MYTH: I get stressed at work.
REALITY: The feeling of not doing well or not completing the job on time is causing the stress, and not the work itself.
Every employee has a pile of work—some manage it well by applying time-management practices, while others are always catching up. In the case of employees who are always playing the catch-up game, they find that a new pile is awaiting them as soon as they have finished with the last one. Yes, one can put in extra effort and deliver within the time limit, but such extra effort is usually made only once in a while. That said, any employee will have something to catch up with; if that’s not so, there’s something wrong with the company or the employee.
However, stress does not happen because of the pile of work, but is usually caused due to the worry over not completing it on time. It may also be caused by the fact that you are not satisfied with what you have done, or that you’re not getting appreciation for your work. And if one is always in the catch-up mode and one appears to be the weakest link in the eyes of colleagues and the management, this, too, can lead to stress. Here, it would be interesting to ask this question: When two people are given similar type of work, how is it that one is under stress, while the other is not?
Then there’s the stress that has to do with planning. Planning for the future is obviously a good idea, but it may lead to stress if no action is taken on the plan or if the action is delayed, The more you get stressed, the less effective you become at work, which triggers more stress. And once you’ve entered this vicious cycle, it’s difficult to get out of it unless you start thinking differently. So, take control of the situation and enjoy the work rather than be anxious. Stress can also occur due to a poor result. However, instead of getting stressed, you should learn from the experience and apply the learning so that you can do better the next time and get the desired result.
However, there is also a healthy level of stress—one that’s required for motivational purposes. After all, it is up to each individual to manage his stress level; and remember, there’s always ‘your manager or your mentor to whom you can go for help.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? The trick is to feel good about the work and enjoy what you are doing. You can divide the work into intermediate milestones and celebrate on reaching each of them, Even if the company or the team does not go for an official celebration, you could celebrate with your friends or family. It is better to seek happiness and enjoyment from within rather than wait for an outsider like the manager to come and give you a pat.