Did you know that the U.S. is the most overworked developed nation in the world? On average, more than 85% of U.S. workers clock in more than 40 hours at work per week. As a contrast, Americans work 137 more hours per year more than Japanese workers, 260 more than British, 499 than French, and so on – you get the picture. For many of us, too much work is the direct cause of stress and a lower quality of life. So, if that sounds all too familiar to you, you might want to start employing these five strategies to eliminate the work stress in your life.
1. Forget multitasking.
When you have a lot on your plate, you might be tempted to focus on maximizing your time by getting more done in a single day. According to research, this is not the case. Actually, studies show that multitasking harms productivity and brain health. Multitasking is managed by mental executive functions and harms your overall cognitive process. Instead, if you want to make the best of your time, focus on each task, separately, to get the job done quickly and correctly. It’s about quality over quantity.
2. Eat right and sleep well.
When feeling overworked, stress ultimately will follow you home from work. This can lead to neglecting your overall health and rewarding yourself with junk food. Stress also interferes with sleep. The lack of it makes you hungry, leading to a vicious cycle of weight-gain and feeling even more stressed as a result. It’s far too easy to fall into this habit and gain psychophysiological insomnia – something which is very common among those who work long hours. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re not taking advantage of its rejuvenating effects, which will harm your next work day as well. To combat this phenomenon, try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night, stick to a schedule, don’t let work follow you home, and watch your diet.
3. Avoid conflict.
If you’re already overworked and stressed, additional conflict is the last thing you need on your mind. This can be seriously harmful because interpersonal conflict often directly harms your relationships with loved ones – be it a significant other, family, friends, etc. Try to avoid work conflict, as it helps facilitate a healthier headspace. That means, don’t gossip, don’t involve yourself in other people’s problems, and avoid people who you feel directly cause you stress. As long as you realize the harmful effects conflict can have on both your work and personal lives, you’ll start cutting it off immediately.
4. Eliminate interruptions and distractions.
Many of us are bombarded throughout the day with more information than is healthy. This occurs in many forms: phone calls, emails, phone pop-ups, etc. A lot of these things aren’t as important as we might make them out to be, especially at work. To manage and minimize interruptions, don’t be afraid to say no. Sounds dangerous, but if you have enough on your plate, be straightforward and matter-of-fact. All you have to do is maintain a level of respect and professionalism. In most cases, people will understand and be willing to reschedule. “No” is a very powerful word. It’s natural to feel uncomfortable saying it at first, but sometimes there are more important things to focus on. Don’t underestimate the power of these two magic words, “I can’t.”
5. Take a break.
Finally, if all else fails and you’re at your limit – consider taking a break. When stress is overwhelming, sometimes, you just need to get away from it all. The body’s design can only handle short bursts of stress. When it’s prolonged and happens on a regular basis, however, the best solution is to take a step back and breathe. Vacations and even shorter breaks have resulted in many rewards. Shorter breaks throughout your day, between work sessions, make you more productive and–most importantly–healthier. Sometimes, you just need a short break from stress to get your minds off your troubles. If that’s the case, you can take a hike or exercise before getting back into the swing of things. But if you feel that your stress is becoming too much, a vacation can do wonders, as long as you come back with a refreshed state of mind.
RSVP for Mental Wellness Calls
Join the Mental Wellness FACEBOOK GROUP here.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
A $50 annual membership gives you an all-access pass. You can be a part of every call, group, class, and community.
A $25 annual membership gives you access to one class, one Social Interest group, and our online communities.
A $12 annual membership gives you access to our Friday calls with the publisher, our online community.
Register New Account
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Want to contribute to The Good Men Project? Submit here:
Photo credit: By [email protected]