Thursday, June 16, 2011

Eight Ideas for Managing Job-Related Stress

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Feeling stressed and overwhelmed on the job? Some people thrive on it. But the reality is prolonged stress can take a toll on your body, causing headaches, irritability, loss of concentration, insomnia, digestive problems and worse.  ..

Admittedly, you can’t control the myriad of situations that produce stress. However, you can learn how to better manage your life and your reactions to those situations. Here are a few tips for reducing the level of stress both at work and in your personal life. 

1- Set Priorities for Yourself. Plan ahead. Look at the big picture and assess what’s most important. Then make a to-do list, prioritizing the tasks. Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a given span of time. Concentrate on the items that actually need to be done today. Save less pressing matters for another day.

2 - Ask for Help. If you really have more things than you can handle in a single day, consult with your supervisor. Don’t try to resolve conflicts yourself. Sometime deadlines are not as immutable as they initially appear, and it may be that another colleague can team with you on a project.

3 - Slow Yourself Down. Work at a slow, but steady pace, focusing on accomplishing one thing at a time. Working on too many activities at once is stressful. It can make you feel fragmented and weary, and you are often more prone to making mistakes. You may be surprised how much more effective you’ll be working at a less frantic pace.

4 - Take Mini Breaks. Take a few minutes to get off the mental treadmill. Practice some relaxation techniques. For example, breath slowly and deeply while visualizing yourself in a peaceful place. Step away from your work area, stretch your arms over your head, shrug shoulders, swing your arms. Or, take a brisk walk. You’ll be amazed how few ten-minute breaks in your day will relax and refresh you.

5 – Learn to Say No. If you’re serious about reducing stress, don’t over commit yourself. Accept the fact that you simply can’t do eight hours of work in two hours. Concentrate on the quality of your work, not the quantity!

6 - Express Yourself. Don’t bottle up feelings. If you have issues that need to be discussed with a supervisor or attorney, then by all means find a place where you can express your concerns. In addition, seek support from friends; sometimes just venting frustrations with like-minded friends can be comforting. Between the two or three of you, you may be able to come up with a solution to a common problem or frustration.

7- Make Time for Yourself. Work hard, but don’t overwork. Reserve time for yourself every evening and on the weekend. Take in a movie, take a brisk walk, immerse yourself in book, get together with friends. Whatever your pleasure, just do it! Don’t let other events rob you of this time. You have to make time for yourself if you want to be at your best for the firm.

8- Keep Your Perspective. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Take each day and each assignment as it comes. When you have a tough day and things don’t go as planned, keep it in perspective. Everyone has bad days; you’re not alone.


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