Why do we get stressed at work? (RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW Part 2)
There are many reasons we get stressed at work. To much work to handle is often not the only, or even main, reason. A big part of our perceived stress depends on the external (and inner) requirements that you have - in relation to the control of the situation you are experiencing and the support you can get.
The requirements can be everything from deadlines to productivity. Both on a cognitive, qualitative, quantitative or emotional level. When we get stressed we tend to have high expectations (from our boss, colleagues, customers or ourselves) but not the power or mandate to get control over the situation or make important decisions.
The control is affected both by the skills you have at work and how much you are in charge of decisions about your work. Unclear tasks, goals or job roles is very common and causes stress. Not to mention messy communication, reorganizations, conflicting messages or lack of resources or information. Our stress levels increases when we feel that we are losing control of a situation.
If we get social support we are much more prepared to cope with these types of situations. If not we tend to get more stress symtoms. That is why feedback, social support and community at work is so important. We are social creatures, therefore, exclusion and bullying are highly negative and causes a lot of stress.
Stress is very individual (and also affected a lot by our situation outside work) but in general healthy workplaces have found the balance where the individuals has a manageable level of requirements and good opportunities to influence their work situation. A sense of context and meaningfulness. If we also have good social support we can handle much more without getting to stressed.
Some tips and trix
In general we spend 1/3 of our working hours on reading and answering emails. We tend to feel more dissatisfied at work the more time we spend on emails and it can totally disturb our concentration. It's easy to think that this is something we need to do, to always be available. But at many jobs we don't. Try to limit the time in the inbox and schedule it to a special time(s) during the day.
No more multitasking
Multitasking is often seen as a good skill and something companies are looking for in job ads. But do you want to know a secret? Our brains can NOT multitasking. What the brain is doing instead is jumping fast between different tasks. That take a lot of energy. We loose our concentration, get more stressed and get less done. People that see themselves as good multitaskers are often even worse in doing many things at the same time than others. We might feel more effective, but are not. (This is something I constantly need to remind myself of...).
When there is a lot to do we tend to take shorter (or none) breaks. Maybe eat the lunch in front of the desk. It might look that we are more effective, but without recovery we will get less done and feeling more stressed. So don't skip your lunch break. Before you get tired and loose your concentration, take a little break or a short walk to get some blood circulation (more about this in another post next week). In one study, the perfect work/ break-balance was shown to be 52 minutes of work, followed by 17 minutes of rest.
RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW - This is Steemit Stress Series
As a part of my goal to help create an oasis of wellbeing on Steemit I will write articles about different aspects of stress and and how to live more mindful.
Please comment and write your questions below or message me on Steemit.chat @givemeyoursteem . I think it's valuable to share our experiences and discuss different aspects of stress together.