How to Manage Stress In A Difficult Job Market
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The concerning economic environment has had a significant impact on the stress and anxiety levels of executives this past year. Stress related complaints have increased to 16% in 2019, while the last quarter saw a rise of three times in anxiety-related disorders among Indian corporate executives. Almost 89% of Indians with 95% of millennials in India are estimated to suffer from some form of stress relating to work and financial matters.
With the uncertainty of jobs, additional skill demands at key industries, low to no increments, poor liquidity at companies and challenges in meeting revenue targets across organizations and industries, executives are demonstrating signs of overwhelm amid a challenging environment.
A global survey showed that the five key triggers to stress in the workplace are typically: a poor work-life balance, uncertainty or low confidence in the future, unclear purpose and direction at work, office politics and limited access to tools that enable executives to do their job. GenXers, as per the study, were particularly concerned about their skills and relevance in the job market, while millennials were more focused on their purpose and growth opportunities at the organization.
In our work with companies and executives, we find organizations are increasingly concerned about managing stress and anxiety, especially among the younger workforce, who have reported higher instances of overwhelm.
In our programme, 5 Hacks to Enhancing Productivity, we emphasise the importance of first learning to manage oneself by changing unproductive behaviors and habits, setting key priorities and reducing instances of interference. By reducing the angst in our lives, adopting positive thought patterns and developing long-term goals, we work with executives and leaders to reduce the overwhelm in their lives.
For those of you looking to make some individual progress in this realm, a few ways to reduce the stress and manage yourself better are as follows:
Prioritize: Have a list of goals, both professional and personal, that you would like to work towards. Without a sense of where we are headed, everything becomes urgent and important!
Understand Your Stress Triggers: For each individual, the origination of stress and overwhelm is different. Through a series of self-awareness exercises focused on values, motivations and conditioning, among others, it is important that we understand our own triggers. Identify patterns in your own behavior to help manage yourself better.
Cut the Build-Up: We all have a tendency to put off or delay tasks that we find particularly mundane, tedious or uncomfortable. The build-up of these tasks only serves to increase overwhelm and impact our own motivation as a result. Make sure you have a cut-off time for your task procrastination.
Have Fun: There is a natural tendency to get extremely focused on accomplishing key goals such as a new job, that promotion or increment and get our business out of distress, among others, that we often forget to do the things we enjoy or enjoy what we do. With a number of executives and leaders, we see the ‘fun’ allocated to the not important task bucket. It is equally essential that we prioritise ourselves and do what we love as this task list only serves to improve our outlook on everything else.
Invest in Relationships: A supporting ecosystem in life and at work is crucial in times of difficulty or distress or just to lighten up our day. So take that time out to grab lunch with a friend, have a coffee or drop a birthday message to someone who matters.
Focus on Acceptance and Positivity: Accepting that life is a series of roller-coaster rides and looking at situations as what we can control, allows us to focus on areas where we can drive change. Emotions, according to the Vedanta, are only natural to feel and experience. Managing those effectively, by controlling our intellect, is what will help us lead more fulfilled lives. By remembering that the only thing certain about life is uncertainty, we can remind ourselves to remain positive even in challenging times