It’s just one of those days. Everything seems to be going wrong, you can barely see over the mountain of paperwork you have to complete, the minutes feel like hours, and to top it all off, the coffee pot was broke this morning. How will you make it through the day? Let’s face it. Work can be downright stressful, and we all have days where we want to rip our hair out. But before you do, count to ten and take a look at our tips on coping with stress at work:
Assess your workload (and be realistic).
Sometimes in the spirit of being proactive and taking initiative, we run the risk of overloading our plate. There is no shame in admitting you are just plain stretched beyond your means; you will drive yourself crazy trying to cram 15 hours worth of work into eight. Take a realistic assessment of your workload and talk to your boss if you need an extension on a product. Chances are they will much rather you readjust a deadline than turn in a subpar project.
Doing ANYTHING at a desk for eight or more hours straight with no break can drive a person crazy. Give your mind a quick break periodically throughout the day. Pop outside for some fresh air. Go to the kitchen for a water break. Get out at lunch instead of eating at your desk. Unshackling yourself from your desk is a necessary part of not getting burned out during the workday.
Don’t be afraid to recruit help.
Many times, we are reluctant to ask for assistance if we are in a jam. Remember that you are on a team for a reason; it is expected that members of a team will help their colleagues finish a task if they are in a bind. See if there is any part of your task that another person could help with, and if your cube mate has any extra time, ask if they will lend a hand. After all, your colleagues don’t want to be around a stressed out person, and you will return the favor sometime. It’s an essential part of being on a team.
PTO is there for a reason.
Time off is something many people fight for in their compensation package, but few people actually take advantage of. What use are all of those accrued days off if you never use them? If you are on the brink of a burnout, it is essential to take some time to recharge. Take a day to catch up on some tasks outside of work. Get some R and R. You will be in better spirits and much more productive at work because of it.
Stress is an inevitable part of most jobs. Don’t let it derail your productivity. Just take a second to regroup and refocus on your goals!