Monthly Archives: June 2013
Tackling stress triggers
In last weeks post we began the discussion about coping with the persistent and subtle stressors which can be a major contributor to our overall stress levels and which effect our productivity and in some cases our underlying happiness. In this blog we look at methods for tackling stress triggers.
The exercise posed at the end of last weeks post was to identify the situations which cause each of us stress. An example of which could be some routine task to do with family life, which is impacting on your working day. Collecting children from school which requires you to leave early and has the knock on effect of reducing your work day is one. The irritating habit of a co-worker could be another.
Techniques for tackling stress triggers
Once the causes of stress have been identified look for ways and methods to resolve them. In the case of family commitments consider pooling resources and sharing the task with neighbours if possible. In the case of an annoying co-worker, perhaps bringing their behaviour to their attention will help resolve the problem. Often people don’t realise that their actions and habits can be irritating to others. If it is more serious or you don’t think that you can approach the person directly, consider speaking with your line manager or other person to get their perspective on the matter. The key thing is to take some action to resolve the matter.
Sharpen your time management skills
As well as dealing with specific stress triggers the Mayo Clinic report recommends sharpening time management skills as being of significant benefit to a large number of people. This should be done in association with alleviation of particular subtle and persistent stressors. Specifically they recommend three main activities proven to improve time management.
1. Set realistic goals
In addition to setting realistic expectations and deadlines, regular progress reviews should be make and goals adjusted accordingly.
2. Make a priority list
Prepare a daily list of tasks and rank them in order. Review them regularly throughout the day to insure that you are keeping to plan.
3. Protect your time.
Block out time where you are not interrupted, so as to get particular tasks done.
Over time the goal setting and priority time management will be come more automatic and routine and ultimately make you more effective. In our next blog we shall look at the additional recommendations that help you manage your work day more efficiently and with less stress.
Should you be feeling over stressed in work and think that a course in time management would help you, contact us for details of our next training session. Click here for more details of our time management training courses.
Workplace stress does not have to be all consuming
The workplace is a common source of stress, however we have the power to change this. Finding methods and strategies to deal with stress can have dramatic effects on both personal and professional life. An article published by the Mayo Clinic suggests methods to deal with workplace stress.
There are many influences on the way we respond to stress. The manner in which they manifest themselves and the effect they have on each of us are very different. Situations which you may find stressful may not have the same effect on your work colleagues and vice versa, you may not be fazed by stressors which others are particularly sensitive to. As they say, we are all individual.
When dealing with workplace stress it is important to begin by identifying the triggers. Take time to note and record the people, places and situations which cause you stress. It is important to have a brief description of each situation which includes who was involved, where you were, how did it make you feel and finally how did you react.
If you do this for a period of two or three weeks, you can then take stock of the situations and consider them in detail as well as aggregate.
Identifying workplace stress
Major incidents such as loosing a significant contract or particular problems with a project are just what happens in a working environment. These are the ‘normal’ stress triggers. We generally deal with these well as they can be easily identified. However it is the subtle and persistent stress triggers which are harder to both identify and resolve. Examples of these are communication issues with fellow staff or issues with your physical work space. It might be parking problems or distractions by colleagues.
It is these subtle and persistent stressors which can be a major contributor to overall stress levels. Whereas it is difficult to foresee every pothole along the road of a project, the subtle every day causes of workplace stress once identified can generally be dealt with.
In our next article we shall look at methods suggested by the Mayo Clinic staff to tackle subtle and persistent workplace stress.