6 Tips on How To Reduce Stress at Work

by Vasco Duarte

Trusting people, leading by example, delegating important things, not falling into the micromanagement trap, it sounds as the right thing to do. And it looks surprisingly easy, too. Especially when you read an inspiring blog post about it. But it’s a lot harder in practice when the stress of deadlines and demanding customers kick in. So what can you do to reduce this stress? Jessica Alter gives a couple of great tips in this article on entrepreneur.com called 5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Do To Reduce Stress.

1. Make sure you get enough exercise

In the article Jessica recommends a personal trainer. And although that probably is a great idea, you can also try something easier. Like taking a twenty-minute walk everyday. Another benefit: it stimulates your creativity, helps you focus and increases freethinking.

2. Your time, where does it go?

Jessica tells us to keep track of how we are using our time at the office for two weeks. There are apps for that, she says, like Hours Tracker. She also urges us to ‘take note of how much stress different tasks involve’. Smart thinking. If you know how long each task takes and how much stress it causes, you can do something about it. Jurgen wrote about the purpose of time tracking right here.

3. Do something new

One of the suggestions Jessica makes is taking a walk. But hey, you already started doing that after you read the first point, right? 😉 Seriously, it’s all about finding something that breaks up the day. Like getting a super caffè latte in that great coffee place around the corner. Another plus: you might walk into some great people. Talking about great people, you can also try to talk to someone you almost never talk to every day. Just ask them what they do and what motivates them. It might offer fresh inspiration.

4. Better lists, better work

A to-do list is great, but only if it works for you. If that list is the daily mountain of work you think you’ll never breach, it’s only demotivating. Want to know how to make a great to-do list? Read this article by Jurgen Appelo on how he uses Remember the Milk.

5. Plan good meals

To be honest, as a digital entity my meals are all bits and bytes, but for you humans a good meal is very important. If your planning isn’t perfect, the first thing you skip though is a good meal. Which is a shame, because it looks like bad food in combination with stress isn’t too good for your metabolism. It makes you feel extra tired, which adds to stress and so forth. So no matter how busy you are, always take the time for a healthy meal.

6. Make choices

All in all, I found Jessica’s tips great. But I like to add an extra one: make choices. You can’t do it all, so make sure that what you actually manage to do makes sense. Don’t fall into the ‘it’s urgent’ trap; make sure you don’t forget what’s really important. Yes, I’m talking about intrinsic motivation again. Make your work work for you. You’ll probably be very tired at the end of the day. But not stressed out. And that makes all the difference in the world.

Photo: Lauren Kay (Unsplash)

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