Managing Stress

Jobs market - 25 September 2008


 

It is no secret that stress in the workplace is a recurring cause of tensions between co-workers. Maybe you have experienced yourself the feeling of losing control of events

and the urge to quit right there and then ! In those moments, it may only be a matter of a colleague asking the wrong question at the wrong time for the atmosphere to become highly volatile ! Then of course other people's feelings come into play: they may be understanding and put the incident behind them quickly or ... they may feel offended by your reaction and get back at you one way or the other . In this case, next thing you know you are involved into an argument that could become downright nasty !  So how do you avoid these upsets ? There are almost as many ways of dealing with these situations as there are individuals. Some will advocate the "you-don't-talk-to-me-when-I --am-busy" policy, others will practice self-derision, others yet will take up sophrology  to learn self-control.  If you are tempted to follow this last strategy, here's an audio CD on the subject: Gérez votre stress (Managing Stress) by Sylvie Roucoules.  No matter which approach you choose to adopt, you can complement it with the following method which is both easy and practical and which basically consists in making a to-do list that divides your tasks in four categories :

A = to be completed within an hour;  B= to be completed today ; C= to be completed

by the end of the week; D = will sort out by itself. There are many advantages to this system.  First it allows you to prioritize and get a better idea of your workload .

Secondly, if someone interrupts your work or needs to talk to you, you will be in a better position to tell them when exactly you are available because your priorities will be clearly defined. Last but not least, you will be a lot more efficient in your work. Not that you will necessarily do twice as much but you will do a much better job overall.  The bottom line is : you save time, energy and not the least you save yourself a lot of aggravation. 

The best way to do this is to get a little notebook and to write down everyday the following items in 4 columns: Priorities (A,B,C  or D),  What it is (which task needs to be done), Estimated time to completion (how much time do I think this will take?) and Actual time to completion ( how much time did this actually take me ?) . By doing this everyday you will be better able to manage your time and with experience you will be able to narrow the gap between your estimates at the outset and the actual time spent to complete the task/project.  In the end, this will allow you to better prioritize and meet deadlines with more accuracy .

I have adopted this system myself for the past three months and it has gotten me good results  . Try it !

 

RS