You’ve made it! That job you’ve always wanted is finally yours. You’ve made the right connections, learned the right stuff and climbed the ladder of success. But, wait – why are you suddenly so unhappy?
If truth be told, big jobs are inherently stressful. That isn’t a bad thing, but learning how to cope with stress is essential if you’re to remain productive and not let the world of work overtake your home life and make you unhappy.
I’ve been there, having risen from a helpdesk operative to being present on the board as marketing director and I know exactly how challenging it is to remain positive and focused when things get rather overbearing.
In this post, I’m going to list 6 things you can do to remove big stress from your big job. Here’s what I did:
I surrounded myself with the right tools
I’m a bit of a geek and have always invested in apps and tools to make my home life easier. I’ve now carried this through to my working day and have a specific folder on my smartphone dedicated to tools that I use to be more productive, stay focused and leave work on time.
Being a geek, sometimes, pays dividends.
I slept well
Sleep is vitally important. When I first took on my director role, I worked every hour god sent and averaged around five hours sleep per night. As a result, I was constantly grumpy, struggled to focus and chose arguments over reasoning with colleagues.
Force yourself to go to bed and rise at the same time, every day (even at weekends). After a while, your body will get used to the new habit and you’ll feel so much better for it.
I treated email like regular mail
If the postman constantly walked into your office every five minutes, thrust a bunch of letters on your desk and waited while you opened them and dealt with each one, would you put up with it? Of course you wouldn’t, so why are so many of us welded to our email inbox?
If there is an emergency, people can call you or visit you in person. Email remains a useful tool, but it shouldn’t rule us. Remove a key source of stress by only checking it two to three times per day.
Apple recently announced the forthcoming update to their smart-watch and it included a new app called ‘Breathe’. It works by reminding you to – well, breathe. It may sound daft, but I’ve been practicing deep breathing techniques for some time and it genuinely helps relieve stress. You should try it.
I waited before reacting
It didn’t take me long to realise that one of the key components of my stressful working life was none other than myself. Quite often, I brought stress upon myself by reacting far too quickly to certain situations.
If a colleague or client gets your back up, never react immediately. Take time to consider your response, because I can almost guarantee in doing so you’ll come out on top and put the issue to bed.
Be realistic with your to-do list
If you’re constantly shuffling your daily to-do list (you do have one, right?) and deferring tasks to later dates, you’re unnecessarily stressing yourself out. You’re not superhuman, no matter the title on your business card, and you can only do so much.
Be realistic with what you can achieve in a day and base your to-do list on the hours you are wiling to give to your job. Don’t put off the hard stuff, either, because doing so will mean it is forever on your mind.
There we go; proof, if ever it were needed, that you don’t have to spend a penny when it comes to tackling stress at work. You’ve got it in you to live a working life that is full of success and the ability to bounce back from failure. Stay focused, remove interruptions and take time before responding to challenges.