Stress is an inevitable part of professional life. Irrespective of the industry you work in or your specific job role, every professional has felt stressed because of their work at some point or the other in their career. Stress levels also happen to vary. While some people are highly stressed, there are others who experience moderate to low levels of stress at work. In the end, it all boils down to the work you do that determines the amount of stress you feel. CareerCast, a job search portal, recently conducted a survey amongst its readers to determine the causes and levels of stress faced by people working in different industries and across levels of hierarchy.
Over a 1000 people responded to the survey, where they were asked to evaluate their own experiences with workplace stress. On a scale of 0 to 10, they were asked to rate their work stress levels with 0 denoting no stress and 10 for constant stress. Respondents had to choose from and rate 11 different stress factors such as deadlines, competitiveness, life of another at risk, physical demands, hazards encountered and more. More than 30% of respondents selected deadlines as their biggest cause of stress. What is surprising is that deadlines scored over even life of another at risk, which stood second at 17%, followed by competitiveness (10.2%) and physical demands (8.4%).
Deadlines are a part and parcel of our work lives. It’s rather hard to imagine a workplace functioning without them. However, they do have a threatening sound to them. After all, a deadline equates to pressure to complete a task by a certain given time. Whether you are a salesperson with a looming deadline to meet a business target by the end of the month, or a writer who has to churn out the first draft of an important essay in a couple of hours, no one seems to get a respite from those looming deadlines.
What can you do to alleviate the stress caused by impending timelines? Says Neeraj Deshpande, Senior Business Development Manager at Work Better Training, “There will never be a time when there are no deadlines at work. What is important is to manage your time well and prioritize your tasks effectively so that you do not miss your deadlines. And, if you feel a deadline is unreasonable, your best bet is to speak to your manager or the person who has set the deadline, explain why it is unreasonable, and request them to consider an extension.”
Experts concur that deadlines essentially aren’t bad. After all, they help you organize your time and set priorities. Sometimes, they even act as a motivating push to stop procrastinating. What do you say?