I used to suffer on a daily basis from work stress. A lot of us do so let’s open an honest conversation about it. Being career-minded, busy and highly strung is not easy but also not impossible to manoeuvre either! The most important thing to do when suffering work stress is to remember that it’s catastrophic to our health and take a step back. I’ve already written a post on things to do when you’re stressed. These are the 3 things to remember and be mindful of when you’re stressed.
Most of our deadlines are self-given
Office jobs require prioritisation and that’s great! The problem is that it’s easy to forget when you’re trying to work out a schedule that works. For example, we all have a set list of work that is constant. Some is daily, some tasks are weekly, others are monthly. Over time, we find our own ways of managing what we have to do in the time that we are given. Most of the time, when we’re stressed that we’re ‘behind’, we’re not actually behind on anyone else’s schedule. We’re only worried because we’re not meeting our personal expectations.
The anti-work-stress solution? Try to set more realistic goals for yourself. Rearranging your schedule is not a failure.
Everyone is human
Communication is obviously an important skill when managing people, companies and colleagues. We all get a hefty amount of emails but we forget this when our own inbox is bogged down. Perfectionists, I feel you, I’m an inbox zero type person all the way! I try to respond to emails, calls and voicemails within hours, if not immediately. I suffer notification anxiety which contributes to my work stress. But we’re all patient for 24 hours after we send an email to expect a response – so why don’t we extend this courtesy to ourselves?
Everyone will try to convince you that their matter is more urgent than everything else on your to-do list and it’s important to acknowledge that everyone’s human and manage people’s expectations. If you’re the type of person who can’t separate your profession from your self-esteem, and run around like a headless chicken to get tasks done as fast as possible, I feel you! But let’s try to be kinder to ourselves.
Aside from work stress, at least we all have our health!
When everything else fails, it’s important to look at the bigger picture. Money might make the world go round and your job is your means to money but health is important too. Look away from the work stress and take a moment to be grateful. You’ve got your roof over your head, you’ve got food in the fridge, you’ve got your family and friends and hobbies and projects. Don’t sweat the small stuff and cause unnecessary work stress. Don’t compromise your health. Remember that you can’t be the best at what you do if you’re stressed and not thinking clearly!
If you’re a really cool-headed person at work, I absolutely envy you. To those of you who are prone to stress like me, I really hope at least some of these points are useful to you. You’re doing the best that you can and that’s more than enough. Give credit where it’s due!