I know what it is like to go into a challenging day at work. To face the storm, to put out the fires, and to endure the criticism. Management can be stressful.
Researchers who study stress say that it is impossible to avoid it, but this is only a partial truth. The truth is that we can’t avoid all stress but we can reduce some stress. I’ll show you how.
Smart management techniques can help you manage stress. These are not lofty goals. You can get started in just 15 minutes.
1. Get in touch with your employees once a week.
Unexpected events can cause stress. Unexpected events can cause chaos. You go into emergency mode, putting everything aside to make room for the unexpected.
Regular meetings with your employees will help you to spot potential problems and address them before they become stressful emergencies.
2. Aim for inbox zero every day.
Email can cause stress. This is a scientific fact supported by research and studies. One study published in Stanford’s Organization Science found that the more people spend time dealing with email, then the higher the stress level.
Email can be a stressor. I recommend that you face it head-on. It is impossible to ignore it so you must confront it and force it to submit. Your only way to win is to reduce your inbox to zero at either the beginning or the end. Of course, you can’t spend all day working on email. You can, however, spend a small amount of time at the end or beginning of each day to get to your inbox zero.
Kristi Hines shares proven strategies that will get you to inbox zero. It’s hard to believe the peace of your mind that comes with an empty inbox. You can’t keep it there but you can reduce stress by dealing with this major source of workday trauma.
3. Take a walk.
Stress coaches will tell you to get moving to reduce stress. A brisk walk or jog can stimulate brain nerve activity that allows for relaxation. You will experience less anxiety if you are more physically active.
You’ll feel less stressed if you go for a walk. Here are some suggestions:
Walking outdoors is a great way to reduce stress, especially in a green space or park. It is more effective in stress reduction.
Walk briskly. You can go for a leisurely stroll at other times but the stress-fighting walk should be short and steady.
Walk for at most ten minutes. Fifteen is even better.
4. Hold short meetings (standup meetings)
It is a good idea to meet for a short time each day to keep stress at bay. I prefer a standup meeting.
Agile methodology has made the standup meeting more efficient and focused. This is not the time for hammering out strategy or that last bit of code. It’s a time for the team to come together and have a huddle before the day begins.
Long meetings can be very stressful. Short meetings, on the other hand will allow you to get a sense of what’s happening in that day, what you should be aware of, how to prepare. It is important that this meeting be brief. You’ll lose the point if it goes on too long.
5. Close the office door and switch off your phone.
It’s impossible for most managers to be the manager who is always available to his employees, no matter how much you want it. It is not recommended. Open-door policies will reduce productivity.
Scheduling 1) project time and (2) people is the key.
During your project time you work on the actual tasks that your job requires. Email, reports, billing, and any other task that doesn’t require you to talk to another person. This is when you switch off your phone and close your door to get things done.
You open the door to people during your people time and make time to meet them.
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