For many with a 9-5 job, the workplace consists of specific tasks to complete and different people to appease and satisfy. Stress and the workplace just naturally go hand-in-hand; after all, there are deadlines, quotas, reports…and the unsettling reality that job security no longer exists. No wonder so many are stressed! But at the end of the day, it’s how you manage work stress that has the greatest impact on your job performance; and these five tips will make a world of a difference.
1. Recognize Your Stress Levels
Stress can greatly impact mental and physical health. While at work, are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
- Stomach issues
- Emotional sensitivity
- Inability to concentrate
The body has to be in good mental and physical shape to adapt to whatever is being experienced; not remedying the situation will only worsen the symptoms.
2. Prioritize and Organize Your Workload
When bogged down with deadlines left and right, the first line of defense is triage. Look up what triage means on Webster’s Dictionary, and it says, “The process of deciding which patients should be treated first, based on how sick or seriously injured they are.” Prioritize and arrange your workload based on urgency and time needed for completion. Start working on projects that are at the top of the list and work your way down.
3. Take Time to Exercise and Eat Well
The brain is a machine that can either be well-oiled, in top performance or can be rusty and in need of repair. Skipping a meal lowers blood-sugar levels— making it easy to become irritable and distracted. The best foods for better mental performance are “brain foods”, like: nuts, seeds, whole grains, blueberries, avocados and salmon.
In addition to eating well, exercise is equally important for mental health. While exercising, endorphins, those feel good chemicals are released in the brain. It naturally helps overcome feelings of depression, fatigue and general anxiety.
4. Unplug and Unwind
Staying connected online has never been easier with today’s smartphones, laptops, tablets and other mobile devices. It doesn’t matter what time it is or where you are, the ability to check work emails is always just a screen away. Are you checking your accounts right before going to bed or while at home with the family? Disconnect from work-mode and give yourself the opportunity to relax and unwind.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation results in reduced alertness and decreased performance; it’s also the leading cause of work-related accidents. Make sure your day starts on the right foot with enough rest. According to WebMD, cutting your sleep time by as little as 1.5 hours in a night could lower your daytime alertness by as much as 32%. So to feel well, the human body needs proper rest (about eight hours of sleep per night for best performance).
Remember that while your job may be your bread and butter, your mental and physical health should never be on the backburner. Recognize your work-related stress symptoms and take the necessary steps to reduce them. Your work performance is only as good as your mental and physical health.
Andrea Fisher is an online marketer and content specialist for http://www.4tv.net/direct-tv-packages. She has been published in a variety of publications, including the Chicago Tribune and Business Insider.