10 Work Stressors We All Face – And How to Overcome Them

January 3, 2017

Stress at work is bad, and these make it worse. Here's how to overcome it.

According to LinkedIn research, more than half of all professionals feel stressed in their jobs. And that's a problem that just doesn't go away on its own – as you age and your income increase, unfortunately, so do your stress levels.

Sounds scary? Well, it doesn't have to be. You just need to learn how to deal with the stressers many of us face in the office.

So how do you reduce stress? In his LinkedIn Learning course Happiness Tips, Instructor Chris Croft outlined 10 common causes of stress in the office, and how to overcome them.

They are:

1. Always worrying about deadlines 

Deadlines don’t have to be stressful. All you need is a plan for each big project, Croft said.

“Break the big job into parts so that you know you have to do a certain amount each day,” he said in his course. “And then, as you work to your plan, you know you’re gonna be okay.”

2. Being overwhelmed with a lot of little jobs that need to get done

First off, you can reduce this problem by living the mantra of doing fewer things, better.

But, sometimes this situation will still arise. The first step to reducing stress here is simply writing out all the jobs that need to be done, Croft said.

“To start with, you don't have to do any of them,” he said in his course. “Just put them on a list.”

From there, you can prioritize and start working your way through that list.

3. Doing tasks that you don’t feel like you should be doing

Do you have a task someone else on your team should be doing or you don’t agree with, and it’s stressing you out? Then you need to say no – and that can even be retroactive, Croft said.

“If you're bounced into agreeing to do something, and then afterwards, you regret saying yes, you can always go back and say that you've checked your diary or you've thought about it, and unfortunately, you don't have time, or you're not happy about doing it after all,” he said in his course.

4. Multitasking to the max.

Multitasking has been proven to be both ineffective and stressful and yet many of us still do it. The best way to stop doing this is just to make a list of everything that needs to get done and then to do each task one-by-one, Croft said.

Also, this comes down to focus. By prioritizing the few most important tasks, you'll likely eliminate several items off this list.

5. Having a messy workplace

People who have messy workplaces always say it doesn’t stress them out, but when they clean them up, they invariably feel better. So a pretty simple solution here – tidy up your workspace, Croft said.

6. Procrastinating a job you don’t want to do

When we have a job we don’t want to do, we invariably procrastinate. Croft admitted that overcoming procrastination is a more complex skill that needs to be learned, which is why we created an Overcoming Procrastination course at LinkedIn Learning to teach it.

7. Interruptions

Interruptions kill productivity. LinkedIn Learning Instructor Dave Crenshaw has a solution – have a closed-door, open-calendar policy. That means you set the expectation to others not to interrupt you whenever they feel like, but instead for them to set a meeting with you when they need to speak with you.

8. Being bombarded with work all at once

Obviously it’s stressful when a lot of work hits us all at once. And the reality is that when that happens, sometimes you just need to power through and get stuff done.

The real key is finding the root causes of why these work bombardments are happening and fixing them, so they happen less and less often, Croft said.

9. Having a chatty colleague

There’s nothing worse than a chatty colleague when you are trying to get work done. Here’s the time to be assertive – tell them you don’t have time for the conversation right now and they’ll get the hint, Croft said.

10. Being late for reasons that aren’t your fault, like traffic

Traffic is stressful, especially when you need to be somewhere. And sometimes, being late is inevitable when unexpected traffic arises.

But, most of the time, traffic is relatively predictable. So the key to removing this stress is to leave earlier and give yourself a buffer, Croft said. In other words, it might feel like it isn't in your control – but maybe, it really is.

*Image Credit: Firesam, Flickr

Want to learn more? Watch Croft’s full LinkedIn Learning course, Happiness Tips.

Other LinkedIn Learning courses you might be interested in are: