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How Stress Affects Productivity - And What You Can Do About It

Dec 14, 2021    
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Stress is something everyone experiences, whether it be for work, family, or personal matters. Workplace stress, especially, is inevitable because these are responsibilities, issues, and hurdles that we face every day. A recent 2021 study on workplace stress and productivity found an inverse association between the two and also suggested that it greatly affects job satisfaction. And although employers have the responsibility to arrange for initiatives that decrease burnout in the workplace, employees themselves can also do a few things to manage their stress levels. In this article, we’ll be expounding on the effects of stress on productivity as well as tips on stress management.

Correlation Between Stress and Productivity

While stress is often perceived as negative, it can actually bring about positive effects. The right amount of stress can push us to perform better at work as it can be a source of energy, ambition, and enthusiasm. However, too much stress can be detrimental to your physical and mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. Any work event or issue can be a stressor. Some instances include low pay, long hours, and the perceived lack of advancement opportunities. Plus, stress can manifest in various ways: feeling out of control, guilt over rest or failing to keep commitments, uncertainty, or crippling self-doubt. These negative feelings can affect your work performance significantly and hinder you from accomplishing things you usually find easy to do.

Effective Stress Management

Make Use of Time Management Tools

Time management is something we all unconsciously do, but there are ways to improve this skill. Like we suggested in our feature on saving time in the workplace, there are many tools and techniques available that boost focus and let you prioritize tasks according to importance. One such technique is the Pomodoro method, which highlights keeping a balance between productivity and rest. "Eat that Frog" is another mindset that encourages you to get the most difficult and most important task done when you start your day. And you’ll find that it will save you from the dread of putting it off for later.

Ask for Help

People tend to forget that asking for help is an option, especially if they feel like they’re backed up against a corner. If you feel like your workload is too much or if you’re pressed for time, go and ask a colleague or two for assistance; you’d be surprised at how many people are actually willing to lend a helping hand. The power of helping and the power of saying thank you can create positive energy in any workplace, which in turn boosts employee morale and productivity. Often, we assume that our asking for help would be seen as a sign of incompetence or weakness. But, in reality, we are very much willing to help others as well.

Avoid Multitasking

Although the ability to multitask used to be perceived as an asset, more recent discoveries prove that multitasking lowers productivity. Multitasking creates an illusion of parallel activity, which in return causes more stress. And the fleeting mental blocks caused by switching between tasks can actually cost up to 40% of your productivity time. If you find yourself having a long list of things to do, try out the Get Things Done (GTD) method instead of trying to do everything at once. It involves writing down all major tasks and then breaking them down into smaller, actionable steps.

These are only a few of the many strategies you can apply to regulate your stress levels. If you’re looking for a tool to aid your everyday work routine, check our time management and planner app. With these helpful tools and the right mindset, you can maximize productivity without getting too burned out from work.

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