Top 10 Causes of Stress for Managers
(and more importantly how to keep your cool…)
- Office politics
- Constant interruptions
- A feeling of little to no control
- Tight deadlines and other time pressures
- Poor organizational communication
- Lack of direction from superiors
- Too many internal meetings
- Handling/keeping up with emails
- Job security
- Change in the workplace
Managers are often the key indicator of stress in the company. If you stopped smiling at work a year ago, and feel the veins in your forehead pulsate from time to time, there’s a good chance that you — and subsequently the staff that you oversee — are under too much stress.
However, here are five easy tips to make your working environment a happier, healthier, and less stressful place to be.
Block Off Your Time
Sure you’ve heard it before, but have you tried it? Each day, set aside a set period of time to perform specific tasks. For instance, block off between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to work on that budget spreadsheet you’ve been procrastinating on. Or designate two half-hour periods, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to respond to emails and make telephone callbacks. You’ll feel more in control when you dictate what you do and when you do it. You’ll also be more productive when you concentrate on one thing, rather than trying to attend to everything at once.
Take a Vacation Everyday
Get out of the office on your lunchtime. Use your hour to eat, go for a little walk, read or meet a friend. Consciously shift your mindset away from work. Grabbing a bite to eat with someone from work? Don’t get trapped into talking about the office or the latest project you are working on. Be as selfish as you can about your lunch hour — between 9 and 5 your lunchtime break really is your daily vacation.
Get a Deeper Understanding of Your Tasks
One of the many causes of stress in the workplace for managers is unclear direction. If this is how you feel, make an appointment with the HR department or your supervisor to clearly establish your job tasks and performance expectations. Get rid of any unclear or ambiguous job descriptions. A little clarity can go a long way in boosting your morale and how you approach your job responsibilities.
Your New Best Friend: The Word “No.”
Are you trying to “over multi-task?” Doing too much in too little time leads to not only raised stress and anxiety levels, but also to a lot of careless errors and mistakes that reflect poorly on you as a manager. Only do the work and tasks for which you are willing to be 100% accountable. Take a “big picture” view of things — ask yourself if the task you are being asked to do is a priority. If it isn’t, say no.
Get Away From It All
Are you one of those managers that hasn’t taken a holiday in the last five years? A yearly vacation is a must for managers. Managers need downtime to relax and rejuvenate. The office will survive without you – honest. Don’t check your work email. Don’t bring your laptop with you. Get away from the office completely. Not taking time away from the office can backfire; studies have shown that workers who don’t use their vacation time have higher absenteeism rates. Remember, if you never unwind, burnout is just around the corner.
If you want additional methods and techniques for coping with stress and anxiety, check out Stress Busters by ACQYR — an A to Z toolkit for helping you reduce stress in your life. It’s jam-packed with strategies, case studies, interviews with leading stress experts, self-assessments, worksheets and much more. It also includes telephone coaching sessions. Beat stress and accomplish anything.