Written by Jennifer Fantin, Recruitment and Admissions Assistant
With hectic work schedules, high pressure jobs, and the tendency to work, work, work until the job is finished it is easy to feel overwhelmed at times. Some experts say that reasonable amounts of stress can be beneficial in an office setting, but it is best to manage your tension levels before they reach a point that actually impedes your productivity.
Performing to your highest potential does not require overexertion. Check out these suggestions for doing your best in the office without putting yourself through excessive stress:
- Recognize Warning Signs– Fatigue, body aches, trouble focusing, and trouble sleeping are all symptoms of excessive stress. Use emotional intelligence to be aware of your body and how it is responding. Self-awareness will help you to recognize abnormal behaviors. Try to identify the aspects of your job that are heavy contributors to your heightened sense of anxiety, and strategize ways to reduce those stressors.
- TLC– Without taking proper care of yourself stress can get the best of you. Mental symptoms can manifest themselves as physical illness. Make a conscious effort to get an adequate amount of sleep and eat foods that will nourish both your body and your mind.
- Be Active– Many people spend the vast majority of their week working, but it is important to identify some time each day, even if it is only 20 minutes, to do some sort of physical activity. It can be something as simple as walking to and from the office. Try going to the gym or popping in an at home work out video. If that does not fit into your schedule get outside for a light walk during your lunch break.
- Eliminate Clutter– A cluttered desk or office can contribute to a cluttered mind. Make an effort to organize your personal spaces, including your paper and electronic documents, because surrounding yourself with physical chaos can result in mental chaos. The more comfortable you feel in the office the more focus you can put into your work.
- Prioritize– One of the leading causes of stress is feeling that there is so much to do in so little time. Make a schedule of your assignments, and accomplish them in order of importance. This will eliminate the common road block of not knowing where to start. Do not over-commit, and if you have too much on your plate delegate when possible.
- Leave Work for the Office– Although not always possible, it is important to leave your work behind when you head home for the day. When you leave work you should be able to focus on personal matters. Resist the urge to respond to work-related emails after hours unless it concerns a time sensitive project. Bringing assignments home with you is a bad habit that will lead to overexertion and detract from your ability to separate your work life and your personal life.
- Debrief Each Night– Before going to bed each night, dedicate 10 minutes to clearing your head. Going to sleep with a lot on your mind will inhibit your body’s ability to get sufficient rest. Setting aside time each evening to reflect on your day and prepare for the day to come is a great way to avoid stress buildup and wake feeling refreshed.