Feeling stressed at work is fairly common for most of us – it’s probably a daily occurrence. However, feeling stressed and functioning through it are mutually exclusive issues. Too much stress of any kind can lead to serious mental and physical health issues. Not good. But what is good is that you (and only you) are driving the bus and can take steps (right now) to prevent and reduce stress. It’s your life and it’s your call. However it requires action! Get in the game now!
Here are a few tips to get your work/life balance back on track:
Multi-Tasking is Overrated – How many times have you been on a conference call where your input or involvement was required, and you just could not stay focused? Participants on the call may’ve had to repeat a question or statement, all because you were in the middle of doing something else and weren’t focused. It happens all the time. You’re trying to do too many things at once and you wind up performing (usually very) poorly on most fronts! Think about it for just a minute. Your brain is trying to listen to a conversation, process the information that is being said, and provide audible input to others involved on the call. You’re there for a reason, and the other participants want to hear your opinion. But wait. While all of this is going on you may be trying to simultaneously answer your e-mail, put the finishing touches on a PowerPoint presentation or Word document - or maybe even pounding out a text message on your iPhone or Blackberry regarding your lunch, dinner or weekend plans. I get exhausted just thinking about it!
Restful Sleep – This one is easy for me! For many, the lack of sleep has everything to do with their inability to separate their personal lives from the workplace. Staying up until midnight to read e-mails or work on a document while your family is enjoying a nice peaceful evening is well… not a good choice. If we have a time-sensitive project that requires working late into the night, we jeopardize our ability to get a good night’s rest (not to mention the message you’re sending your family!)- set healthy boundaries and try to put up a wall that separates work from your home life. Turn off your Blackberry unless you (and your partner) enjoy hearing it vibrate and light up all night like a Christmas tree on your nightstand. C’mon! Get some rest! It’s important!
Just Do It! Exercise (like walking) raises your heart rate, forces you to breathe, and yes…can help out big time with stress-level management. Stress causes changes in breathing which can actually steal your body’s much-needed oxygen. So strap on your sneakers, grab your partner or a friend and hit the gym or take a 30 minute power-walk to raise your heart rate for a few minutes. You’ll feel better, experience a huge difference in how you manage stress, and you don’t even have to do it every day. Side benefit: Exercise can also help you sleep!
Finding your work/life balance will help you feel better, look better, and manage your stress-level better, all while you get the added advantage of actually accomplishing more each day. Now we’re talking!