Stress Less at Work...Right NOW!
Seriously. I see many people right around lunchtime getting anxious, irritated, or sending out snappish e-mails. Once they eat, they almost seem to say, “What was that all about?” We usually don’t see the connection between low blood sugar (caused by hunger) and our stress levels.
2. If you have a door, shut it at least once a day.
I know this can seem stand-offish, but it can make a huge difference. Not only can you concentrate better, but you lessen the typical external noise associated with any office environment. Add to this another stressor that is minimized: self-consciousness. Whether you are aware of this or not, no one is exempt from feeling a little tense knowing our co-workers can hear our calls or our conversations.
If you feel that others will wonder why you are shutting your door, just communicate with them why you are shutting the door. All presumptions of People magazine reading will be dispelled!
A final note to those with doors: those without doors would really appreciate it if you would use them during loud conversations or speaker-phone calls. No kidding.
3. If you don’t have a door, get creative.
Many of us don’t have a door, so #2 may feel like a kick in the shin. So what if you don’t have a door? Some ideas:
•Try to build an environment around you that feels private or enclosed. Moving a desk or chair can block traffic, drop-bys, and noise. Plants, bookshelves, and turning your chair so that you don’t face passers-by can also work well.
• Can you wear a head-set? If you aren’t working directly with customers, you may be able to play soothing music on a head-set to block the noise. Just make sure you can hear your phone.
• Send an e-mail, if possible, to your co-workers alerting them to special projects or high-stress times. Just letting them know that minor items requiring your attention would be best put on hold for now, will help your stress level until things get back to normal. Many people aren’t aware that you are under pressure. You may feel that your frantic pace and frazzled appearance are obvious…but others may think you’ve just had too much caffeine! Make your workload clear, and most people will understand (and steer clear for now!).
4. Go to bed early.
My favorite personal de-stressor. Many people find they get a second wind about 10 p.m. and stay up reading or watching TV (Letterman CAN be TIVO’ed, ya know). Consequently, people are tired the next day. That alone is a huge burden to carry around for the day. Force yourself to turn off the lights once a week by 9 p.m. When you wake up (sometimes without the alarm) you will be glad that you gave yourself the time, simply by sleeping.
Try at least one of these tips this week and stress less.
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