Short-term stress can be good. It heightens our responses and helps us focus and complete tasks. But did you know that prolonged stress and anxiety are two of the biggest threats to workplace productivity?
Deadlines, unrealistic demands, anxiety over job security, and difficult colleagues are all examples of workplace stress. And these can be compounded by stress in your personal life, relationships, and health.
When left unmanaged, stress affects your mood, ability to concentrate and process complex thoughts, relationships with colleagues, and motivation to complete work. Few people can function at their full potential when overloaded with stress.
The good news is you don’t need to accept stress as an unavoidable part of a busy career. When stress is well-managed, your productivity, and the success that comes with it, returns.
Working with ambitious women living high-pressure lives – and my own experience working in a busy corporate career and running a business – lead me to identify four key ways to manage workplace stress.
- Know your stressors and their root cause
You feel stressed with the struggle to meet a deadline, but did you notice how often that chatty colleague interrupts you? Or how many times you check your phone for messages from your partner? Maybe the stress isn’t caused by the deadline, but a lack of assertiveness with your colleague or relationship issues with your partner? For deeper work, a coach can help you get to the bottom of your shadow values and the root causes of your stress.
- Check your work/life balance
Commitment is great, but if you’re too stressed you can’t work productively. Go home earlier or take annual leave. You’ll return relaxed, refreshed, and far more productive.
- Act on what you can control and accept what you can’t
For example, maybe you can’t control job security, but you can control how updated your resume is. Also, I find that daily meditation gives me clarity to differentiate between things I can and can’t control.
- Respond to stress in healthy, positive ways. Exercise, eat nutritiously, get plenty of sleep, connect socially with others, pick up creative hobbies, and meditate.
And my best piece of advice…
So now that you know how to manage stress, how can this lead to increased productivity and success in your job?
Relationships – With an improved mood, you’re more motivated to interact and build connections with your colleagues.
Concentration – Stress management activities give your brain a break, so now your focus will be crystal clear when you go to work.
Energy – Any level of exercise increases oxygen to your brain. This, along with a good night’s sleep, keeps you energized all day.
Creativity – Hobbies and outside work activities can inspire creativity at work. New experiences generate new perspectives, ideas, and ways of working.
Overall, you’ve reduced those debilitating symptoms of stress that put you at higher risk of illness, anxiety, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, and forgetfulness. Imagine how productive you can be at work with these symptoms gone.
When you manage stress, the quality of your work increases!
If you need help incorporating ways to reduce stress to increase your productivity, book a free discovery call with me today.