your teachers and professors telling you that the implementation of technology would make our lives simpler and more relaxing – that with technology we would be able to get more work done in less time?
A funny thing has happened with the impact of the computer in business. We do, in fact, get more done in less time, but we added more things to do.
Forty years ago, the average workweek used to be 35 to 40 hours, but today it is 47 to 50 hours, and we add an hour commute on either end. Then, on top of all that, we all have gotten digitally handcuffed to this modern convenience called a cellular telephone. Although initially designed to save us time and bring security, it now makes us available to work 24x7x365. There is never a break from connectedness.
All this “help” is totally stressing me out. How do I find relief from this stress?
I read a book over the weekend called “Overworked: Successfully Managing Stress in the Workplace” written by Don Hawkins in 1996. Even though the book is 20 years old, it very adequately summarizes the problems with stress and presents some great solutions for each of us. Here is what I learned:
- Stress is natural. There is good stress and bad stress, but all of us were designed to experience stress. It motivates us and causes us to grow and mature. Bad stress causes us to have a heart attack.
- Most workplace stress is caused by what is called the “Peter Principle” where we are promoted beyond our capabilities into a job where we are bound to fail which causes a lot of stress.
- Many of us get stressed out at work as a result of a failure to plan. We end up constantly focusing on the urgent and not the important. This urgency is unnecessary.
Relief from stress comes in many forms, but here are a few of Don Hawkins ideas:
- Evaluate your priorities. Don’t shortchange your family for a promotion and more money. Stop with the constant focus on the urgent and recognize the important. IF you don’t, you could destroy your company.
- Don’t allow yourself to get promoted beyond your ability or to a point where work is dominating everything in your life and, therefore, you have no life.
- Surround yourself with wise counsel who can help you recognize unhealthy stress in your life when you are so wound up in it and can’t recognize it for yourself.
Many of us get stressed out just thinking about Monday morning and getting back to work. We get overwhelmed with the responsibility of taking care of our families, doing a good job for our customers, and finding time to enjoy life. When was the last time you stopped the crazy wheel and evaluated your life?
Next time you find yourself stressed out, stop and ask yourself if this is good stress or bad stress and what you can do about it.
Time is a gift. When it is gone, it is unrecoverable. Treat it preciously.
Breathe Deep. Let it out. Enjoy your week.
About the Author, Jim Brangenberg
Jim's Mission: To transform Christian-run businesses through mentoring Christian Business Owners (CBOs) by incorporating the servant leadership of Jesus Christ in their businesses, their home life and their walk with Christ.