Whether you are just starting a job or apprenticeship, or if you have been working for some time, you will certainly want to avoid too much stress. Too much stress from your work can cause problems for your career, relationships, and even your health, so you may as well try to reduce it as much as you can. Of course, from time to time, stress may be unavoidable (“I’ve got to get that project finished by the end of the week”), and can actually be beneficial in helping you meet deadlines and perform under pressure. However, here are three common causes of stress in the workplace – and how to deal with them:
- Annoying Colleagues
You might have a colleague who you simply don’t get on with, or perhaps there is someone who just seems to have a problem with you all the time. Perhaps they are just rude, or at worst a bully. Workplace bullying is a serious issue, and it is not something that you should put up with, however, where someone is just annoying it pays to remember that it is their problem, not yours.
If they are anti-social, rude, or ignorant, it really isn’t your issue – it’s theirs. They have the fault, not you. So, rather than getting annoyed about it and stressing out, just use it to fuel your own progress.
If someone thinks you are useless then prove them wrong – but do it politely and with a smile on your face. Don’t drop to to their level and act like an idiot – they’re the experts, so you’ll only lose in the end.
It is much better to see their problems for what they are and understand that you may not be able to change someone else’s behaviour, but you have control of your own and how you react to a situation.
Rise above the annoyance and use it motivate you to be better.
- All Work & No Play
If you seem to be spending all your time at work or thinking about work then you need to slow down a little bit. There are those people who love what they do and say that going to work is not like working at all. If you are one of them, then great, you may be quite happy spending all your time working, but for a lot of people there is a real need to balance your work and home or social life in order to stay happy.
A good way to do this is to set up a regular evening when you meet up with your friends or family to socialise. You may even feel like organising a few regular get-togethers with people across the week.
Blocking out time out from work to enjoy yourself is a good habit to get into, and is also great for when you have a family and want to make sure you spend regular time together.
Of course, the whole idea of work / life balance is nothing new, but remember it works the other way too – all play and no work will get you fired!
- “Giving 120%”
Yes, I know that you shouldn’t be able to go over 100%, but you often hear people (especially footballers) talking about “giving 120%” – or some other figure over 100. While theoretically impossible, the meaning is clearly all about working at a higher rate than normal and giving your all.
When it comes to work there may be times when you need to go the extra mile or push slightly harder to get the job done., This can mean anything from packing more orders than usual to meet a deadline in a warehouse, to staying late in the office to get some accounts filed before the end of the financial year.
Giving 120% in these cases can be a good thing for your career. Not only are you showing that you are willing to work hard and put yourself out (in the short term) for the good of the business, but you will often find that these ‘all-in-together’ moments of pulling together are good for your relationships at work (including with your boss or even their boss, etc!).
However, the downside is that working at such a high rate can be stressful and tiring, so maintaining that level of workload all the time will simply leave you burnt out and fit for nothing. Not only can constantly giving ‘120%’ leave you stressed and unwell, but it probably won’t really help your career that much either. After all, if you are constantly giving your everything it will become expected of you and seen as normal – and what do you do when an extra push is required?
That said, just as constantly giving 120% is liable to cause problems for a football player’s health, giving just 20% at your job is likely to see you sent off!
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