How To Manage Work Stress

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What You Can Do To Prevent Work Stress And Burnout

BY DR SARAH HUGHES

Work stress is a big problem in Australia. To make bigger profits businesses try to limit their expenses and as a result workplaces are understaffed and under-resourced. Where there are demands for employees to take on heavier workloads and work longer hours to meet unrealistic deadlines, issues like workplace bullying and job insecurity, and expectations that employees will take on tasks outside their job description its little wonder employees are burnt out.

Are you contributing to your own work stress?

Are you contributing to your own work stress?

There’s no question that the work place can be a stressful environment, but how much are we responsible for our own levels of stress at work?

How many times have you agreed to help a co-worker complete a task when you were already overworked yourself? How often do you hold on to tasks and avoid delegating.  Do you ever work through your lunch break and stay behind after work to meet unrealistic deadlines?

You have the power to moderate your stress at work. Recalibrating others expectations of you can be challenging but what’s worse the short-term discomfort that accompanies change or the longer-term work stress you’re likely to face if you don’t change? Next time someone asks you to help them with something when you really don’t have time try saying no or say yes but on your terms:

“Sure. I have a few deadlines so can’t help you with that today but I would be happy to go through it with you on Wednesday.”

And when you’ve done your best to finish a task in time but know you won’t meet the deadline, before you stay back late, ask yourself:

If I continue to work like this to meet these deadlines how will my boss ever know that the deadlines he’s/she’s setting aren’t realistic?

Remember you don’t always have to be responsible for coming up with a solution to an unrealistic deadline – that’s what your boss is there for:

“This report is due in 2 days. I’ve been working overtime on it but it’s not physically possible for me to have it for you by then. What do you suggest we do?”

Dr. Sarah Hughes is a clinical psychologist and the founder of Think Clinical Psychologists. She enjoys working with children, adolescents, and adults, and specialises in anxiety, depression, postnatal depression, eating disorders, self-harm, and challenging behaviour.