The fact of the matter is, work can be stressful. Especially as we start to come out of a world-wide pandemic that, to put it lightly, completely transformed the way the world does business. But regardless of a pandemic, work can be stressful! However there are ways to reduce stress in the workplace!
Let us paint a picture… Imagine saving one hour a day. That is 5 hours per week! Or better yet, that is more than a half-day off. By doing this, you could actually close up shop at 11am every Friday without worrying about all the stuff that did not get done.
Sounds amazing, right? Well, it is possible. Below is a compilation of our four favorite ways to reduce stress in the workplace!
** Bonus – these stress management techniques not only save time, but help boost moods, and open up space for creativity! **
Step One – Proper Project Management
If you are still managing your team email, sticky notes, and Skype messages… Stop. It. Right. Now.
The reality is, by managing projects in this way, team members can forget messages (or sometimes miss them altogether) and balls can be dropped. Additionally, an exorbitant amount of time is spent sifting through an endless list of emails for that one piece of information you need. This is a complete waste of time.
Instead, use a project management tool like Asana, Monday.com, or Basecamp. Project management tools help teams organize tasks and due dates, reference notes, set reminders, and more all in one place. As a result, In one glance, you will be able to see what tasks need immediate attention.
By simply implementing a project management tool, you and your team will immediately feel the positive benefits of stress reduction!
Step Two – Proper Documentation
Do you find yourself reinventing the wheel every time you have to record a podcast or upload a video to your blog? It is annoying, and wastes so much time. So the next time you do a task that takes the average person 10-15 minutes, do yourself a favor and take an extra five minutes to document the steps taken. Then the next time you have to do it (or better yet, when you hand it off to a VA) you will be able to quickly work out what needs to happen. There will be fewer mistakes, the work will get done faster, and you will reduce stress in the workplace!
Pro tip: There is a lot to be said about self-sufficiency, and we applaud it, but there comes a time to pass off certain tasks! Especially when learning this new set of skills will take far longer than simply passing the baton. Learn more about this here.
Step Three – Create a Business Organization Chart
If you have multiple people on your team, this stress management step is critical.
Rather than having everyone coming to you with their questions, or worse, asking the wrong person and getting the wrong answer, take the time to create an organization chart! Then, make sure your team knows where it is (like in your operations manual and/or pinned in your project management tool) and what it’s for. Now, rather than your Skype chat blowing up with questions all day long, you’ll have time for the more important tasks!
Step Four – Use Time Blocking
Get out your calendar and start making appointments with yourself. Decide when you will check email and when you work on client projects. Then… STICK. TO. THE. SCHEDULE!
Pro Tip: Add a 15-30 minute “break” in between each project. The reality is, time blocking schedules are “best case scenarios” that help guide. But they cannot predict extenuating circumstances. Some weeks, everything will unfold perfectly on schedule, while other weeks will require you to constantly move your schedule around. By giving yourself “buffer time” in between each… you will have extra room when you have to deal with an emergency situation!
These self-imposed deadlines will not only force you to get the work done, but they’ll help keep you focused, so rather than wasting time on Facebook, you’ll be working on your business.
Get your team in the habit of time blocking, too!
Your goal is to reduce stress in the workplace. By requiring your team to use a time blocking method, your entire company will reap the benefits of stress reduction!
In fact, make it a weekly requirement for your entire team to do this, and assign the task in your new project management tool! You don’t even need to micro manage it, require the proper people, documented in your business organization chart, to follow up with your team members!!
All of these stress management systems can be set up in an afternoon, at least initially. The time they save you when you use them consistently is phenomenal. An hour a day is just the beginning, but you have to take action. You have to put in the work first before you can earn the rewards.
We can attest, these benefits are sweet. In the end, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without these tips!