Occupational stress is one the most common problems affecting people of all industries nowadays. Tough bosses, extra work hours, job demands, bullying by colleagues all collectively affect the stress levels of an individual.
According to the statistics, Sixty-nine percent of employees report that work is a significant source of stress and 41% say they typically feel tense or stressed out during the workday (American Psychological Association, 2009).
These higher levels of stress in-turns lead to stressful personal life. Staying in office till late hours and neglecting the personal relationships further contribute to an imbalance in the personal – professional life.
The effects of stress in job life are many, few being:
1. Strained personal relationships: 55% of employees say that job demands have interfered with responsibilities at home in the past three months (American Psychological Association, 2009).
2. Decreased productivity: Fifty-one percent of employees said they were less productive at work as a result of stress (American Psychological Association, 2009).
3. Health disorders: Eighty-three percent of employees report going to work even while sick.
The best ways to deal with the stress is to manage the work load in such a way that a balance between professional and personal life is maintained. It is important for an individual to be aware of roles and responsibilities at work and thus fulfilling them in a managed way.
Managing time, smart work, maintaining healthy habits and timely completion of work are few important ways of decreasing the stress.
Many people are putting in extra hours, or using their smartphones to be on call when they’re not physically at work.
A lot of people are having a more difficult time finding balance in their lives because there have been cutbacks or layoffs where they work. They’re afraid it may happen to them, so they’re putting in more hours.
Here are five ways to bring a little more balance to your daily routine:
# Build downtime into your schedule.
When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends, and activities that help you recharge.
If a date night with your spouse or a softball game with friends is on your calendar, you’ll have something to look forward to and an extra incentive to manage your time well so you don’t have to cancel.
# Drop activities that sap your time or energy.
“Many people waste their time on activities or people that add no value — for example, spending too much time at work with a colleague who is constantly venting and gossiping.”
-Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, a psychologist and executive coach in New York and Connecticut.
Her advice: Take stock of activities that don’t enhance your career or personal life, and minimize the time you spend on them.
You may even be able to leave work earlier if you make a conscious effort to limit the time you spend on the web and social media sites, making personal calls, or checking your bank balance. “We often get sucked into these habits that are making us much less efficient without realizing it,” Stack says.
# Rethink your errands.
Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands.
Could you order your groceries online and have them delivered? Hire a kid down the street to mow your lawn? Have your dry cleaning picked up and dropped off at your home or office? Order your stamps online so you don’t have to go to the post office? Even if you’re on a tight budget, you may discover that the time you’ll save will make it worth it.
# Get moving.
It’s hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but it may ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.
“Research shows exercise can help you to be more alert,” Brooks says. “And I’ve noticed that when I don’t exercise because I’m trying to squeeze in another half hour of writing, I don’t feel as alert.”
# Remember that a little relaxation goes a long way.
Don’t assume that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. Brooks recommends setting realistic goals, like leaving the office earlier 1 night per week.
“Slowly build more activities into your schedule that are important to you,” he says. “Maybe you can start by spending an hour a week on your hobby of carpentry, or planning a weekend getaway with your spouse once a year.”
Even during a hectic day, you can take 10 or 15 minutes to do something that will recharge your batteries. “Take a bath, read a trashy novel, go for a walk, or listen to music,” Stack says. “You have to make a little time for the things that ignite your joy.”
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