So what can you do better to manage tight deadlines while handling stress?
Eighty percent of American workers experience work-related stress, according to the Global Organization for Stress.
They are far from alone – Lifeline Australia reports that 91 percent of adult Australians feel stress in at least a critical area of their lives, and the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence estimates that 13.7 million working days are lost each year in the UK as a result of work-related illness.
Don’t let deadlines be a contributing factor to work-related stress. Follow these simple best stress relievers for managing tight deadlines.
Take time to acknowledge how you are feeling – perhaps by writing down your feelings. Once you identify what’s bothering you, you can do something about it.
When something is bothering you, it can be tempting not to tackle the problem head-on. Don’t fall into this trap. The sooner you address the problem, the less negative effect it can have you.
Assess the priority of the jobs you are working on and, if possible, reschedule the non-urgent tasks to enable you to devote more time to meeting your deadline.
This requires intelligent scheduling; be careful not to push the stress onto other tasks further down the line
The earlier you do this, the better – it will lessen the impact that any delay will have on the other team members who are relying on your work.
Delegate what tasks you can. If that’s not possible, seek assistance from colleagues. Letting go can be hard, but remember, what is important is to complete the job well and on time – not to do it all yourself.
Don’t let stress pile up. Even when you are working to a tight deadline, taking time to relax is important. You won’t do your best work running on just a few hours sleep per night or when you’re feeling tired and cranky. Stepping outside for just a few minutes or spending part of your lunch hour on a short meditation can help you to feel refreshed so you can return to the job with renewed vigour.
Even though you know the deadline is approaching, try not to focus on the time ticking away. Focus on what you need to do.
Writing down a single page of step-by-step project goals and pinning this to the wall can help you retain focus on what’s important – giving you a feeling of control over the job that will help to reduce the stress you feel.