Many people allow stress to progress to a point where it takes over before trying to cope with it. Since stress is something that everyone faces at some point in their lives, it makes sense to prepare for it and learn how to prevent it when possible, especially at the organizational level.
If you’re looking for a way to keep stress from taking over your life or organization, here are three strategies to try:
1. Work on time management.
Most people can agree that it often seems like there are not enough hours in the day. Whether you’re struggling to keep up with emails and invoices or trying to figure out how you’re going to make it to your next meeting, time is always an issue. As you become more successful, your workload increases, and demands on your time become more pressing. Investing in time management and leadership skills early on can prevent these demands from becoming overwhelming.
First, sit down and think about how various activities consume your time every day. Then, find a way to divide your time effectively and stay on task. Many strategies can help you do this, from time-tracking software to calendar apps to a good old-fashioned to-do list.
2. Figure out what you can delegate and who you can delegate to.
Many people struggle with delegating, believing that they will experience less anxiety if they just do it themselves. But this places excess demands on your time and can quickly lead to excess stress and even burnout if not handled effectively.
Knowing how to delegate effectively also brings your team closer together. When managers delegate effectively, those who assume the responsibilities feel empowered and get to expand their role in the organization.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few simple steps to delegating effectively:
1. Determine what you can delegate. Tasks that are critical to the success of the company should be handled by management.
2. Prepare for the hand-off. To delegate effectively, you can’t just choose someone and say, “Here, do this.” You have to make sure the person is clear on what you expect as far as milestones, timing, budget, and more. Training may be required if you cannot assign the task to someone who already has the necessary skills. Strive to choose someone who is qualified who will also be able to grow their capabilities.
3. Check-in. Set up regular times to check in to see how things are progressing and to answer any questions the person has about the task.
4. Ensure that they understand the task at hand. Don’t just assume that the employee knows what you’re asking for. Confirm their understanding by having them summarize the task as well as the results you expect, the resources required, budget constraints, and when and how you expect an update.
5. Don’t micromanage. Once you choose someone to do the task and ensure that they know what you’re asking of them, trust them to do the job. Let them know that you’re available if they need help and coach them when needed, but avoid micromanaging at all costs.
3. Know when to say “no”.
Many successful people tend to take on more than they can chew. It’s easy to take on more and more commitments without considering when and how you’re going to get everything done. Unfortunately, doing so quickly gets overwhelming. To avoid this, set healthy boundaries and stick to them. Learn how to say “no” and prioritize your time.