Stress in the Workplace

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Dealing with Stress in the Workplace | By Sara Ostin, a Tulsa staffing company member

Everyone has a bad day every now and then. Sometimes we are under the heavy pressure of deadlines, endless piles of paperwork, and a demanding supervisor. It can be very overwhelming and stressful. We’re often reminded of ways to relax at home, but what about handling that stress while we are at the office? Let’s take a look at a few ways to handle stressful situations in the workplace.

One of the easiest ways to reduce stress at the workplace is to avoid getting there in the first place. Stacks of paper on your desk and hundreds of emails in your inbox not only clutter your space, but clutter your brain and emotional well-being. According to a recent article on Forbes.com, 90% of respondents said that office clutter had a negative impact on their work performance and attitude towards their work. Take the time to organize and file your work space (you can find a plethora of ideas on sites like Pinterest).

Talk to your manager or supervisor. Keeping the lines of communication open can greatly reduce your levels of stress. If you continually say “Yes” to additional workload or projects, your manager will think that you’ve got a good handle on it, when in reality it’s stressing you out! Tell her or him that you’re feeling overwhelmed. You may think it will look bad, but doing so will save someone else the stress of having to re-do your work, and also save your managers from explaining to their supervisors why the work was done incorrectly in the first place. US News offers some great tips on talking to your supervisor.

Stop trying to be a perfectionist. Unfortunately, we are often victims of our own vices, and perfectionism is one of them. I recently spoke with a colleague who is in the publishing industry. He was quite concerned about an issue of a textbook that was headed to print, and spent even his spare hours at home proofing it over and over. Knowing that he is a supervisor in his division, I questioned him, “Don’t you have a proof-reading team?” and he confirmed he did, in fact, have 6 proof-readers at his disposal. So why cause the unnecessary stress of forcing the work of 6 people onto yourself? He is a self-proclaimed perfectionist, and it was costing him not only a few hours of sleep, but his sanity as well. Even if you don’t have a team going into a large project, stop placing the burden on yourself. Lifehack.org offers a compelling look at the negative impact of perfectionism in the workplace.

It would seem that the best remedy is prevention when it comes to stress at the workplace, especially when it comes to our own devices that often wreak havoc on our work happiness. Dealing with stress starts from within, and you need to make yourself as much of a priority as your deadlines. Keep the lines of communication open, do your best without pushing yourself over the edge, and for your own sanity clean your desk!

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