Friday, June 11, 2010

Coping with stress at the office

We're not supposed to be fed up at the office. Not with our coworkers, not with our workloads, not with our bosses, not with our companies. Especially not in this day and age of shaky economies and downsizing and unemployment and shrinking budgets.

But guess what? It happens. We all have red stapler days, days when we want to chuck the TPS reports in the trash and tell Lumbergh to his face that he represents all that is soulless and wrong. At The 36-Hour Day I'm offering up some tips on how to cope -- or, at least, how to minimize the damage:

If you're fed up with a person: Negative criticism can be devestating, but remember, you are being paid to do a job -- criticism of your performance is not personal. Separate the personal from the professional, and if you're going to attack anything, attack the problem, not the person causing it. Stay calm and rational, arm yourself with the fact, and if all else fails, walk away and deal with it later.

If you're fed up with your workload: Divide it up into smaller and smaller steps, and focus on completing just one step at a time. It might not get done all at once, and you might feel like you have nothing you can immediately show as proof you were working, but eventually it will get done.

If you're fed up with your company: It's tempting to rail at the corporate machine, but in the age of the so-called disposable workforce, it's not a good idea to do so. (Unless you are your own boss, in which case, listen to your employees already.) Vent safely instead -- not on Facebook! Open a word document and delete it after you've finished typing, go for a walk, boost your energy levels, or just take a minute to read the news and find a new appreciation for what you have. If all else fails, remember that you're working to live, not living to work -- then plan to do something that will raise your spirits once the workday is done.

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