No one can be stress-free all the time, but you can learn to be more productive in your busyness, and remain more calm.
You’ve probably been there: you’re really busy and feeling a lot of pressure. You know that sleep has been practically nonexistent in the past few days. You’re too busy.
Just sitting on your couch feels like a prison sentence. Every second that you waste, you feel like you need to be up and doing something productive, even if that “productive” is just staring into space. You can’t take a break because taking a break would mean being unproductive, and you can’t handle being unproductive anymore. That’s because you are already very much aware of how much time you’re wasting.
And it’s the stress that is causing this, not the amount of work you have to do, although you’ll blame it on the latter.
What can we do? You cannot stay productive if you are being stressed.
Tips for stress relief at work for executives
Put some distance between you and your work.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re working from home, especially if it’s just you and a computer. But that feeling of being trapped only serves to make it harder for you to switch from work mode to work-free mode. Go hang out with friends, watch a movie, or go get a massage. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you take some time away from your work. You must have at least an hour or more of downtime in your daily routine.
Do something completely unrelated to work
No matter how busy you are, no one can force you to be unproductive for more than 4 hours at a time. What’s important is that whatever you’re doing during this time is far removed from your work.
Set a timer for the amount of time you want to spend away from work
It’s so easy to get caught up in being busy that you forget why it’s important to take time off. This is why it’s a good idea to have an external force help you out. Set a timer for, say, one hour. When you hear that beep, your break is over and it’s back to work for you.
Take a mental break
No one, no matter how strategically they work, can remember every single scenario that could occur in the upcoming hours. What if someone calls you at 2 am? What if you get a huge deadline at 3 pm? It’s easy to be stressed by the things that could go wrong, but you can’t help it. Now would be a good time for you to take a mental break.
Make a to-do list for your break
You can’t plan everything that you have to accomplish in an hour, but you can plan at least one thing. This is why it’s a good idea to make a list of tasks that will take you exactly an hour. You can also add things after the fact if you need to, and always check your work schedule before and after the break.
Do something “work-related” after your break
Whether it’s checking your email or updating your status on Facebook, don’t worry about checking in with people in the office. Most of the time, there’s nothing else you need to do at work. However, that doesn’t mean you’re free to forget about work altogether. Once you’ve taken a mental break, go back to doing what you did best once before: working hard and being productive.
Get out of your workspace
The worst thing you can do is sit at your desk and stare at the work in front of you. It’s almost impossible to be productive when you’re doing that anyway. Instead, go work somewhere else. Take a walk, go to a cafe, or just read a book in the park. You don’t have to be working for this break to count; it just has to be work-free.
Switch to a new task
A common misconception is that all work can wait until the next day, but that’s not true at all. Make sure you use the white space in your calendar to switch to a new task. Don’t be afraid to delegate and distribute work to colleagues.
Are you a busy person?
Do you find yourself always being busy? There just never seems to be any time for that fun thing you have promised yourself that you are going to do?
It does not matter why you are always busy, if it is because of one reason or many. If over time you find yourself getting in a routine where there is still a lot of stress from all the situations you’re in, then maybe it is time for a change.
The worst thing you can do is say, “my life has always been this way”, and not do anything about it. No matter what is causing your busyness, you cannot keep doing that forever because you will eventually burn out.
Instead of just looking into the reasons why you are busy, look for solutions to make yourself less busy and more efficient. If all of your days are filled with work and no time to even think about yourself or your needs, then it’s time to take a step back and plan time for yourself.
What a busy schedule does to you
Do you always schedule yourself to 100%? It is a common thing for an individual to fill their schedule with activities and appointments, but if you find that your schedule is becoming overloaded, it might be time to consider adjustments.
Don’t forget your loved ones – they need some of your time too! If you have family, it is important that you spend time with them doing fun activities. If you don’t have family, then maybe it is time to meet some new people and form a new relationship. This may take time, and a busy schedule can be a reason not to begin this.
Work-life balance is key
Poor work-life balance is defined as an imbalance between the time you spend at work and the time you spend on activities outside of work. There are various negative effects that arise from poor work-life balance, ranging from stress to fatigue to impaired cognitive function.
Work-life balance is not a one-size-fits-all concept, rather it encompasses different things for different people. It may improve your quality of life if you find activities that fill the gaps left by your busy schedule, like a hobby, volunteering or physical activity. It may also improve your quality of life if you find more efficient ways to complete tasks while at work, so that there’s more time for leisure when it’s over.
Basic things such as exercise and eating healthy are the first to go when an individual is busy with work or other tasks. However, making yourself a priority when you have a busy schedule will help in improving your health and productivity. You should always make healthy food options available whenever possible. If you don’t eat properly, then your energy will suffer as well as your ability to concentrate and perform at work.
Busy-ness and anxiety
Do busyness and stress eventually lead to anxiety? Sadly, yes.
It’s a common thing for everyone to become anxious at some point. It is not always easy to deal with all of the things that are going on at work or in life, but it is best to take a step back and breathe when you feel anxiety arises.
Whenever you feel like everything is overwhelming, take a break. You may find that you will have some time and space to think about what’s happening in your life. Take a deep breath – or two – and sigh it out to allow your nervous system to recognise some safety. Or try a mindfulness exercise, such as closing your eyes and paying attention to the way the air feels as you breathe in and out. These kinds of exercises are known to have a positive impact on blood pressure and your general level of wellness.
Consistent / chronic stress and overwhelm
If you’re experiencing regular stress and overwhelm, or feel it’s starting to get worse, it might be time to see a business coach. Being under chronic stress can affect your physical and mental health. There are also many other factors that contribute to stress. Personal relationships, family life, financial stability, work environment and lots of other things can cause it.
It’s important to note that this kind of stress, while not ideal, is different from the kind we’re talking about here. Chronic stress is a result of long-term poor habits rather than issues you have with understanding how much work you actually have to do.
How can a business coach help with stress?
It’s a good question. If you’ve never worked with a business coach, you might not know whether or not it’ll help. A business coach can help you with stress in several ways.
- Business coaches can help you address the problem of stress and overwhelm and how it affects you and your company.
- Business coaches help you to look at issues differently. They will ask questions that would not come to mind under pressure. They will help you view problems and find solutions.
- They listen to you and ask questions that will give them clarity on what is really going on.
- Business coaches will help you to identify your own style of dealing with stress. They will help you to understand your natural strengths and weaknesses.
- Business coaches can help you to understand what is really happening in the moment when there are issues.
- They can give suggestions on how to react and how to deal with situations so that you are not overwhelmed or stressed. When they help you reinforce positive behaviours so that they become automatic, this helps your performance, even under pressure.
- A business coach will create a plan with you. Business coaches know how to create plans for achieving your goals, and they will guide you through the process of creating a plan for yourself.
Stress management in business
Not only is stress management essential in business, but it also is essential to have a business that is able to survive when you are finding days a bit more difficult. This in itself can cause you negative emotions, such as fear of the future.
You could have a strategy that is able to help you to release your stress. But do not underestimate the benefits of a good business coach. It can make a big difference in your business.
Working with a business coach on your stress levels
When you are working with a business coach, you will be able to get answers and know what is going on in the moment that you happen to be stressed.
You will be able to work through solutions to reduce your stress levels and give you greater control in various situations.
You will be able to have someone who can work with you on what is happening in the moment when you are experiencing stress. They will give you feedback and help you to find solutions that suit your needs at the time.
I can help you take action and monitor how things are going so that your stress management efforts have a high success rate.