How to Keep Stress out of Business Decisions

Joseph Stubblebine
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If you frequently experience stress in the workplace, you understand the immense challenges this situation creates. When stress accumulates, you no longer think clearly and may find yourself struggling to make sound business decisions. While there is no magic solution to banish stress at work altogether, coping tools are available that help eliminate the effect stress has on your work performance. These tools can make it easier to stay productive and content on the job.

First, you need to determine the source of your stress at work. What triggers your stress responses? If your workload causes you to feel overwhelmed, try to narrow down the specific factors in question. For example, do you feel incapable of completing your work in a timely manner or feel that the amount of work on your shoulders is too heavy? Once you pinpoint the source of the stress, you can begin working towards a solution for mitigating its effects.

If you do not currently structure your workday based on your responsibilities, try to schedule time for specific tasks to minimize stress at work. Set reasonable goals and use your time efficiently without working yourself into a frenzy. While some workers feel breaks are counterproductive to increasing efficiency at work, pausing several times over the course of your day allows your brain to remain alert and on task. Frequent breaks provide an easy outlet for coping with stress and ensure you are at your best.

When you need to make an important decision under pressure, try to distance yourself from the triggers that allow stress to form. If at all possible, take some time to ponder the various repercussions of a particular decision and avoid making hasty choices without proper reflection. Stress at work makes it difficult to keep perspective, so consider asking a colleague or supervisor for insight. Many workers find an outsider's view helps clarify the most important aspects of the decision-making process, and the support others provide helps remind you that you are not alone.

Research suggests that stress at work leads certain workers to make high-risk bets with business decisions. In some instances, a gamble pays off handsomely, while in others, the results prove disastrous. Try to avoid scenarios in which you find yourself making high-stakes decisions without input from the team around you. Coping with stress as it occurs helps keep your mind focused and eliminates the opportunity for the effects of the stress to become debilitating.

No matter what industry you belong to or what role you fill in your company, stress occurs in nearly any position in the business world. If you find it difficult to deal with stress at work, find coping mechanisms that help you to maintain focus and center yourself. Simple coping techniques help you to make better working decisions and also contribute to your long-term happiness in your job.


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