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How to tame Your stress?

How to tame Your stress?

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Looking at the nature of stress from a position of Project Manager

You will find stress management skills in requirement lists for most of the managerial positions. Well, that is not a surprise. Managing a project is a complex and quite challenging process. It needs peace of mind that only a Buddhist monk can offer, leaving behind fast-approaching deadlines, misunderstandings with clients, tensions in a team, and upcoming updates. The fact that your company's future depends directly on how the project will turn out makes the stress an integral part of your routine. You might compare it to a dangerous mission in a hot spot except that the only weapon you have is a Gantt Chart.

Stress is all around us. People experience high levels of stress in various situations such as interpersonal conflicts, looking for a parking spot, defending your point of view, introducing yourself to a stranger, etc. Stress could directly impact the performance level of an employee and decrease their productivity. As a result, these destructive stress consequences affect the profitability of a company.

As Karl Albrecht pointed out, a management consultant and author of the book “Stress and the Manager”: “Stress is a natural part of human functioning, and pressure is a normal aspect of human interaction. We must learn to tell the difference between a reasonable level of stress and too much stress. A zero-stress condition is impossible”.

Stress comes in many flavors, but most of them fall into 4 categories, according to Karl Albrecht.

Let’s start by exploring what causes each of them and how to prevent it.

Time stress

One of the most common stress types. The cause of it comes from the title — a shortage of the time resource. For example, when you are unforgivably late for a meeting or when you bust your ass to finish all the tasks for the sprint in time before the deadline.

Ways to prevent:

  • Make the list of upcoming tasks: you can structure your activities with Eisenhower Matrix. This tool helps to create a clear framework and avoid procrastination.

  • Set priorities for your work.

  • Systemize your time estimation accordingly to your task priorities.

  • Learn to say “No” and realize your own capabilities.

Anticipatory Stress

Reasons: Excess thinking and worrying about the future. Negative thinking about events that are about to happen like “I can’t make it” “It will be a disaster”. For me, this is the most absurd type of stress based solely on our morbid imagination. Undoubtedly, it is important to evaluate your capabilities realistically, but when you understand that you are not prepared for the event try to sort it out rather than saying that all is lost.

Ways to prevent:

  • Learn some positive visualization techniques. Fill your mind and soul with a positive attitude. Imagine a good outcome and do your best to make it happen.

  • Try to create a detailed scenario and play it in your head. It doesn’t mean writing down canned phone call speeches because your partner may not go with the prepared scenario. Things might get a little messed up. Instead, just mentally prepare yourself for risks.

  • Prior to the event, practice in front of your family or record your performance and look at yourself.

A zero-stress condition is impossible.

Situational Stress

Reasons: happens in a situation that is beyond your control. Usually, situational stress is connected with a fear of a conflict or a status loss in front of a crowd. Imagine a situation where you are getting fired or ashamed in front of your colleagues. It mainly affects people who care too much about the opinion of others and lack personal confidence.

Ways to prevent:

  • Forget what people think about you. Chances are they are NOT thinking about you at all.

  • Be emotionally intelligent. Nobody makes you angry. It is you who gets mad.

  • Take actions to boost your internal confidence.

Encounter Stress

Reasons: often occurs in the environment with a lot of personal interactions with clients, specifically if you don’t know what to expect from them.

Ways to prevent:

  • develop emotional intelligence. According to American author and psychologist Daniel Goleman, EI is defined as “the ability to identify, assess, and control one’s own emotions, the emotions of others, and that of groups”. Emotions play an integral part in stress management. Therefore, you need to recognize emotions and feelings of yourself and others in the first place to cope with stress and anxiety.

Conclusion

Everyone has different experiences. It is important to recognize that we all have stress in our lives and have to learn how to manage it. As soon as you find any signs of stress, try to follow our recommendations. We hope that they will help you to find balance and harmony. Remember, there are things you can do nothing about, but planning, preparation and estimation will help you avoid most stressful situations.

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