Seven Tips for Managing Stress

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Working in staffing can be very rewarding – but it can also be very stressful. I learned early on that if I didn’t learn how to manage my stress, I would inevitably go crazy. I learned how to manage my work-life balance with the following tips; they can work for anyone in any industry, not just recruiting:

1. Focus on what you can control – not what you can’t. I work in a business where people are my product. I can do everything right, every step of the way – and at the last minute, things can fall apart because of something that someone else does. I focus on what I can control, and recognize that I’m not going to have a 100% success rate every time.

2. Don’t try to be everything to everyone at the same time. Many people, especially women, have a hard time saying no. You aren’t going to be able to be the best employee, best student, best mom, best wife, or best athlete all at the same time. As priorities change, shift your focus. The people in your life should understand that during busy times, you have to devote more attention to work; and in slow times, you should be able to focus on your family or other interests.  Learn how to say no to those things that suck up your time that you really have no interest (or obligation) to do.

3. Learn how to prioritize: is something urgent, important, both, or neither? Steven Covey describes this tactic best; know that what is urgent to someone else, may not truly be urgent but that when someone is experiencing a problem, it is a fire in their world.

4. Anything you can do in two minutes, take care of right away. If it will take some time, acknowledge the task and set the person’s expectations of when you will get back to them.

5. Learn how to do one thing at a time. Our brains are not wired to multitask, despite what the world tells us. If you are focusing on a project, shut off your e-mail notifications, silence your text alerts, and send your calls to voice mail.

6. Exercise. You might think you don’t have time – but someone once told me, there are 24 hours in a day. If you can’t spend one of them on yourself, what kind of value are you placing on yourself? Make it convenient and do something you like. Don’t force yourself into the gym at six AM if you hate mornings and hate weights – do yoga in the evenings instead.

7. Take vacations – and resist the urge to work while you are there. Your company gives you vacation days for a reason. Use them. If your company doesn’t give you vacation days, take shorter vacations by combining holidays and weekends. I was contract for a year before I was hired into Adecco – I took four day vacations around President’s Day, Memorial Day, etc. If you can’t afford a vacation, take a mental health day and just chill out at home. You will end up being more productive.

How do you manage stress? What are some methods you use to relax but stay productive at the same time? Tell us in the comments!


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