A lot, if not most, of stress in the workplace comes from feeling of being overwhelmed with work and fear of not meeting deadlines. If this is true, then it becomes obvious that to manage work stress effectively you need to become more effective at managing your tasks.
There is a lot of awesome advice that includes breathing exercises, taking time to stretch and working on improving your self-talk. That all works, but it doesn’t address the core issue, which is work unmanaged. Here is where Tim Ferris, the hero of all Internet entrepreneurs, comes in.
While Tim himself says he hasn’t invented anything new, nobody had spelled out things as clearly before him either. First, he introduces two now famous principles:
- Pareto’s 80/20 principle,
- Parkenson’s law.
According to Pareto’s principle 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of the effort and time, hence, you should look hard into whatever you are doing and figure out what these 20 percent are and concentrate on that.
According to Parkensons’ law, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. In other words, the more time you allocate to a certain task, the more complicated and difficult it will seem. If you assign your task eight hours, you will definitely fill eight hours working on it. However strange thing happens when you don’t have time and you have to do same task in only one or two hours. Somehow you manage complete that task in much shorter time period.
Once you limit your tasks to only those that bring crucial 80 percent of the results and set very short deadlines for completing this tasks you will find that you have much less work to do and, at the same time, you became much more productive.
Once you cut out all the “fat” following the methods above, you can concentrate on conventional advice as
- breathing exercises,
- taking responsibility for your emotional state,
- eating better diet with less sugar and caffeine and more fruits and vegetables,
- improving your communication skills when it comes to your boss and colleagues,
- minimizing interruptions.
Also see How to Stop Procrastinating