Quantcast
Want To Reduce Work Stress? Here's How To Protect Your Peace.

Want To Reduce Work Stress? Here's How To Protect Your Peace.

There is no upside to working yourself into an early grave.

Workin' Girl

One of the toughest parts of this new normal where we can all work remotely is we've now lost the clear separation between work and home. We end up working longer hours without breaks because there is no commute, and it seems like even more is expected of us working at home because we don't have any office distractions.

But the truth is, there is NO upside to working yourself into an early grave. Work stress and burnout are real, and they can negatively impact both our physical and mental health, our productivity, and even our relationships with friends and family. Therefore, boundaries are necessary to maintain your sanity and some level of work/life prioritization.

If you're thinking, "I hear you, Julia, BUT…that's easier said than done. If I start drawing boundaries with work, my company will think I'm not working hard enough or that I don't want to support the team," I've got you covered! Below I've outlined a few ways for you to start protecting your peace at work (whether at home or whenever we return to the office):

Say NO at work.

Shutterstock

Contrary to popular belief, it's perfectly OK to say NO at work. This does not mean you're not a team player or that you aren't willing to get work done. It simply means you are prioritizing your activities, and there may not be available bandwidth to take on additional work. If your supervisor or manager asks you to take on new tasks and you know you're already overloaded, schedule some time to walk through your current deliverables to see which ones can be placed on the backburner in favor of the new activities.

You can say something like, "Given the complexity of ABC tasks I'm already working on, I won't be able to add on XYZ as well and still complete everything accurately in the timeframe you've outlined. Which items would you prefer I prioritize first?" It is important that your supervisor is always clear on your work list so they have the appropriate context when assigning new projects.

Set boundaries in the workplace.

Let this be your confirmation:

Unless it's clearly part of your job description or communicated to you upon hiring, you should not need to be on-call for your employer. If you are performing at your highest level during standard business hours, meeting stated objectives, and providing your business partners and stakeholders with required information, your off-work hours should belong to you.

That's not to say there aren't peak times. We've all had to work on an accelerated project or complex presentation that may require unconventional hours. But outside of specific circumstances, get comfortable with leaving work where it is at the end of the day, and picking it up strong the following day.

If you find yourself receiving several late requests or calls, have a discussion with your management regarding role expectations and time commitments. You can also interact directly with those requesting your support. When you get something at the end of the day, respond with a quick note that says, "I received your request, and I will be glad to provide these details for you tomorrow." If you have a meeting scheduled for after-hours, propose a new (available) time and state, "I'm unavailable at XXpm, but I am open to meeting at XXam. Will that work for you?"

Remember if you don't draw the line, people may assume there isn't one!

Establish meeting agendas and objectives for better time management.

Shutterstock

This is particularly important if you are in leadership or management. When you are leading teams and setting the tone for an organization, your time truly dwindles. You cannot afford to spend time in meetings that serve no purpose, or else you will find yourself meeting all day during business hours, and then doing your actual work AFTER hours. When meetings are placed on your calendar, review them for agendas and expected outcomes.

Should you receive a meeting with a blank invitation comment box, don't shy away from responding to the sender to ask what the conversation is about, the main objectives, and how you can best provide value. This shows that you're not at all opposed to being part of the discussion, BUT ALSO, it politely lets them know you don't have time to be meeting about some upcoming meeting, which is a review of something they took offline in a prior meeting.

No more meetings about meetings in 2020.

Start delegating tasks more often.

Here's one more for my leaders and bosses! Start giving away your work. This is something I have personally struggled with as a manager because I feel like if something is given to me, I have to be the one to do it! Perhaps you've felt the same way, or you think, "If I want it done right, I have to do it myself." But keep in mind you are only one person, and there is only so much two hands can do. But if you have a team of competent, talented people working for you, tap into their skills and strengths. This gives you the opportunity to provide development and expand their work horizons, BUT ALSO, it gets some tasks off your plate so that you can better balance your more high-priority items, reduce your stress and anxiety levels, and work more efficiently. You've heard the saying: Many hands make light work. Take advantage of the resources you have and trust your team to help you carry the load.

Remember, you are not your job. You work to live, not live to work. And it's impossible to be at your best when you are constantly under excessive work stress. So be willing to put yourself first. There will always be another job, but there is only one you!

For more information about Julia Rock, check out Rock Career Development or follow her on Instagram and Twitter. To read more on work stress and the associated health impacts, check out this CDC report.

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

Featured image by Shutterstock

Tessa Thompson Talks ‘Thor: Love And Thunder’ Character’s Sexuality

Tessa Thompson is gearing up for the premiere of Thor: Love and Thunder where she plays Valkyrie, the king of Asgard. Fans first got a look at Tessa as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok and later Avengers: End Game and now we will get to see her rule on her throne. Playing Valkyrie is a special moment for Tessa as she is Marvel’s first major LGBTQ+ character.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
Your July 2022 Horoscopes Are All About Happiness, Release & Divinity

July is the month to focus on allowing yourself to receive. There are beautiful opportunities for blessings this month when you can get out of your own way, and release self-doubt. With Cancer Season here, emotions are flowing, love is showing up, and home is wherever your happiness is. The power of attraction is strong this month as Pallas enters Gemini on July 4 as well, and deep insights are prevailing. July is the time to gain the clarity and answers you have been looking for, and decide where to move forward from there.

Keep reading...Show less
How To Focus Less On Who You Attract In Dating & More On Who You Entertain

The law of attraction is tricky. A few years ago, I felt something was deeply wrong with me because I kept attracting people who hurt me. No matter how hard I tried to fix myself, and alter my energy, the same type of people kept coming my way. I'd talk to my friends about it and ask them, "Why do I keep attracting this type of person? Why do I keep having the same experiences?"

Keep reading...Show less
Here’s What’s Streaming On Netflix And HBO Max In July

There’s nothing like finding a good TV series or movie to watch on your favorite streaming services. The summer is the perfect time to explore what’s new and exciting or revisit an oldie but goodie. Both Netflix and HBO Max have some exciting and new releases for July. From HBO Max’s Rap Sh*t, which is presented by Issa Rae to the season three premiere of Ludacris’ Netflix animated series Karma’s World, there are plenty of options to choose from. So get your streaming on below.

Keep reading...Show less
Kelis On The Importance Of Having Black Women On Her Team

As a Black woman, Kelis knows how important it is to work with other Black women, help each other and give each other opportunities. The “Milkshake” singer has always been a voice for female empowerment with her popular female anthems like “Caught Out There” and “Bossy” and in a chat during Refinery 29’s Unbothered Presents The Glow Up festival, Kelis opened up about the Black women behind her legendary career and how Black women should create safe spaces for ourselves.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
A Black woman looks into the camera and gives a closed-mouth smile. She's wearing a black turtleneck

Miss Diddy Kicks Off BET Awards Weekend With 'A Toast To Black Hollywood'

Her annual event to celebrate the culture has a new name and more intention than ever before

Latest Posts