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overworked

Overworked or Understaffed: A Recipe for Disaster

overworked

Today, more than ever, you don’t need to work yourself to sickness. I would never advocate working yourself to massive amounts of stress and anxiety. Today with the lowest unemployment numbers in years, there is really no reason one should work for a company that doesn’t allow for a normal work-life balance.

I am writing about this for a couple of reasons. I talk to so many people every day that want to look for a new job, but they don’t have time to focus on changing jobs, as they are being worked 60+ hours per week. Let’s think that through for a minute. You are frustrated because you are worked so many hours every week, but you can’t carve out some time to make the change? This is creating stress in your life and anxiety in your work. In fact, it is estimated that more than 20 percent of U.S. employees work more than 60 hours per week. As a result, 74 percent of working adults consistently fail to get enough sleep. And what’s worse, 66 percent of employees believe that their work performance would improve if they had more time to rest.

Being overworked is hurting your health

This is the recipe for an unhealthy life. A very good friend of mine just had a stress/anxiety health scare. He had a pulmonary embolism due to stress from work. He has been working 65+ hours every week and not getting the proper rest that his body needs. Thank goodness it was found early enough that the doctors could help him without long-term effects.

How many people are we seeing going through similar experiences due to being overworked? They don’t have time to get away from the workplace for a proper lunch or breaks throughout the day. If this is you, you should probably be looking at a new position with a normal work-life balance. Many times, this is completely relieved by making a work change. A new job, new boss, a new direction of a company that you agree with and want to be a part of will help improve your health. If you find yourself in this situation, it may be time to make a move.

If you’re a hiring manager with a depleted team, you’re not alone. With the current state of our job market, many departments are understaffed. This is especially true in the finance and tech industries where professionals are working in excess of 60 hours per week. Many hiring managers are feeling the effects of being overworked. This is distracting from their normal day-to-day duties. As a result, work is being left undone and thousands upon thousands of dollars are being wasted in inefficiencies. If your team is in need of qualified workers to keep things afloat, reach out to me and let’s work together to get the talent your organization needs.

stress

The Unexpected Stress That Life Offers

stress

When life hands you goats, make goat milk?

I recently recalled a funny situation when I was shipping a live animal on Alaska Cargo.The act resulted in hearing the sentence: “The goats are in the air.” When I made eye contact with the cargo desk employee who made this statement, we couldn’t help but laugh-out-loud.

I asked her “when you took this job, did you ever think that goats flying would become a part of your normal work week?” She answered that it was certainly something she never imagined doing and that it was definitely not in the job description. She went on to explain that having close calls that would result in a missed connection was the toughest part of her job, but it happened almost every day.

We all have situations in our personal and professional lives that take us by surprise. Some are humorous and some, well, not so much. However, no matter the situation, it’s our response that matters. In the case above, it was profoundly more memorable, and certainly more enjoyable because of her attitude. She did not allow herself to be overcome with the stress of seven goats being shipped (and possibly missing their connecting flight). Can you imagine?

Choosing how we deal with stress

We can all agree that stress is one of the toughest things to deal with. Unfortunately, we can’t just not get stressed given that stress is a natural response to everyday situations. However, we do have a choice. We can allow stress to control us, or we can take steps to learn to get better at controlling it.

The key here is that we need to be active in our quest to deal. Whether it is stress associated with our careers, responding to negative situations so it doesn’t trash our day or attitude, or seeking specific tools to help with stress management that may allow ourselves to cope with stress or even the fatigue of everyday life.

One vital component that is often overlooked is identifying the things in our life that cause stress. As a recruiter in the healthcare industry, I hear a lot of different origins of stressors. Managers, co-workers, children, spouse or significant other, traffic, or even chores all cause stress.

Test your stress level

It’s important to keep in mind that well-known common life events could result in a physical illness. Don’t believe me? This fact has some great research behind it, and you can see your stress scale at  Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. You might be surprised at the items that made the list and what your personal score is.

Obviously, no two people are exactly alike, as individual perception is the key to how you handle life events. It is important to find out where you stand. You must know what actions are necessary to prevent stress from having a negative impact on your life.

Another tool that can help with understanding our own personal feelings is called the Perceived Stress Scale. This test was developed in 1983 and is widely distributed, even from the employee retention groups at organizations. While these tests are not the end-all-be-all, they can certainly provide a little glimpse at areas that you need to address to be a healthier you.

Give them a go. Find out what really stresses you out and chip away at it. These tests have helped me manage my stresses, so I know how powerful they can be. Once you can put your finger on it, you’ll be able to live a less stressful life from here on out.

4 Things You Can Do Right Now To Manage Stress In The Workplace

4 Things You Can Do Right Now To Manage Stress In The Workplace

We’ve all been there, and at times it may seem like we’ll never be out of there. You know, that place where it seems like you’re going to be eaten alive by stress. It almost seems like you’re drowning in it and there’s no way to get out.

What if I told you that there were a few ways to prevent that from happening, right now? Would you believe me?

As someone who has dealt with the stresses of school, work, and life all at the same time, I’m telling you there are ways to prevent stress from accumulating. It won’t happen overnight, but if you keep practicing these skills every day, then you’ll learn how to conquer stress in the workplace once and for all.

Stay organized

Stress can be caused by many things, and one way to prevent it is by staying organized. I know, I know, you hear it all the time. But it’s true! Organize your days, weeks, and months. Get a nifty planner that you write all of your plans in. Go through your work schedule at the beginning of each day and figure out what needs to be done first. By doing this, you’ll know when tasks need to be completed when, immediately decreasing your stress.

Want to take it to the next level? Create a checklist every day, and check off tasks as you complete them. Not only will this help you stay organized on a daily basis, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment – which will lead to more confidence.

Go for a lunchtime walk

Ever get a mild form of cabin fever while putting in a long day at the office? I know I have, and it doesn’t help my stress level. The perfect remedy for avoiding this is to go for a lunchtime walk. Now I know around this time of year the weather is not ideal for a walk outside, but even a quick lap around the building will clear your head. The fresh air will rejuvenate you and help you keep stress at a minimum.

Want to take it to the next level? Have an office competition on who can complete the most laps in a week. Even if the top-walker doesn’t win anything, office bragging rights are always good to have.

Maintain a good work-life balance

The last thing you want is for work stress to trickle into your home life, and vise-versa. If you’re constantly thinking about work, then the stress will never go away. It will start to accumulate and will eventually lead to a burnout. Go home, take a break to unwind after work, and put your feet up. We can’t spend all 16 hours a day away from work, but we can spend a few. Make sure to focus on you while you aren’t in the office.

Want to take it to the next level? Start a new TV show or make weekly plans with your family or friends. If you have something to look forward to after work every day, it will help you block off stress. Check out how you can conquer work-life balance here.

Distract your mind

Lunchtime isn’t the only time you should be giving your mind a break. If you’re intensely concentrated for eight hours straight with an hour break in between, not only will your stress accumulate, but your productivity may not be at its highest. Distract your mind a few times every day, and your stress levels will decrease. Watch a video or mouth the words to your favorite song. Heck, I even do push-ups sometimes. It’s all about finding a 2-3 minute way to distract your mind a few times throughout the day.

Want to take it to the next level and really impress your boss? Go wipe down the counter in the break room or wipe down the appliances. Not only will this be a quick distraction, but the office will love you and you’ll reap the benefits for days to come!

These aren’t too fancy, and they don’t cost any money, but they do work for helping to manage stress in the workplace. By implementing these simple practices into your life your stress levels will have a much better chance of decreasing, and it will also help your productivity in the workplace.