Fast-paced workplaces combined with equally fast-paced personal lives create stress overload. Stress overload on the job leads to poor performance, mistakes, forgetfulness, strained relationships, health problems, and more. Workplace stress can affect an employee’s personal life negatively. Conversely, personal life stresses negatively affect workplace performance. In this day and age, it is impossible to avoid stress, which makes it critically important to find ways to manage stress so that your workplace performance and relationships are not adversely affected. Some of the best stress busters include eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise, and getting adequate sleep.
Many nutrition magazines and websites are devoted to planning healthy, balanced meals. You can also check government websites for nutrition, exercise, and sleep guidelines. Health insurance companies
provide a wealth of information to their enrollees through their websites and the distribution of printed materials and email. Ask your company’s cafeteria personnel or vending machine company to provide
healthy food alternatives and snacks. Substitute water for sodas and caffeinated drinks.
Begin or resume an exercise program after checking with your doctor, who can also provide nutrition information. Does your company have an exercise room or offer gym memberships or participate in
other types of exercise plans? Does the company have a softball team or can you organize one? Ask coworkers or friends to go for a walk during your lunch break a few times a week. Instead of riding the
elevator up or down a floor or two, take the stairs. Take advantage of opportunities to move and get your heart rate up during the day— doing so will help to relieve stress and clear your mind.
Discuss difficult workloads and projects with your supervisor before you reach the burnout stage. Resolve conflicts with coworkers and make up your mind to avoid negative people as much as possible.
During difficult economic times, make a real effort to remain optimistic. Find ways to reduce your stress level, perform your job to the best of your ability, and avoid negative people. Stay on top of the latest developments in your field and keep your resume, portfolio, and skills updated.
Manage your stress so it does not affect your workplace performance.
Stress Reduction Tips
■ Make up your mind to look on the positive side.
■ Develop a routine and stick to it.
■ Keep your workstation and work life organized.
■ Arrange your work area to minimize interruptions from others.
■ Get up and take a quick break when you start to feel overwhelmed or tired.
■ Talk things over with a trusted colleague or supervisor when you start to feel stressed.
■ Make and follow a to-do list, concentrating on the most important tasks first and working your way through the list in priority order.
■ If a big job gets overwhelming, take a break from it and work on an easier task.
■ Break down large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.
■ Take the breaks, lunches, and vacations to which you are entitled. You will perform better and more efficiently if you take a break and relax every once in awhile.
■ Be flexible and resilient.
■ Have fun (read, play sports, go for a hike or to the theater or a park, etc.).
■ Maintain a sense of humor.
■ Exercise—consider exercises you can do while sitting at your desk or performing your duties.
■ Eat healthy foods and snacks. Avoid the vending machine unless healthy snacks and drinks are stocked.
■ Bring a reusable water bottle to work and refill it often.
■ Get enough sleep every night and stick to a regular sleep schedule.
■ Maintain a healthy body weight.
Chapter 4 ■ Build Positive Work Habits 63
101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work. 101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work, ISBN: 9781435454323
Prepared for email@example.com, Joanne Hale
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