How Working 1 Hour LESS reduces Work Stress and Make Your Boss Love You

How To Reduce Work Stress & Still Impress

(and 4 other magic triggers that will make work stress disappear)

Let’s face it, work is one of the most dominant, demanding things in our lives. We spend most of our waking hours at work or getting to work. We often take work home with us (even if it’s mulling a problem over in our heads), and often we can let it all works stress get on top of us.

The in-tray never seems to go down, the emails never get answered, and deadlines are pushed back and back till they fall off a cliff, and you feel like jumping with them. But take the time to keep your head above water for a minute and take a deep breath – because there are five magic ways to create more space and time in your work life to get things done and ease the pressure of work stress.

  • Trigger 1: Work one hour LESS each day.

If you’ve been in a job for more than six months, chances are you’ll have subconsciously fallen into a bad routine that seems easier at first, but created problems later. You’ll just perform tasks and get things done on “automatic” without thinking about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and how you could make it so much easier for yourself.

So, free up 30-60 minutes a day to go through the things that are clogging up your work life (and your home life). Work out what’s running smoothly and what’s taking far longer than it should, assess where it’s all falling down, and write down what needs to happen to make it better. Do this for a month. You’ll be amazed how much more you’ll get done, how much fresher and better your work will be without the work stress.


  • Trigger 2: Set yourself a timetable

This may sound like you’re just adding MORE work to your day, but setting out timelines for specific projects will help get everything in perspective and show you exactly what you have to do.

This is especially helpful when you have so much work, you don’t know where to start. In fact, you don’t know where to start. In fact, it’s such a burden you mentally get to the point where you think, “Why bother? I’ll never get through all this”, and as a result the work just keeps on building up (together with that clammy pressure on the back of your neck as your boss’s eyes bore into you.)

So, begin by writing down a list of everything that needs doing (and check with people that there’s nothing they’ve forgotten to tell you about).

Split the jobs into stages and treat each stage as a separate task. For example, if you wanted to put a shelf up, you’d split that down into buy brackets and shelf, prepare wall, drill holes, fix to wall. Once you have your definitive list, split the tasks into small (30 mins or less) and big (anything above that – don’t bother splitting the list into loads of different groups).

Then, jot down the three most important tasks that you can realistically complete in that day – and one additional smaller task.

Tackle the smaller task first. Get it done and cross it off the list. It’s pathetic, but it really does make you feel in charge of the work, not vice versa. Then get to work on the first of the important tasks.


  • Trigger 3: Get “out of the loop”

Reduce Work Stress - paretoTake a look at your desk and your inbox. How many useless reports, memos, emails and samples are cluttering up the place? Take a quick look through it, and see what you’ve looked at. If they were important, people would be screaming at you for a response, but the truth is 80% of the stuff that ends up on your desk is a waste of your time. The trouble is, you’ll either waste time by reading it, or feel under pressure to do something about it.

Simple tell the distributor to take your name off the list, and drop your colleagues a not saying you don’t really need this newsletter or that report.


  • Trigger 4: Cut down on work – based socialising

Business launches are all well and good – some of them are essential – but if you find yourself constantly attending launches, dinners or parties, you’ll never have time to switch off and think about other things in your life.

Launch time should ideally be a leisurely hour on your own, reading a book, taking a stroll or enjoying an unhurried lunch. You need to let your mind unplug from work and cool down a little. If you have a business lunch with colleagues, then attend a function hosted by a client, you are in effect working a 14-hour day without even realising it. And if you do this regularly, it will take its toll.

So only accept invitations that are truly necessary, and claw back a few hours a week for yourself.

  • Trigger 5: Stop thinking you’re the big “I am”

If you’re good (and you know you are!) you’ll probably be asked to be part of brainstorming groups, or be part of a social committee, or head up some company association… which is all great for your ego. But before you start accepting every invitation, think about the all time big question “What’s in it for me?”. Sure, it’ll make you feel good that you’ve been asked to organise something, but if it happens too often consider how much of your time and energy you’re throwing into these extra – curriculum tasks – and pick and choose.

The Bottom Line:   Using these magic triggers could totally transform how you approach your work, and how much calmer everything seems to be with the work stress being a thing of the past.


Recommended Links:


More on Work Stress…

Industrial and organizational psychology

External links : Handbook of work stress. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Jex, S. M (1998). Stress and job performance: Theory, research, and
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