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Time Planner 2013

A winner is one who recognises his God given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills,and uses the skills to accomplish his goals"

- Larry Bird

Strategies for coping with stress

Daily tasks

There are different types of stress that you face in the workplace. Understanding how you respond to stress can help you manage it better.

The 4 types of stress

1. Frustration
This happens when you are unable to do something or get something that you want. Examples of this are :

a. Not getting a promotion/raise
b. Not doing the kind of work you enjoy
c. Not getting the resources you want
d. Unable to get cooperation from others in the office
e. Unable to get a subordinate or colleague to pull their weight

2. Conflict
This happens when you have to decide between different courses of action. Most decisions are taken with incomplete information and where the outcomes are uncertain.

a. Accepting a promotion but shifting to a new city
b. Continuing in the present safe job with average growth prospects or moving to a new job with growth but higher risks
c. Promoting one of two equally suitable people
d. Not sure if you want to let a talented underperformer go or try to develop her

3. Pressure
You feel pressure when you have to meet others expectations. This is one of the commonest types of stress in the workplace.

a. Meeting targets or KRAs
b. Behaving in ways that conform to organisational expectations

4. Change
Change usually means uncertainty and this leads to stress.

a. Reporting to a new boss
b. New appraisal systems
c. A new competitor in the market
d. New roles and responsibilities

Constructive and destructive coping strategies

Stress can affect your health (physical), affect your mood (emotional) and the way you behave (behavioural).

Some common behavioural responses that we see in the workplace :

Negative coping strategies
a. Increasing effort workaholism
b. Running away avoidance
c. Confronting aggression
d. Giving excuses or lying to cover up
e. Giving up - Paralysis
f. Covertly sabotaging
g. Overeating, drinking and shopping - indulgence

Constructive coping strategies
a. Pursuing other non work related activities and hobbies in order to forget
b. Meditating, exercising and other physical activities to reduce feelings of anxiety
c. Seeking help from others
d. Planning trying to get on top of the situation that is causing stress
e. Reframing looking at the situation from different points of view
f. Using humor getting a perspective

Emotional and physiological responses to stress are automatic and difficult to control. Behavioural responses can be controlled and is often the key to managing the other two responses. One of the great discoveries of modern psychology is that feelings can follow actions. For example if you want to feel confident, act confident.

The sources of stress can sometimes be difficult to identify. The stress may not be obvious it could be a low level feeling of uneasiness or discontent in the background difficult to pin or link to any specific cause. Such feelings could be linked to long term issues rather than any specific event. Such as the general direction your life or career is taking, the state of your relationships or a feeling of non fulfillment with the work you are doing.

Planning strategies are considered to be appropriate and useful in coping with stress. This covers a range of self management tools such as goal setting, time planning and skill development. None of these are short term and they require the person to understand the root causes of stress and take long term measures to manage or avoid such situations. Use this section to identify major sources of stress in your life, your current coping strategies and how you can modify inappropriate responses.

An example of how the section can be used:


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