Over 75 percent of Americans consider their jobs stressful. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate job stress, you can learn to manage it effectively.
Common job stressors include a heavy workload, intense pressure to perform at high levels, job insecurity, long work hours, excessive travel, office politics, and conflicts with co-workers.
While stress is a normal part of everyday life, the following early warning signs serve as red flags, alerting you to excess stress on the job:
- Anxiety or depression
- Low morale
- Short temper
- Stomach or back problems
Managing Job Stress
The good news is that it’s possible to manage job stress by becoming aware of what increases or decreases your stress levels. The following are six methods to help you manage your stress at work.
- Plan and prioritize: Do not panic, make a list to prioritize your work, set realistic deadlines, do not rush into the first idea you have and always have an alternative plan.
- Focus on what you can control: You know what your job tasks are. Break the larger tasks into smaller, more doable steps.
- Slow down: Think things through before you act, and begin with a result in mind.
- Limit interruptions: Use your voicemail to your advantage and only take calls that are a priority when you are on a tight deadline. Set aside designated times throughout the day to respond to e-mails and phone calls.
- Use all of your resources: If things do not go exactly as planned, do not solely rely on yourself. Ask for help when you need it.
- Take a break: To release stress, make time to take a short break. Taking a walk or discussing your work situation with another person may help you gain a fresh perspective.