Stress in the workplace – Focus on one thing at a time to minimise stress at work

In the workplace, we all seem to get swamped by several different tasks and requests all at the same time. We have the boss screaming for those reports to be submitted to him by midday, several clients wanting their jobs to be completed immediately and your co-workers hounding and nagging you for no apparent reason. Plus you are catching up on your workload from the day before and you are constantly getting delayed by work problems.

With so many things to focus on all at the same time, it is no wonder that we become so overwhelmed and experience constant stress at work. I can see why some co-workers often crave that cigarette or loose their temper in the workplace.

I recall a few years ago, when I went to a workplace stress management seminar held by psychologist Dr. Jason Han. At the time, workplace stress was definitely my worst enemy. I recall Dr. Han giving me a piece of valuable advice which I use to this very day. He told me the secret to coping with workplace stress is to concentrate on one thing at a time.

When I first heard this piece of workplace stress management advice, I thought it was a load of useless garbage. However when I applied his advice to my work, I noticed that his advice was sensible and I was getting alot more achieved.

In reality, you can only focus and place effort on one task at a time. It is better to have one task fully completed than have several uncompleted tasks. When you focus on several things at the same time, you simply don’t get alot achieved and you are creating hardly any room for error. Also your concentration becomes more scattered when you focus on too many things at once.

The key to focusing on one task at a time is to focus and complete the most important and dreaded task first. While focusing on a task, do not allow your mind to become preoccupied with other tasks. With your main task, set a realistic timeframe you want to spend on it, factoring in the deadline for that task and enough time to complete your other tasks as well.

If your task is very time consuming, break your task into smaller bite size chunks and simply focus on one component at a time.