In this article, we want to share with you a Stress Scale that we have devised to help you get an idea about the extent to which you might be feeling stressed at work. We spend a considerable amount of our time being at work and when work becomes a stressor, it can impact us significantly and even spill on to other parts of our life. We hope that this Stress Scale also draws your attention to the not-so-obvious signs of stress that you might be experiencing.
Stress at Work
Work, though fulfilling, is often stressful. In today’s era of multitasking, virtual teams and global competition, our work lives mean hectic and pressured lifestyles, causing emotional burnout. Additionally, aspects of the work environment could be conflicted. The blogs in this section describe healthy and productive ways of handling workplace stress
Do you feel like you have no energy left to deal with the stresses of your job? Or, for that matter, your life? That you just ‘can’t take this anymore’? If you do, you are probably experiencing burnout.
At times, burnout goes unnoticed for long or gets addressed very late. By the time, the fatigue and distress the person experiences take a toll. How do you know if you are going through this?
When you are upset, tired or stressed, it becomes difficult to focus at work. You are more vulnerable to distractions and everything takes twice as long to do.
“I have been going through a difficult time since the past couple of days. I am shifting to a new house and there are soooo many things to take care of. It is very stressful and it is creating a tense family atmosphere as well. There are projects to finish at work but I find my mind drifting to these problems. It is becoming really difficult to concentrate at my job. My personal problems are starting to get the better of me. It’s affecting my work now! I don’t know what to do about it…”
– Mr.K.L, Senior Manager.
“It’s affecting my work.” Most of us have used this line at some time; generally, when something is going wrong in our personal life and it is starting to affect our productivity at work. It could be a fight with a friend. A neighbour who is causing you unnecessary trouble. Or like Mr. K.L, a tense family environment.
We feel stressed and our mind seems in disarray. It becomes difficult to focus on the task at hand. You don’t feel like working and you struggle to make it through the day.
A heavy workload and numerous deadlines would easily be one of the most stressful things about work. We live in an environment that demands quite a bit out of us and our ability. If you enjoy working to your fullest and find meaning in the work you do, then things are working out well for you. However, if you feel like work is hitting you even before you know it, and are caught up and pressurized, be assured, there are many others in the same boat! Well, sometimes, you cannot directly change the fact that you have a whole lot to do. However, you can, with gentle effort, try and make this just a little easier on yourself. We put up a post earlier that described 3 guidelines that would help you plan and anticipate your day better, to deal with a heavy workload.
Dread getting up in the morning to go to work? Is it the heavy workload that repels you? Many of you probably think of deadlines and workload when you think of work. It’s true that today, work pressures have mounted tremendously. You may have a lot to pack into each day. Though dealing with pressured deadlines and a heavy workload is stressful because it demands a lot out of you, there is little option you are left with. Maybe you cannot change the fact that you have a lot to do at work, today and on most days. Yes, this is tiring and demanding. However, is there something you can do to make this situation just a little easier on yourself? Even if it means worrying just a little lesser about how you will manage or being a little clearer about how much you can do? Often these little efforts help in cutting out from the stress and lending you some more energy to cope with the day.
In the previous section of this blog post, we described how you can identify if you are stressed because you are focusing too much on progress. In this section, we first dwell on why we sub-consciously develop this mindset. Then, we move on to describe what we can do to avoid over-focusing on progress.
Have you been experiencing stress at work? It’s possible that you have had a number of discussions with your colleagues about how stressful work is. Pay close attention to these discussions. What do they revolve around? Deadlines, budget restraints, high demands, salaries? Other people at work… your bosses, colleagues, juniors stressing you out?
What about “YOU”? We mean “YOU” as being a source of stress…
Doesn’t sound very good, isn’t it? After all why would you cause stress to yourself?
And yet you do! Actually most of us do!… Allow us to explain…
Your alarm goes “trrrrrrrrrring” in the morning and your eyes are almost sealed shut.
Yet again “trrrrrrring”
Squirms, sighs, irritation.
You wake up to yet another day. Or yet another time-table? Let me narrate some more. Every hour of your day is like a timed, one-minute game. It’s all about speed, efficiency and energy and you are constantly feeling overworked.