Category: How To Deal With Stress At Work


This Mistake Is Causing You Stress At Work

This mistake is causing you stress at work.  You walk into the office, take off your coat, grab a cup of coffee, and sit in front of your computer.  The first thing you do is look at your calendar.  What do you see on your calendar?  Is it full of meetings you’ve scheduled and set-up to maximize your productivity for the day?  Probably not.  Your calendar is probably full of meetings others scheduled and planned.  This post contains affiliate links.

Not Controlling Your Calendar Is Causing You Stress At Work

When your calendar is full of meetings mostly scheduled by others, then you are in reactive mode majority of your day.  You are reacting to the needs of others and focusing on the projects they are working on rather than ensuring your projects and initiatives are your first priority.  You may be allowing others to use up your most productive time.  You may have meetings scattered throughout the day with small breaks in between which don’t allow time for you to focus on your projects reducing your productivity and focus.  You aren’t in control of your day and that causes feelings of stress at work.  Read below to learn how you can reverse the way you are currently getting through the day at work and reduce feeling stress at work.

how to use time blocking how to deal with stress at work

Use Time Blocking To Plan Your Time Efficiently

Time blocking is an approach to get control of your calendar and reducing your stress at work.  The concept of time blocking is to set-up a few blocks of time on your calendar to focus on your most important priorities.  By pro-actively blocking this time on your calendar, you are able to set aside time to focus on your priorities during the times you are most focused and productive.

Find One Hour For Your Most Important Priorities

Many time management experts such as Brian Tracy will recommend the very first hour of your day is blocked to focus on your most important priorities.  In his book Eat That Frog,  he encourages readers to focus the first hour of every day to an hour of learning and becoming the expert in your field.  Focusing the first hour of the day on your most important priorities ensures you accomplish your tasks for the day before you are reacting to and meeting the needs of others.  You might consider arriving to work an hour early or even spending an hour at home prior to leaving for work to ensure nothing interferes with you having that hour.

Block Time To Read And Respond To Email

In a typical day, you are in a meeting while reading email, responding to instant messages, texts, and having side conversations with other attendees.  The research proves multi-tasking doesn’t make us more productive, but significantly less.  To prove my point, how many times are you in a meeting and you realize the other attendees are waiting for your thoughts or opinion on a topic and you weren’t listening?

Setting time aside a few times per day to focus on email will improve your productivity and reduce your stress at work.  Turn off the notifications on your email and allow yourself to focus on the meeting you are attending or the project you are working on.

Block Time To Take A Break

Are you working through your lunches?  Many of us are.  In order to be productive and have the ability to focus on our projects, you need to make taking a lunch break a priority.  If you don’t, you most likely will find you wander more often.  Notice when you check the news, Facebook, job postings, etc. and see if it might be because you thought you didn’t have time to take a break.

Be Flexible

Time blocking and taking control of your calendar will help you to reduce stress, increase productivity, and feel more in control of your workload.  However, you also must be flexible.  This approach isn’t perfect.  Obviously your boss or large functional project meetings will probably overlook your schedule and schedule meetings at the time most convenient for them or the team.  Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, has a great quote to keep in mind “Your goal is not to stick to a given schedule at all costs; it’s instead to maintain, at all times, a thoughtful say in what you’re doing with your time going forward—even” STRESS AT WORK


how to stress less at work

Seven Tips On How To Stress Less At Work

how to stress less at work

1 – Control Your Reaction To Stress

Controlling your reaction to stress is the first tip on how to stress less at work.  Your body’s natural reaction to stress is the fight or flight response. Internalizing this reaction to stress has major health implications. Have a plan of action to ensure a healthy response to stress. Take deep breaths and relax your shoulders to reduce body tension. Practice meditation and relaxation regularly so it’s easy to implement when needed. Take a walk as you brainstorm your response to a stressful situation at work. Working off some of the stressful energy helps reduce the impact of stress on your health. It’s also effective in clearing your thoughts helping you to resolve the issue.

2 – Maximize Your Calendar To Stress Less At Work

Identify the main projects and deliverables you are responsible for and block time on your calendar to focus on them.  Ideally, schedule a recurring meeting with yourself to repeat every week.  If your manager schedules over it or another meeting or project takes precedence, you are able to move the calendar entry to another time or day.  Blocking your calendar also controls when you are available for meetings with your colleagues. Structure your day around when you are focused on your responsibilities and leave open the times on your calendar you prefer to attend meetings. Calendar blocking helps you to be more proactive with your responsibilities and increases your feeling of control which reduces stress.

3 – Start Your Day Earlier

Productivity experts such as Brian Tracy, recommend making the first hour of the day laser focused on your most important activities. Arrive at the office earlier than everyone else to have focused uninterrupted time to work on projects, deliverables, and training. It isn’t required to be in the office for this to be effective, consider setting aside an hour at home every morning to get a head start on the day.

4 – Take Breaks To Stress Less At Work

Although it feels as if you are getting more done, skipping breaks leads to burn-out and distracting activities such as checking your phone.  Take time away from your desk.  Try taking a ten minute walk, eating lunch in the cafeteria, or sit to read or listen to music. Consider using your lunch break to work on a hobby. It will help you to feel balanced working in an activity that is important to you earlier in the day.

5 – Improve Your Skills

If you are frustrated with your current position or feeling stagnant, learn a new skill.  Find an online course or a class to improve an area you struggle in.  Set aside time to read up on a certain subject.  This is also a great way to use the hour you’ve set aside in the morning.  Use the hour allocated every day or even set aside just one or two mornings for improving your skills.

6 – Prepare The Day Before

Prepare and organize the day before for the next day.  Know your top priorities you’ll focus on the next day.  Review your calendar for any new meetings you may need to prepare for. Draft out a plan for the next day to ensure maximized productivity.

7 – Establish Clear Priorities With Your Boss

If you are juggling multiple initiatives, you might be struggling with completing everything expected. Discuss your assigned initiatives with your manager to prioritize your initiatives and set expectations with your manager on when they’ll be completed. For recurring tasks you’ve performed for quite a while and aren’t sure they are necessary, consider researching if they are still needed.

how to stress less at work