Get rid of stress once and for all

If you're stressed out at work, make a list of your priorities each day.

We've all been stressed out at work one time or another. How we choose to deal with stress can make things worse - unless you use these 7 tips that'll make things better instead.

You’ve uncluttered your desk, taken extra yoga classes and even given up your lunch hour to meditate. So why are you still feeling stressed?

Believe it or not but urban air pollution, corruption and life expectancy may all be contributing to your stress levels. Recent stats have proven that over half the South African population is under stress, resulting in the country being the second most stressed out in the world!

Time for better stress management? We thought so too. Minimize stress at the office with 7 easy steps...

1. Take Control

Find out what is causing you to stress – in both your personal and professional life.

If you end up in traffic for over an hour every morning, perhaps consider a different route or try to leave earlier to avoid congestion. The same goes for your work environment – if you don’t enjoy being around certain colleagues, don’t spend lots of time with them.

2. Prioritise 

Make a to-do list of your tasks that have to be done by the end of the day. Tackle those first and leave the ones that can wait. They’ll eventually move to the top of your priority list as you tick off each item as you move through your day. Constantly worrying about them is unnecessary and affects your productivity negatively.

3. Be honest

Biting off more than you can chew is a sure way to choke. If you know that you can’t take on any more responsibilities, simply don’t. Your work hours have been predetermined and your tasks should fit into that time.

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If it doesn’t, something is wrong with the system and it’s your responsibility to communicate it. Ask for deadline extensions, and find ways to share your responsibilities with your co-workers so that you can help each other through stressful periods.

Speak to your manager or HR about the situation.

4. Live healthy

Make time to exercise and eat healthier too. Regular exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good and energised. Even stepping away from your desk for a bit will make you more focussed to tackle each new task.

5. Get rid of distractions

Online chats and social media waste a lot of time. You might think it takes ‘only a second’ but in reality, it costs a lot more. Emails can also be very distracting so set times to check emails and stick to it.

You may not know it, but time-consuming activities stresses you out because it leaves you with less time to be complete actual work.

6. Sleep does wonders

Make sure you get about seven to eight hours of sleep. If you don’t get the right amount of sleep you’ll feel low on energy and your work could suffer. Not only will your body be able to rest and recharge, but you’ll be able to work through tasks with increased efficiency – thus making your life at work less stressful.

Read: Enjoying your holiday is good for your career

7. Take time off

A few days off could be just what the doctor ordered. A holiday doesn’t have to involve going away to a faraway land; simply going for a massage or relaxing at home could do wonders. Removing yourself from a stressful situation will allow you to think of solutions, and not just be stuck in the problem.

In time, you’ll also see that the company didn’t dissolve without you – you can let go of that weight on your shoulders.

If stress is getting you down and your working environment just isn’t working for you any longer, Careers24 has thousands of jobs available so you’ll be able to find the perfect fit. To save time, you can do job hunt on your phone too.