10 steps to stay productive even under stress

Unexpected setbacks, large projects or even the upcoming holidays cutting time to accomplish our objectives can trigger stress. Every employee from any organization in the world has had to deal with this feeling at a moment of their careers.

From decreased productivity to health issues, stress can be incredibly detrimental to businesses as well as employees. Often, proper organization and planning can help us prevent stressful situations, but other times this feeling is just unavoidable. For this reason, we have created a 10-step process to help you manage your stress at work and stay productive even in the most hectic situations.

  1. Recognize you are stressed
  2. Trying to deny you are stressed when it is not the case can use a lot of your energy and cause you to underperform in other areas. Many times, stress is just a natural consequence of your success and an indicator you are doing something meaningful.

    To avoid hindering your productivity, accept you are stressed, channel your adrenaline into completing your tasks and focus on accomplishing your ultimate goal. Remember you have probably already achieved great things under stress.

  3. Focus on what you can control
  4. Many things outside your control can set you back on your goals but to focus on these issues will only make you waste time. Instead, concentrate on the things you can do to reach your goals.

  5. Create a prioritized and timecoded to-do list
  6. List everything you need to do to reach your goal. Now that you know what you can do, it is time to plan. However, large goals can seem overwhelming. To avoid this and stay focused, you can set different priorities for each task. By doing this, you will be able to allocate your time more efficiently. You can even consider delegating some of your less urgent tasks to alleviate your workload.

    Nevertheless, prioritizing your tasks is not enough. It is crucial to know how long each job might take you to appropriately allocate your time and avoid the risk of not fulfilling a deadline. Remember to be realistic about your estimates and always consider to add breaks to your schedule. You will not be as productive if you are exhausted.

  7. Create a plan B
  8. Even the most well-thought-out plans can go wrong. For this reason, it is important to plan for more than one scenario. Stress can sometimes be induced by fear of an adverse outcome. Just understanding what can you do if something goes wrong will give you more peace of mind, allow you to know how to react and enable you to stay focused on your goals as you will not be lost if things don’t happen the way you expected.

  9. Communicate transparently and trust your team
  10. Your team, your business partners or your boss have all struggled with work-related issues at some point of their careers. Don’t be scared to ask for help or guidance if you are unfamiliar with something, to communicate relevant information or to request for privacy or boundaries. It is preferable to let others know that you will not be available or will not be able to meet a deadline in advance as they might rely on your work output as well. Additionally, if you are in charge of a team, delegate when needed. Micromanaging will only cause more stress and hinder your productivity, it is crucial for managers to trust their teams and be able to rely on them.

  11. Avoid all distractions
  12. Distractions can make you waste enormous amounts of time as it can be extremely time-consuming to figure out where you were before you got interrupted. For this reason, try limiting distractions as much as you can. Block time for your most important tasks by turning off notifications, avoid calls and let everyone else know you will be busy during this time.

  13. Use the digital tools available
  14. Nowadays there are so many new digital tools that will help you in your day-to-day activities. From smartphones to software solutions that will help you manage a wide variety of process and automate others, you can now take advantage of these tools to alleviate your stress and rely on the solutions to save you time without compromising the quality of your work.

    With BulldozAIR, hundreds of project managers can stop worrying about creating reports of their site visits. As they now rely on the solution to generate this information in a matter of seconds and allow them to concentrate on more valuable tasks to improve their productivity.

  15. Planning takes practice
  16. It is not realistic to think we will plan everything ideally from the start. Proper planning takes practice. Learn how you spend your time by writing down what you do in one week and create “time cards” for each task you have performed. This method will allow you to estimate more accurately the time you need to accomplish your objectives and allocate your time more efficiently as you will be able to identify tasks that are taking too much time to fulfill.

  17. Explore activities to help you manage your stress better
  18. If you find yourself stressed often, you might want to consider activities that will help you relieve it. No matter how well you manage stress, you will always be more productive and obtain better results if you feel comfortable and at ease at your workplace. Just by reducing your caffeine intake, walking more, eating healthier and doing activities you enjoy in your free time, you can achieve great results.

  19. Accept it can happen to everyone
  20. Many times, we are our worst enemy. We can put ourselves under a lot of pressure and be extremely critical of our results. It is crucial to understand we also need time for ourselves and learn to not beat ourselves up for small mistakes that can happen to everyone.

Knowing how to deal with stress is a crucial skill for everyone. We all experience stress at a particular moment of our lives. The important thing is to learn how to manage the stress and not let it hinder our productivity or our health.

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