Stress is no stranger to anyone striving to earn a living in the twenty-first century. Long working hours, looming deadlines, fierce competition, unrealistic demands from supervisors and job insecurity are only a few of the items which routinely plague the contemporary worker.
Left unaddressed, these factors, over a period of time, will result in loss of productivity, and an increased number of absences due to illness, accidents and emotional problems. Further consequences will involve family break-ups,relationship difficulties and mental illness. Not even machines can operate continually in high gear.
Management strategies for work-related pressures are best undertaken by individual employees. Corporations and executives are chiefly motivated by the all-important bottom line: profits.
Here are a few tips workers can use to keep cool at work, even when the pressure reaches maximum intensity:
* Get sufficient rest. Everything seems worse when you’re tired, Arrange your life so that you get at least 8 hours sleep before every work day. Only disrupt your schedule for a very important reason.
* Leave time for a relaxed morning routine. Have a healthy breakfast, look at a newscast on TV. Reflect that your job is, in reality, only a tiny part of the events and drama taking place around the globe.
* Plan ahead. Have in mind what you want to accomplish that day, a major goal and perhaps some secondary ones. Write them down if necessary. You’ll be rewarded with a feeling of satisfaction if you manage to achieve even the most important one.
* Be comfortable. Dress appropriately and neatly in clothes that fit comfortably. Wear suitable shoes. You can’t do your best if your feet hurt. You are there to use your skills and abilities for the benefit of your employer. You are not competing in a fashion show.
* Be organized. Keep your desk and workspace neat. Do one thing at a time and only move on when it’s completed. Keep your list of goals handy and check each off when it’s completed.
* Avoid conflict. Be pleasant and cooperative with everyone, but refuse to get involved in gossip, office politics, or heated discussions. Hostility creates tension, and that’s what you’re trying to avoid.
* Take a walk at lunch. Get out in the fresh air, weather permitting. Pick up a few things at a store, meet a pal for coffee, go home and let the dog out. Take your mind off work, however briefly.
* Keep your priorities straight. Your family comes first. Jobs may come and go but they will be with you for life. If you damage your physical or emotional health through overwork, they will suffer. Not only will they miss your financial contribution, but more importantly, your cheerful companionship and emotional support. For their benefit, you must maintain stability and balance in your life.
As you leave the workplace, check your goal list, then discard it. You’ve probably had a pretty productive day.
On the way home, think back to the newscast you saw in the morning. You might have spent the day dodging bullets on a bloody battlefield, or running from a street gang in a crowded inner city. You could live in a third world country, be deathly ill with no medical help or medicine for miles.
Come to think of it, that job isn’t so bad after all, is it?