As 2020 nears an end, it’s clear that this year has been stressful for employees and employers on many levels. COVID-19 has caused major upheavals in virtually every aspect of life – including the work environment.
If you’ve been feeling added stress this year, you’re not alone. Whether you’ve been working from home or strapping on a mask and going into your office or workplace, doing your job has likely been more challenging.
Here are four ideas for helping to clear your mind and help you feel less overwhelmed by work:
1. Understand Why You’re Stressed
Start by asking what has become so demanding in your day-to-day. Is your boss piling on too much work? Are you spending too much time in virtual meetings? Is your department understaffed? Simply writing down everything you have to do is a good place to start relieving stress. And pay special attention to the tasks or projects you’ve been putting off each week. You can’t work on everything at once, but procrastination can mean you’ll be up against a deadline sooner or later.
2. Prioritize the One Thing You Really Need to Accomplish Today
If you have a lot on your plate and are feeling buried, it’s important to take a step back and prioritize what you really need to do by end of day. The fact is, some things are more important than others. Here’s a great way to prioritize:
- At the end of each workday, write down the four most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow
- Prioritize those items in order of their true importance
- When you start work the next day, concentrate only on the first task, then work until its finished
- Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. Each day, move any unfinished items to a new list for the following day
3. Take a Deep Breath Before You Dive In
Many psychologists warn that stress actually closes off the more creative parts of our mind and can distort our perception of time. This means diving headlong into your looming list of jobs could be detrimental to the end result. So you really need to fight the urge to head directly into your to-do list. If you’re working from home, go outside and clear your head for 15 minutes. If you’re in an office, take a 10-minute walk. This should help you feel less anxious about what needs to get done.
4. Ask for Help
Delegating means getting rid of the sense that only you can do the work. So, before you get too far into blasting through your to-do list, ask your supervisor what’s important and what you can pass on to others. Asking for help isn’t admitting defeat, it’s simply highlighting where you should be spending your valuable time.
A Final Word
Feeling overwhelmed is a challenge in today’s business climate. Instead of being empowered by doing great work, many employees end up drowning in their to-do list. The above ideas offer a way out but also serve as a starting point for you to develop your own methods for reducing work stress. Just remember to recognize what’s triggering your stress and work steadily and systematically through what’s truly important.
Lanmark Staffing provides over 40 years of combined human resources, recruiting, temporary placement, sales and management, and temp-to-hire services. Visit our website and learn how our team of experienced professionals can help you land that next great position.