Managing the stress of work overload

By far the most common cause of workplace stress, that I hear, is work overload. This is backed up by national research by CIPD and others. I hear people say things like:

‘I just have too much to do – it makes me anxious and fuzzy-headed.’

‘My line manager [or my clients] think I’m always available and can always do more.’

‘ I feel bad when I can’t get everything done on time or as well as I’d like to.’

If this sounds familiar and you want to address this issue for yourself or your team, there are several components to dealing with it. These include:

  1. Developing mindfulness-based tools to reduce stress when it arises
  2. Keeping your sense of perspective when it all feels too much
  3. Reviewing self-care habits – such as diet, exercise, and sleep
  4. Learning how to self-manage the workload to get more done in a shorter time
  5. Developing clear boundaries and being assertive about what’s possible

The first three areas are ones that we train employees in as part of our Simply Being Present course (more on this below). This forms the basis for successful action on the last two, which we focus on in this article.

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