Stress is a very common issue and it affects a lot of people in the US. According to the American Institute of Stress, 33 percent of Americans have reported feeling extreme stress while 77% have experienced stress in one form or another.
The sad thing is that stress affects all facets of our lives. It will negatively impact our relationships, sex life, and more so our productivity. In this post, we will look at how stress affects productivity and in particular job functioning. We will also have a few tips at the tail end on how to deal with the situation.
Effects of Stress
Stress will affect your job functioning in several different ways. We have listed some of them here below:
A lot of jobs these days require full focus. For the eight hours you put into your work, you are expected to dedicate your mind and overall cognitive abilities to the task you’ve been assigned. But this won’t be possible if you are distracted.
We know that one of the most common symptoms of stress is anxiety. This then reduces your ability to focus and in the end, your productivity at work starts to decline. While most people can snap out of a slump in a few days, others may need professional help to do so.
Poor Time Management
One key sign you are falling behind on your productivity is poor time management. Managing time in your job achieves two things. First, it helps you prioritize tasks based on importance and relevance. In essence, you allocate time to tasks that are needed first.
Secondly, time management allows you to do more within the shortest time possible. However, with stress, it can be hard to create and stick to a time management plan. This is because most of the time you will be thinking about stuff not related to your work.
With these distractions, you will fall behind on deadlines and realize that even simple tasks that would be done in a few minutes are now taking longer than normal.
Strained Office Relationships
Many organizations think of themselves as a collection of individuals who work together towards a common goal. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an organization of two or two hundred people. Everybody is part of a team and it takes cordial office relationships between workers to make everything else work.
But in most cases, stressed-out individuals may have a hard time maintaining that cordial office relationship. They will start snapping at everyone and in other cases avoid contact with fellow workmates. This then dampens the teamwork spirit and impairs the productivity of everyone.
Severe cases of stress may also cause people to go AWOL as part of their coping mechanism. It’s not uncommon for stressed-out people to engage in destructive vices including alcohol or drugs. As a result, they may not always be in a good state of mind to go to work.
And even if you are not drinking, stress has a way of dampening your mood. You wake up in the morning feeling down and uninspired. In the end, you start asking for too many sick days or failing to show up without any explanation.
How to Deal With Stress at Work
In case you have experienced some of the things we have discussed above, it’s time to deal with your stress. There are several ways to go about this and here are some of them:
Take a Break
Sometimes all it takes to find yourself and deal with issues in your life is getting away from everything. If you have been working hard of late, take a day or two off and try to recharge. You will be surprised how a good rest can revitalize your body and mind.
Acknowledge Your Stress
The reason why most people are not able to deal with work-related stress is simply because they don't want to acknowledge it.
There is nothing unusual about being stressed. Many Americans go through this each year. The moment you acknowledge your stress, the easier it will be to deal with it.
Get Some Help
If your stress has reached severe levels, it may be time to talk to a counselor. Professional therapy will help you get to the root cause of your stress and deal with it accordingly.