Alvah Parker

Article Summary:

10 simple tips to reduce stress at work.

How To Reduce Stress At Work

Stress free living is probably impossible. It is wise however to manage the stress so that we can work more effectively.

1. De-clutter - Nothing is more draining than having an office that is cluttered. Find a way to organize your office. Just looking at your stuff all over the place is draining! Cleaning up is only a partial solution. It will come back. Find a system to put things away at the end of the day or each time you finish with it. Make it a habit.

2. Reframe - It is all in how you look at something. Language and attitude make the difference. Are you looking at something that is a problem that could be reframed into something positive? Example: You've been selected to work with a client who is known to be difficult. You can choose to be pleased or annoyed that you were selected. Like a politician put a positive spin on it!

3. Address beliefs - Pressure comes from within. Do you worry about an outcome of something you have done over which you have no control? When the work is completed and has left your desk do you worry that something negative will happen to it? Perhaps you have the belief that you must be perfect - no mistakes. Does anyone have that kind of a perfect record? Of course not. Think about how many times you do the work without problems. Focus on that.

4. Under promise and Over deliver - Be sure to make promises you can deliver on. Deadlines are stressful when you know you may not meet them. Give a delivery date that you know you can meet and surprise the client by getting it done early. If you please the client initially by promising an early delivery then you will either have to stay late to get the work done or disappoint the client by delivering the work late.

5. Delegate properly - If you continue to do everything yourself you will be overwhelmed and stressed. Delegate tasks that are repetitious but don't require your expertise to complete. Off load anything that doesn't use your strengths. Leave breathing room in your day!

6. Strategic scheduling - Each day you choose what to work on. Plan your work so that you don't have to rush to get work done. Your schedule dictates priorities. Be clear about your choices. Use this schedule to guard against over promising.

7. Power hour - Establish a period of time (one, two or three hours) when you work behind closed doors. Give instructions that you are to have no interruptions. Get your work done on time and without angst. Most people are less effective when they are interrupted constantly to answer questions from others, talk on the phone or answer email.

8. Systems support - Establish processes and ways of working that give structure to your day. Sometimes stress is caused by worrying about what has fallen through the cracks. Having established procedures to log in the work, schedule the work and then delivery of the work helps you to know what to do and when to do it. You are able to deliver your best work easily when you have systems inplace like an up to date calendar, easily accessible ways to clock your time, and clear and detailed work flows.

9. Quiet Time - Give yourself some private time to meditate, go for a walk or just day dream. Take a break from your work for 10 or 15 minutes to refresh yourself and reenergize.

10. Maintain a healthy lifestyle - Eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep (usually 7 or 8 hours a night) will keep you refreshed and ready to meet the day to day challenges of your work.

Alvah Parker is a Practice Advisor for attorneys and Career Transition Coach as well as publisher of Parker's Points, an email tip list and Road to Success, an ezine. To subscribe send an email to join-roadtosuccess@
go.netatlantic.com. Parker's Value Program enables clients to find a way to work that is more fulfilling and profitable. She is both a Practice Advisor and Coach to attorneys, sole practioners, and works with people in transition to find a fulfilling career. Alvah is found on the web at www.asparker.com. She may also be reached at 781-598-0388.

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