Work Stress - 9 Tips for Surviving
a Stressful Office Job
It may surprise you but the main reason why we get stressed
isn't that we have "too much to do". For most of us, having
too much to do is perfectly fine as long as we know what our
priorities are and if we can have a good overview of our work.
Instead, the plague of modern office life is that we have
to MANY things to do and that we can't keep track of it all.
Discover an easy and effective way of managing your work.
These simple techniques have been proven time and time again.
In essence, the simple secret lies in taking charge of your
1. Write it down! I never cease to be amazed by how
often stressed out people try to keep all the things they
have to do in their heads. Stress is often more about knowing
that we have a lot to do but not being able to remember exactly
2. Write it ALL down! In order for you to have a to-do
list that you can rely on, you must trust that it contains
ALL the things you have to do. Otherwise, you will still have
a nagging feeling that you may not be focussing on the right
3. Find a good to-do list application. There are a
lot of them out there and you should be able to find a good
one for less than 10 dollars. Make sure that it is fast to
work with and easily accessible. Most come with a 30 day trial
so shop around until you find one that suits you. I myself
ended up writing my own to-do list software, since I couldn't
find a tool that was fast and gave me feedback on how well
I was doing.
4. Channel interruptions to your to-do list. Interruptions
are a part of life so don't let them stress you. 95% of all
interruptions are either very quick so that you can deal with
them straight away or something that you can defer to a time
when YOU decide.
5. Don't let your email inbox become your to-do list.
Receiving emails can be great fun. Unfortunately, it is also
very easy to confuse your inbox with your to-do list. Try
to only scan your email inbox once every hour or two (If you
lack the discipline, you can set your email client to do this).
6. You don't have to do everything! If I had to choose
one single reason why people fail with their to-do lists it
would have to be that they lack the ability to strike things
off it. Things change and so should your to-do list. If you
are uncomfortable with deleting tasks, create a "storage"
list and move it to that.
7. The Nibble. Let's face it, some tasks are big, vague
and truly and utterly boring. We end up postponing these tasks
forever and as a result they never leave our to-do list. Eventually,
our list is filled with these types of tasks and finally we
decide not to look at the depressing thing. The trick is "The
Nibble". Break the task down into smaller components. Make
sure that the first step is takes less than 5 minutes to do.
Then take that first step.
8. Not my time of day - Listen to your own rhythm.
Let's face it. Were human, not machines. At times we are productive
and at times we are not. I see it as a surfer who times the
waves and then rides them to their fullest. Try to find a
task management system that let's you monitor your own "waves".
You will probably find that you know less about yourself than
you think you do.
9. Play! Why oh why do all planners and task managers
have to look so professional and at the end of the day, so
very very boring? Make your work into a game. Set small targets
and reward yourself.
Christopher Bjork took his degree in Cognitive Psychology
at Stockholm University. He is the director of a global IT
organization and the inventor and chief architect of the to-do
list software "On the Ball" - www.allontheball.com
Article Source: http://www.upublish.info