(YES, YOU CAN)
REDUCE STRESS (AND WORRY)
Who’s responsible for your work-related stress?
It seems that every job has some degree of stress, and studies show that small amounts can be motivat-
ing. Alternatively, too much stress has been proven to impact our physical and mental health negatively.
Many stress factors are out of our control, but there are some we can reduce or eliminate, once we ac-
knowldge them. This e-Book is going to share with you how to reduce stress by using effective work
First, let’s determine what we’re personally responsibly for, and how we can change that.
You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.
Many of us aren’t even aware of our bad work behaviors. We just know we are stressed. We end up blam-
ing our profession, boss, coworkers, or the company forgetting that we are the ones in control. We have
the power to turn many negative behaviors into positive ones.
Does any of these behaviors describe you?
• Procrastinator: Putting off projects until the last minute
• Disorganized: Can’t find what you need at a moment’s notice
• Loaner: Don’t collaborate, keep to yourself
• Debbie Downer: See the glass as half empty
The good news is that since you created these bad habits, you have the power to destroy them
Think about your bad work habits. Acknowledge them by writing them down.
Examples might be avoiding work, resisting change, not taking breaks, taking things
personally, gossiping, or isolating yourself.
Uncovering your stressors
To help reveal your stress causing bad habits we suggest using a journal and documenting your day’s
activities and observations. For example, it’s Monday morning:
• What time did you start work? Were you on time?
• What was your attitude upon arriving to work?
• Throughout the day, were you on time for your meetings?
• Were you involved, engaged?
• Are you respectful of your coworkers around you?
• Is your work space messy?
• Do you take personal calls?
• Who did you speak with throughout the day?
• Were those conversations positive or negative and gossipy?
• Did you take breaks for nourishment and to reenergize?
• Did you leave on time?
• Did you take work home?
Once root causes are identified, only then can we create new, positive work habits which will lead to
our being productive at work. In the book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie says:
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
Eliminating bad habits reduces stress
Below we highlight three common, unproductive work habits known to lead to stress,
along with the positive actions you can practice that will eventually become your new,
healthy habits. And, in no time, you will start to be more effective, resilient, and ultimately
feel less stressed at work.
1. Poor time management
3. Having a bad attitude
3 Work Habits to Reduce Stress
Time Management, Organization and Attitude Control
We have found that time management, organization skills, and attitude control are the three key drivers
to reducing stress in the workplace. Let’s examine how your work habits fall into each of these categories
and begin forming new and more productive ones.
Using your personal bad habit list, let’s put each habit under its corresponding heading.
The first area for reducing stress in the workplace is Poor Time Management. Lacking this skill leads to
missed deadlines, financial losses, stressed relationships, and even job loss.
Here’s how you can improve this bad habit:
• Show up early: This allows you to mentally and physically prepare yourself for the day.
• Maintain a daily planner: A planner will help you stay on top of tasks and is an essential tool in helping
you become stress-free (OR LESS STRESSED). Writing it down can assist you in visualizing where
your time is spent and possibly wasted.
• Be present: Pay attention in meetings and don’t let your mind wander, stay engaged.
• Avoid procrastination: Find what motivates you to get the job done. Determine what are your most
productive hours of the day.
• Set priorities: Set daily priorities or goals and stick to them. Tackle the projects in order of importance.
• Protect your private time: Make time to have a life outside of work instead of bringing it home.
At Dale Carnegie,
we invigorate your employees by uconvering their natural strengths,
and building the courage and confidence they need to take command
of their role.
The second area in reducing stress in the workplace is
Organization. Your ability to stay organized is the key to
• Simplify your approach: Think about the things that
you can start or stop doing to simplify your work style.
• Drop unnecessary activities: Identify the activities
in your work week and figure out which ones are not
needed and track any positive changes.
• Write things down: Remember to take down
important notes that you can reference later. Utilize
free tools and apps to help you manage the day-to-day.
The third area critical in handling stress is Attitude. If your attitude is under control and positive,
everything falls into place and begins to improve.
• Connect with coworkers and use their names: Getting to know your co-workers will ease you out of
feeling overwhelmed by stress.
• Let things go: Don’t internalize thoughts and situations you cannot control. Relax and take a step back.
• Take charge: Be in charge of your attitude, workload, and relationships to have
the energy you need to get through a stressful day.
• Stay calm: Do what you need to stay calm. Find what calms you, e.g., going for
a walk, leaving your desk and going to lunch, etc. Avoid quickly getting angry and
• Appreciate the uniqueness in others: People’s differences are what allow us to
collaborate well. People bring unique perspectives to the table, and if you embrace
these as opportunities for success, stress can subside, and you will see a new
perspective or idea when you look for others’ strengths.
“The best possible way to prepare for tomorrow
is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm,
on doing today’s work superbly today.”
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