How to Cope with Work-Related Stress

August 13, 2012 | Health & Wellness

Job pressure ranks as the no. 1 cause of stress according the latest survey by the American Psychological Association.

It further indicates that 77% of Americans exhibit physical signs of stress on a regular basis and more than $20 billion are spent for medical bills and disability payments of stress-related diseases yearly.

Excessive stress can also have a profound impact on productivity. U.S. companies are losing $200 billion every year due to poor performance, lack of enthusiasm, and absenteeism.

Stress will always be a part of people lives. In fact, they can become stepping stones for professional growth, resiliency, and greater productivity. It enables people to reach their peak performance. But when carried on to excess, stress can diminish its positive effects and bend people’s backs to their breaking point.

Studies on work-related stress reveal the most frequently known causes: excessive work load, unrealistic goals and demands, interruptions, lack of direction, lack of appreciation, resentment, and distrust. But what really stands out among them is the loss of control. When situation gets out of hand, everything goes haywire.

It is very important to remain in control and have the right mindset. Below are some tips on how to cope up with the demanding tasks in the workplace:

1.    Divide and conquer – knowing what your priorities are and categorizing each task according to their level of difficulty and importance will keep you in command of the situation. Create a timetable, plan out your strategy and attack each task with determination.

2.    Delegate tasks – two heads are better than one. Whenever possible, have someone share the load and give some incentives for sparing you the extra work. Pushing yourself too much to the point of exhaustion is not worth the effort. The price of stress is far too costly compared to a few bucks for an extra hand.

3.    Don’t procrastinate – Some people over-estimate their own capabilities thinking they can beat the clock the next day. When time gets wasted, it can never be retrieved. Procrastination leaves out a lot of unfinished tasks and accomplishing each of them becomes a race against time. Don’t fall victim into this kind of habit.

4.    Stay on task – interruptions are inevitable in every workplace. They can come from your colleagues, an outside call, or even from your own boss. Before committing your time to a certain request, try to know how long would it take, how important, or if you have to capability. Otherwise, you may offer the job to someone else or make a compromise (You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.).

5.    Stay motivated – keep your goals ahead of you. Think of anything you want to have in the future – a sports car, a new house, a vacation cruise – something you can give to yourself or your family as an incentive for a job well-done. Above all, maintain a positive outlook and a cheerful disposition in life.

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