I’m a bit of a stress head. While some people think I’m a pretty chilled and laid back person, they’ve probably only known me a short amount of time and haven’t yet realised that I have no idea how to relax. Sure, I can have fun and I can let loose, but I don’t “chill” like the stereotypical Aussie. My idea of holidaying is not reclining on a beach. I’d rather be hiking a mountain, throwing myself out of an aeroplane, or kayaking around islands. I need to move, I need to exhaust myself. I can’t sit still (unless I’m reading, but even then I’m talking to my book). I also hold a lot of opinions on things. Some firm, some contradictory, and most are hypocritical. There’s no real topic where I’m like “Meh, whatevs.” Because I care. I have a lot of feelings and I can’t turn them off.
All this leads to a weird amount of stress. I thrive on a certain level of stress but at a certain point I shut down and start procrastinating. I’ll do literally anything else to avoid dealing with the stressor that is in my way. I know I’m not alone in this, but it always surprises me when I meet someone else who also doesn’t know how to slow down. In fact, despite being a pretty bright human being 99.4% of the time, I was surprised when I came across a unit that was required to finish my Certificate in Business. The unit was called Managing Stress in the Workplace.
THERE IS A WHOLE UNIT DEDICATED TO WORKPLACE STRESS MANAGEMENT.
Like, Duh, of course there is. But I was still caught off guard. A lot of the techniques made sense and I use them day-to-day to simply get through life. As I’ve mentioned several times, I have
delightful bouts of anxiety and depression – so I use meditation, yoga, gym, and breathing as ways to calm down. Every now and then I’ll take a walk around the block or I’ll just go sit in the sun for 5 minutes. But there was so much more to it than that. There were company practises that after reading them seemed common sense, but had never occurred to me. So I’m going to share some stress management techniques and ideas with you. Ya know, other than the breathing, walking, yoga ones.
I’m a really big fan of time management. This includes everything from prioritising your work load to simply adding 5 minutes to your watch and car clock so you think you’re late for something. Here are some time management techniques to utilise:
Prioritising tasks – “Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” -Mark Twain.
By making your biggest and hardest tasks the first and most important, you will be able to deal with them while you are fresh and able to cope before day-to-day interruptions begin. This frees up time to do the smaller, easier, less important tasks later.
Organising information – This saves time later down the track when you are looking for that piece of data or trying to find the piece of paper that you require. Organising the information before you start the task minimizes miscommunication, misunderstanding and allows for easier workflow.
Diary management – put everything in your calendar and set reminders. This means you know what has to be done day-to-day and where it can fit in to your schedule. Always allow for things to take a little bit longer than expected.
My personal motto when using my diary/bujo/calendar is “If it’s not in the calender, I Don’t do it.” This mostly refers to social things, but it means I can keep track of where I was and why. It also allows me to book in ME time. I have my gym classes in my calendar. I have my date nights in there, birthdays, shopping, hair appointment… Everything goes in and gets organised.
There are a lot of great counselling service providers in Australia, but what’s even better is most companies will have an assigned mental health provider that gives X amount of free consultations per year. It will allow you to debrief, chat and vent about anything you’re struggling with and can make it easier to find solutions to your problems. Some really good places to get help in Australia include:
You may also be entitled to a mental health plan through your local GP. This is something that should be discussed with your doctor. If you live outside of Australia, it is worth having a google at mental health providers and life lines dedicated to helping people in need.
Delegation is the act of distributing work loads to other people.
If you’re anything like me, you might be a bit of a control freak. I tend to over work myself, tell every single person and their dog I’m here to help whenever, however. And I end up with so much on my plate because I can’t let go of tasks I now feel ownership over.
If used properly, however, delegations is a good way to manage your workload. It lightens what you need to do, but also empowers those you have entrusted with the task, allowing them to take ownership and feel more responsible. If done poorly, it can leave you looking lazy, overload your workers and create stress, dissent, and disrespect. So use with care and caution. Try delegating one or two tasks to a colleague or friend who you know to be capable and see how it pans out. Don’t hover or micromanage though! Trust your team to do what is necessary. It’s amazing how a small change can end up making a big difference on your stress levels…
Well, that’s probably enough from me. If you want more stress management tips, let me know and I’ll happily post a part two, and even a part three if needed!
Bonus Stress management tip:
Hug it out. It’s amazing the chemical reaction that happens in our brains when we get physical contact. It doesn’t matter if you’re hugging a baby, a fully grown human or a dog… just get some cuddle time in.
Stay silly my friends. May you go forth with less stress. xx