Having spent twenty years in a corporate work environment as a consultant I pretty much understand the pressures you would be facing right now as you read this article. You are probably working against false deadlines, dishonest commitments, uncooperative colleagues, insecure bosses and worse still, a gender- or culturally-biased environment.
Such circumstances tax any good worker way beyond what can be or need be tolerated as an occupational hazard. But what does one have in one’s hands to deal with the situation anyway? Usually little.
But for you, there’s more. Because you are reading this article – on 3 proven tips for dealing with stress in the office… and I urge you to even circulate it for friends and colleagues to benefit. So here goes…
One, don’t draw lines about what you can do and what you cannot. The more rigid we are; the more lines we create; the more stressed we get when we feel someone is crossing the line. Instead, adopt an approach wherein you would observe all that is being done to stretch you beyond limits and then bargain for what you will and will-not deliver.
For example, let’s say you are in the stores department and are called upon for a purchase meeting when you have actually slotted the time for an inventory listing. Purchase is not your responsibility but they want you in that meeting just so they have a scapegoat from stores. You know that at a later date they will claim that you were present when the decision to buy something that would cause dead-stock was taken. So you have two options. One, to fight about not crossing the line; stress up everyone and not go. Or two, to send a mail to your boss with a copy to the purchase head specifying that you are diverting your time for activities that you have no role in. Imply that you have their consent unless they revoke the memo to you. Now you have passed the buck. Go enjoy the meeting. Refer to the mail if anything unexpected happens later.
Fundamentally, this is about being in the present and enjoying it. Also about involving everyone and not being a solo-artist. And not worrying about things that might never happen anyway.
The second and third tips concern your ability to cope. And these hinge on your wellness, both physically and mentally. Physically, if you are devoting 15 to 30 minutes to simple bending, stretching, walking and presses (a few reps everyday) you will gain hours of extra productivity because your body will not sag under stress.
Mentally if you engage in meditation, again for 15 to 30 minutes a day, you will have a sharpened focus on whatever you do for the rest of the day and thus will extract more from each hour.
So it is a good bargain. Invest an hour and get many extra hours of stress-free productivity. What holds us back is inertia. The unwillingness to make a change. The need to conform. But the good news is, you can snap out of it in an instant with a decision right now.