When Workplace Stress Take a Toll, It’s Time to Take Control

Stress is something that everyone understands, and it is one of the biggest inhibitors of productivity in the workplace. Not only is stress bad for your health, but it can also keep you from setting and achieving your professional goals. The good news is that there are many things you can do to circumvent stress. From managing your finances to spending time with family, your decisions can put you in a better position to avoid and cope with workday strain.

Lower overhead

Your financial situation is likely a huge contributor to your stress levels. If you are a business owner, you not only have to think about your personal financial picture, but also that of your business. Spend some time evaluating the way your company currently operates. You may find you have ample opportunities to decrease overhead. One way to do this is to stop paying for commercial office space and work from home.

If your business structure allows, consider bringing in a contractor to help you design a functional home office. In the LA area, the average handyman service ranges from $163 to around $594, but you could pay more or less depending on how much work you need done. Even if you wind up spending a few thousand dollars transforming a room into a home office, you are still going to save. A 500-square foot office in downtown LA can set you back $1,800 per month or more, plus utilities and other expenses. A home office makes sense because you already have to pay for your house, and you’ll enjoy a few tax breaks while lowering your transportation costs.

Aggressive growth and anxiety

Another significant source of stress on business owners is growth. While it’s true that growth is positive and we all strive for professional success, if you fail to plan for expansion, you may wind up in over your head. The Small Business Center at FedEx explains that a business boom can overwhelm you. This puts you in a prime position to switch into fight-or-flight mode rather than be productive.

Instead of taking on more than you can handle, learn to pick and choose the projects that you accept and the services you offer. You won’t be doing yourself, your team, or your customers any favors by overextending yourself and promising results that never come. If you’re not really sure how to say no without offending everyone concerned, this post from Chaco Canyon business consulting offers some great tips.

Take a cue from the kids

Even if you don’t have children, the youngest people in your life are excellent guides when it comes to stress management. Children see the bigger picture, but are great at breaking down goals into smaller, more easily-achievable tasks. Kids also engage in activities that naturally relieve stress, such as exercise (playing) and participating in sensory activities that create a sense of calmness. While you might not want to play with sand or mold clay, you can redirect your attention to activities that allow you to use all of your senses. Hobbies such as baking enable you to touch, taste, and see something that’s not a corporate report or project outline. Having these kinds of distractions can help you stay more focused at work. This will help you be more productive when it matters so that you set aside some time for self-care.

Spending half your time worrying over money and unmet deadlines isn’t going to make you more effective, and can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Look for ways to eliminate angst-inducing situations. This might mean cutting out expenses, managing your company’s growth, or finding outlets that make you feel whole and healthy. Whatever you choose to do, remember that excessive stress won’t help you reach your goals — it will only hinder your progress.

Julie Morris
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