If your work environment is particularly stressful, it’s a double whammy. Stress increases anxiety and lowers creativity. If you’re not happy about being there, chances are your productivity will be dramatically lower than what it could be. And when it comes time for promotion, retention, or perks, the spoils go to those who produce.
Let’s explore a few strategies you can begin using right now to beat workplace stress and set yourself up for greater job satisfaction and maybe even a little extra on your paycheck!
Next, realize that you are an extremely valuable resource for your organization and you need to be “recharged” if you are to be effective. Put time in your schedule for you. Actually get away from the computer and eat a real lunch. Do you really think that skipping lunch is a sign of commitment to your job? The reality is that by lunchtime your blood sugar is off (caused by hunger), which makes you anxious, easily irritated, and prone to publishing wickedly worded emails that you regret a few hours later once you’ve had something to eat and drink. Of course, it’s often hard to undo the damage that could have been prevented by simply taking a real break and de-stressing for a few minutes. Take a walk. Do something to repair, restore, or re-establish strained relationships or strengthen current ones. Don’t wait for the doctor to tell you that if you don’t change your ways that you’ll be dead before your time.
Third, if you screw up, admit your mistake and own the responsibility. By being willing to demonstrate through your words and actions that talking about and learning from mistakes is a necessary part of long-term career success, you allow others to be honest about their missteps too. I know you may be worried that no matter what you say your boss will hear: “I’m an incompetent boob that you need to replace as soon as you can.” Actually, you’ll be surprised at how being authentically honest and courageous enough to own up will boost your reputation and trustworthiness. It takes strength to admit that you’re not perfect (see item #1 above) and that is something in short supply today, and what is in short supply is typically highly valued and appreciated.
Lastly, watch the company you keep! Hang out with coworkers who are positive and productive and limit your negative self-talk. Your thoughts create your behavior, behaviors become habits, habits create your life. Stop gossiping. Stop being judgmental. Stop participating in the “who’s the most stressed out by this place” contest and focus instead on what’s going well and how much you’ve already learned and accomplished in your career.
You may also find it helpful to find someone to partner with you as deal with any toxic environments or individuals in your life. As a transformational life coach, helping recognize their thinking patterns and make changes that allow them to do things they thought were impossible is something that I do on a daily basis.
You know, a great way to get started on being more resourceful is by signing up for my FREE e-course!
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Dr. Steve Stutz, CC is a Life Success Coach, specializing in helping clergy and professional church workers not only survive but to thrive during periods of crisis, transition, and renewal. To receive periodic personal development tips and success mindset articles, please join his e-list by visiting www.forwardpathcoaching.com