(Contribution from freelance writer Jackie Edwards at ManagerSkills)
Some people thrive on stress. They work better when faced with challenges and deadlines whereas others lack motivation when confronted with a stressful situation. What’s known as the Yerkes & Dodson Law explains that performance actually increases with stress, but only to a certain degree. When stress levels become too high, performance decreases and can lead to burnout and depression.
There’s no single way to manage or combat stress but we can certainly learn from successful entrepreneurs; Apple CEO, Steve Jobs and Twitter Co-Founder, Jack Dorsey both used silent meditation to deal with the demands of their work, while Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos insists that taking action reduces stress.
A crucial trait that separates successful people from unsuccessful people is the ability to not lose motivation after multiple setbacks. We all experience stress from time to time – especially in the workplace, but the key is to understand how we can manage and deal with it in an effective and productive way. Here are 6 things successful people do differently when managing stress:
#1: They focus on what they can do rather than what they can’t do.
Successful people understand there’s nothing practical in worrying about unchangeable factors. Instead, they learn to control their response to them.
#2: They understand that they can’t do it all.
Rather than over-doing themselves and being unrealistic in their expectations, successful people know the use in being about to delegate responsibilities to trusted people, relieving stress instantly.
#3: They give their bodies the rest and exercise it needs.
When discussing the habits of successful people, life coach Lukas Schwekendiek says that successful people tend to stay fit and active. They know that in order for their brains to work at optimal levels, their bodies must be fully functioning and rested too.
#4: They take breaks.
Successful people know that taking breaks is one of the most effective ways to manage stress. Studies show that taking a short break every couple of hours can boost productivity so be sure to give your brain (and legs) a stretch every now and then.
#5: They plan ahead.
Rather than feeling piled on come Monday morning, successful people get a head start on their schedules and tasks. Take a leaf out of Steve Jobs’ book – he schedules staff calls for Sunday nights!
#6: They listen to others.
Strong leaders recognise that listening can be much more valuable than talking. Active listening means letting others talk and providing feedback based on what they have told you. A strong leader takes a step back and evaluates the matter at hand before giving their own thoughts or advice.
Strong leaders understand that stress can be a positive thing. It can keep you on task, keep you focused and make you competitive. But it’s critical to manage stress in a productive and effective way to prevent chronic stress or burnout. Maintaining perspective can also be helpful when feeling over-worked as well as welcoming feedback, recharging your batteries by taking breaks when you need them, and keeping your mind and body in good condition.