Path to Less…Work Stress

by Andy Amick on July 10, 2013

in Path to Less

path to less work stress

Are you one of those workers that puts in your best effort to do things right, but then gets extremely frustrated where there are co-workers that don’t take the same approach?  Or maybe there is that one teammate that plays the politics game to get ahead, or another that creates rework for you due to their inefficient processes?  Yep, I’ve been there too.

Unless you have control over personnel decisions, every job has situations like this that can lead to a high amount of stress and frustration.  With a shift in perspective, that stress can be reduced so that the antics of other co-workers don’t have your blood boiling.

Back On The Path To Less

Welcome back to the Path To Less.  It’s been several months since the less financial stress series of posts wrapped up.  These types of posts are a little different from the normal topics of bikepacking, camping with kids, or paracord projects.

As usual, it all relates back to bikes in some manner.  Less stress from work means a happier you that wants to go on bike rides instead of being drained at the end of the day.

Shifting Perspective

In an ideal world, you would be doing good work with good people.  From time to time that happens and it’s great.  Other times, it’s farther from that ideal.  In those situations, it’s all too easy to let other people have a negative influence on your work and also your personal life.  This is especially true if, like me, you “wear your emotions on your sleeve”.

Keep a visual of what's important

To combat the frustration and stress, the trick is to shift your view of events and put them in a new perspective.  A simple way to accomplish this shift is through some sort of visual that reminds you of your ideal situations.

For me, that involves family, being outdoors with my kids, and riding bikes.  The collage above has been taped to my notebook for several months, and it’s my reminder to focus on what really matters while letting other things go if they are not the most important.

A visual doesn’t remove the bad co-workers or inefficient projects, but it certainly helps change your viewpoint and realize that they may not be worth getting stressed about.

Create Your Own Stress Relieving Visual

1) Determine your personal ideal situation.  It may be bikes, it may be cats (that’s unfortunate :-) ), it may be traveling the world.

2) Find images or quotes that represent that ideal for you.  Be sure to have a mix of serious and funny images.  For those really bad days, a funny image can help make it better.

3) Use a tool such as picmonkey.com to arrange your photos and quotes into a collage. Tip – if you want to include quotes, you should create an image from the text because most collage tools only work with images.

4) Put the collage in an easy to access location where you can reference it when work is not going well or before you head into a meeting that may get you fired up a tad too much.

You Control The Result

You can either take control of the situation or let the situation control you.  Stressful people and projects will occur in every job so it’s a matter of making sure you don’t let them pull you down into the world of stress, anger, and burnout.

With your own visual reminder, you can begin to reduce your work stress and focus on those items that are truly important in your life.  Yes, you may have to watch as someone climbs the proverbial ladder through their manipulation of the system.  However, the tradeoff is that you’ll be focused on the things that really matter to you instead of letting other people’s actions create stress for you.

Less stress, more of what matters.  That’s where I want to be.  How about you?

About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

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