For those who have already tried taking a deep breath/ camomile tea/ standing on their head.
1. Rethink your To-Do List
Feeling overstretched is a surefire stress trigger. If your tasklist is doubling in mass and causing you to feel fatigued or overwhelmed, the key to combating this could be as simple as adding a “when/where” column along the side. Introducing “when” and “where” add structure, picturability and substance to your plan for the day.
This improved foresight can prevent you from taking on an unrealistic workload. It should also double or triple your chances of completing the tasks on your list according to Nine ways Successful People Defeat Stress in Harvard Business Review.
2. Minimise Interruptions
How many times per working day do you find yourself thinking “What was I doing?” Being repeatedly interrupted mid-task can trigger stress by diverting you away from your carefully laid-out priorities and eventually causing you to lose track of your workload. In an open office, disturbances are sometimes unavoidable, but there are techniques to minimise them.
Start by asking your colleagues to email you all non-urgent matters rather than breaking you off by speaking to you, even if sat within your immediate proximity. Alternatively, devise your own custom do-not-disturb cue. Wearing a headset or headphones can be an effective blocker, as it makes you clearly identifiable as busy, and possibly not even able to hear your pesky interrupter!
3. Make Fewer Decisions
The average human adult makes around 35,000 decisions everyday. Making too many decisions can deplete your energy levels and result in stress. If you find that you are tasked with making a disproportionate amount of decisions at work, downsize by taking some time to figure out which decisions you can delegate and to whom specifically. The specifics makes your plan more actionable.
Also, bear in mind that variety is not always the spice of life. In an interview with vanity fair, Barack Obama proudly told that he only ever wears gray or blue suits in order to make fewer decisions in life. Instilling some constancy and choice restriction into your routine could minimise decision-making obligation and free up some brain power!