3 tips to help managers manage stress

well-being, stress

Stress is undoubtedly part of the managers role. According to recent survey conducted by Centre for Creative Leadership 88% of workers in leadership roles stated that work was the primary source of their personal stress.

These key components cause you stress on daily bases:

  1. workload

  2. time 

  3. conflict/ arise of problem (situation)

Being under stress can turn you into different person. If you find yourself more often than not -agitated, moody and unreasonable, you may want to read on. 

I had two questions in my mind when I started writing this article. First of all I wanted to answer this one - If those feelings persist, what can you as manager do to take control? And secondly, what practical steps can you take to kick the stress in the butt? And Here’s what I’ve learnt.

1. HOW TO AVOID OVERLOAD AS A MANAGER

You’ve got to get through a huge volume of work daily. Workload pressure from downsizing, extra responsibilities. Role of manager is turning into complex and unwieldy. 

TIPS:

Clear objectives
Check in with your boss daily to ensure you and your team are working towards his main PRIORITIES. These can change often, and daily checking in will help you avoid working towards wrong goals. 

Delegation
Avoid delegating to only certain individuals of whom you know will deliver work for you, ensure to include all the members of your team when you’re delegating, this will help them learn and GROW. 

Learn to say no
Of course, it is hard to admit that you and your team don’t have the time, resources or mental capacity to take on another task. If you are struggling with your work load, the chances are, your team struggles too, it’s YOUR RESPONSIBILITY and your duty of care to set boundaries and prevent them from more stress. 


2. BLOCK TIME

The time is number one factor causing stress. You have limited time of day spend at work stuff. Just the thought of all the task that need to get done today and quick glance of clock, makes you panic, right?

Here’s where prioritising and being clear on objectives is so important, not for your professional success, but also your HEALTH. 

TIPS:

Assign tasks to your team members, let them get on with their responsibilities, this is your block of time to do your part of the job. Check in with your team, ensure all goes well to the plan, then return to block of the time for you to work on your responsibilities. 

TRUST, right level of DELEGATION and clear OBJECTIVES. Master these 3 managerial skills and you’ll reduce your own stress level. 



3. LOOK HARD FOR DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

The truth is that we blow things out of proportion. We add too much value to the things which in great scheme of things and goals don’t matter. 

Many work ‘crisis’ are forgotten in the weeks time and work life has moved on. 

TIPS:

Will this matter in a year time?
Will this matter in 3 years time?
What are immediate consequences?
How can I rectify this?



If you are constantly caught up in the stress cycle, here’s what you can do


IDENTIFY YOUR STRESS TRIGGERS
Pay attention during the day when are you feeling more stressed, what happens just before you start feeling stressed? When do you feel more irritable? Less patient? More anxious? More tense? Take a note of it and see if you can figure out the ROOT CAUSE. Are they specific situations or people? How realistic would it be for you to avoid them? What other ways you could use to deal with them?


COUNTERACT THE STRESS
Start looking for activities which will relax you. Different activities will work differently for everyone. Consider mindfulness, meditation, walk, exercise, or reading. 


FORGET THE PERFECTION
Nothing is perfect, not everything will go according to plan. Think of progress rather than perfection.

TALK TO PEOPLE
Ignoring or burying stress inside will expand it. Talk it out and talk it through with people who care about you. 



EMBRACE HEALTHIER LIFE STYLE
This includes having enough sleep, eating healthier food and appropriate portions, drinking plenty of water and getting enough physical exercise. 

These activities will increase your overall health, improve your mood, and make you more resistant to certain forms of stress. To learn more about stress, read my article below.

According to Dr. Mark Hyman,

“eating whole, real foods restores balance and reduces the effects of stress on your body. Replacing caffeine (this would not be possible for me), alcohol and refined sugars, with clean proteins, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats helps regulate your hormones levels, including stress hormones.” 

According to Education Director Kathie Swift,

The gut and brain are constantly sending signals to each other, so by keeping your microbiota (the bacteria in your gut) healthy, your brain feels less stressed.”

The quickest way to reduce stress is by releasing endorphins which is easily done by exercising. Shaking, dancing, running, cycling. Meditation is best for clearing your mind. 

Sleep. If you feel stressed, it keeps you up at night and the lack of sleep does not prepare you well for dealing with the stress next day. It a vicious circle which you can attempt to break by using relaxation and visualisation techniques. 

Breathing is often forgotten tool we have to reduce stress. Pause for 2 minutes and fully focus on your breathing. Breathing deeply relieves the stress. Try out Soft belly meditation. 

How do you manage stress at work? I’d like to hear from you in the comments below

Also, if you’d like to learn more about dealing with stress, here are some of the related articles you may find useful.