5 Tools to Make Your Workday WAY Less Stressful

Posted in: Business

Let’s face it... usually work = stress (unless you work at Hello Innovation).

You know, the kind of stress that sends you to the couch with a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream and an Amazon shopping spree.

Any way you handle it - if you’re stressed, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the American Institute of Stress, 4 out of 5 people feel stress on the job. The Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health identified these as top workplace stressors:

  • too much to do

  • interruptions

  • pervasive uncertainty

  • unfairness

  • unclear policies

  • job ambiguity

  • lack of feedback

  • no appreciation

  • lack of communication

  • lack of control

Whoa. Sounds like my first job (it was a nightmare). Thankfully, there are things you can do to fight back. Here are 5 tactics to put in your stress-busting arsenal that will help you take your stress level down a notch:

1. To-do list (with apps).  

If you’re feeling like things are out of control, get out a piece of paper. This sounds simple, but I live by it.  Writing down everything you have to do will ease your mental overload. You can even use a cool app like Astrid, Todoist, or Wunderlist.

Once it’s in black and white, you can handle it, delegate it, delay it or delete it. The trick to creating a to-do list that works is to identify the three most important tasks that would make your day or week a success, and then schedule them on your calendar. After all, we really can’t juggle more than three things at once and do them well.

wunderlist

 

2. The “off” button.  

Did you know your phone has an off button? Seriously. If you’re stressed because people keep calling and interrupting you during the day, turn off your phone. Or at least put it in airplane mode, which will send calls to voicemail and disable text messages. If you’re worried about missing an important call, use the “Do Not Disturb” feature available on many smartphones. It gives you the option to whitelist important numbers (like your spouse or kids or boss). The rest will have to wait until you have time.

 

3. The delete key.

The average worker spends 28% of their day dealing with email, according to a recent study by McKinsey Global Institute. If you work an eight-hour day, that’s more than two hours spent on email. Email is meant to be a convenient communication tool, but too many of us use our inboxes like a revolving to-do list. And when we try to find that one important email, it’s buried under 1,274 nonessential ones.

Get a grip on our email with ReviveYourInbox.com, a free three-week program that will help you gain control of your inbox. The program, which ironically is delivered via email, will hold your hand and show you how to delete, archive and unsubscribe with the click of just a button.

Revive-your-inbox

 

4. The word ‘no.’

Does your boss or coworker drop projects into your lap when you’re already overloaded and overwhelmed? Practice this zen-like statement, compliments of the American Institute of Stress: “I appreciate your confidence in my work.  I can try to get to this project completed in a timely manner, but as you can see I am already swamped.”

 

5. A break.  

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our tech-driven lives that we forget to take a break. Research shows that people can focus for about two hours at peak performance before needing to recharge their batteries. When you start to feel your attention or creativity slipping, get up and take a short break. Get outside and walk, play some ping pong, or try to set a high score at the hoops machine.

The combination of fresh air, movement, and exercise is like a reboot button for our brains. If you can’t do that, just walk around the office. Just 5 to 15 minutes of movement will give your mind a chance to unwind and prepare for the next work session. At Hello Innovation, we encourage break dancing 😉

Hello-Innovation-office-10

 

How do you de-stress at work? Share your tips in the comments below!

 

1 comment

  • Avatar Marissa
    February 7, 2014

    Saying “no” is tough – but a MUST do. Wish I had learned that tip earlier in my career!

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