You can reduce some job
stress by learning how to manage your time and your job duties. Think about the
kinds of events that trigger stress for you at work. Then you can focus on one
or two things you can do that will help the most to reduce stress. Here are
You and your boss
Meet with your manager
at least once a year (every 3 or 6 months is even better) to talk about your
job and your performance. If a performance review is already part of your job,
treat it as a chance to clear up issues that may be causing stress for you.
Here are some questions to ask:
What is expected of me in this
Where is this company going? How do I fit into that
How am I doing? What are my strengths? How can I
What can I expect from you if there's a problem with my
work or my job?
If I continue to do well, how might my efforts
to be recognized?
Get organized. Keep track of your projects
and deadlines by making a list of what's urgent. Decide what matters most and
what can wait.
Don't put things off. Use a
schedule planner to plan your day or week. Just seeing on paper that there is
time to get each task done can help you get to work. Break a large project into
small steps, and set a deadline for each one.
Learn to say "no." Don't overcommit
yourself. If you take on too much, you're creating stress.
Focus. Do one thing at a time. In some cases, you can do two
things at a time. But if you start to feel stressed, go back to doing one thing
at a time.
Concentrate. Try to limit
distractions and interruptions. Ask others to give you a block of time when you
are not disturbed.
Delegate. Ask someone
else to take on a task. It's not always important to have all the control.
Unplug. Don't let the technologies that help you do your work get in the way of your leisure time. Consider turning off cell phones or beepers when you are with family or friends. And avoid checking work email when you're not at work.
Reward yourself. When you finish a
difficult task, celebrate. Enjoy a snack at your desk, or—if your job
permits—take a short walk or visit with a coworker.
Schedule time for fun. If you spend every
second of your day getting things done, you may resent never having time for
yourself. If your employer offers a flexible work schedule, use it in a way
that fits your work style. Go into work earlier and take a longer break at
lunch to make time for a yoga class or a walk.
Practice breathing and relaxation techniques. You can do these at home or in a quiet place at work. For
more information, see: