You may be able to get back to your work quicker and with a clearer head.
1. Pause, Process, Proceed
Set aside time in your day to handle phone calls, texts and email. If necessary, use auto-reply and voicemail In between work on the functional aspects of your role. When stressed, apply this strategy: Pause, breathe and ask yourself, “What is happening now to generate these feelings?” Process possible solutions to pull yourself together, then proceed with what needs to be done. – Grace Totoro, TransitionsByGrace. LLC
2. Do The Hardest Things First
At work, it seems nothing creates more of an anvil on you than putting off a big project. It helps to tackle a portion of a harder project before doing the more common work that needs to be done. When you put off a larger project like a talk, a written piece or a looming project deadline, it weighs on you and makes you less productive on the more normal, basic, but still important tasks. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
3. Make A List
The best solution for being productive and alleviating stress is to make a list of things that need to be completed each day. If it is a big project, be sure to break the deliverables down into manageable pieces. It also might make sense to complete a few of the easy things early to feel more accomplished. Another solution is to keep a calendar and backfill the tasks from today until the project is actually due, filling in a timeline of when each step should be completed so that the final piece is completed on-time. Remember is always best to underpromise and overdeliver. – Kathleen Houlihan, Dream2Career
4. Turn Off Alerts
One of the best productivity tips I recommend and implement, which also reduces stress, is to turn off the notifications on your mobile phone for at least two hours during the workday. Set hours each day when you can work undisturbed without those annoying beeps or buzzes letting you know that you have another voicemail, email or “like” on the cat video you shared last night on Facebook. In our efforts to automate most of our administrative lives, we’ve come to rely on notifications and alerts for everything. Turn them off for a couple of hours each day and eliminate the stressful distractions. – Trellis Usher, T.R. Ellis Group LLC
5. Pick Three Essential Things
Essentialism by Greg McKeown is one of the tools I give to all my clients. Pick three essential things you must get done that day and focus your energy there. You’ll soon realize your long list of to-dos get done much quicker and with more efficiency. Say goodbye to overwhelm. – MJ Impastato, H2H Systems
6. Plan Your Day Around Your Productive Times
Some of us are night owls. Others are early birds. Regardless of what your schedule looks like, you need to own it and plan your day to accommodate your energy levels. For the times of day when you are most productive, schedule your most important meetings and projects. Then, for your less productive times, focus on administrative tasks that need to be tended to but require less brain power. – Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES, Kyle Elliott Consulting (CaffeinatedKyle.com)
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