Changing your work habits, better time management, and working with your boss or employer can help you manage and reduce your on-the-job stress.
By Michael J. Weiss
Set realistic goals for what you can accomplish at work. Prioritize your tasks to focus on the important ones. If you have subordinates, delegate responsibilities to them as much as possible.
Burn off tension through exercise. Schedule some time in the morning, during lunch, or in the evening for a brisk walk, jogging, aerobics, or weight lifting, when you can escape the pressures at work. Try yoga and deep-breathing exercises, which can reduce stress, at the office.
Don't be afraid to take vacations. People can't operate at full throttle on the job day after day. When you do get away, leave your work cell phone and BlackBerry at home. You need to recharge so you can be at your peak when you get back to work.
Look for signs that you're getting burned out. If you routinely zone out on the job, think that none of your work matters, or consistently dread going to work, it's time to get help. Some 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), in which counselors help workers deal with day-to-day stresses -- strictly confidentially -- to keep them from becoming larger medical issues. If your company doesn't have an EAP, consider seeing a therapist or a career coach for guidance tailored to your needs.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal magazine, September 2004.