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Sunday, August 19, 2001
Stressbusters

Rules for low-stress working
V.K. Kapoor

IN the course of doing business, build rewarding, pleasant, cooperative relationships with as many of your colleagues and employees as you can.

  • Rate your work by order of importance and manage your time effectively; donít bite off more than you can chew.

  • Manage by objectives, to capture the initiative on as many problem areas as you can.

  • Build an especially effective and supportive relationship with your boss. Understand his problems and help the boss to understand yours. Teach your boss to respect your priorities and workload and a keep assignments reasonable.

  • Negotiate realistic deadlines on important projects with your boss. Be prepared to propose deadlines yourself, rather than have them imposed.

  • Study the future. Learn as much as you can about likely coming events and get as much lead time as you can to anticipate them. Manage and plan actively not reactively.

  • Find time every day for detachment and relaxation. Close your door for five minutes each morning and afternoon, put up your feet, relax deeply, and take mind off the work. Use pleasant thoughts or images to refresh your mind.

  • Take a walk now and then to keep your body refreshed and alert. Find reasons to walk to other parts of your building or facility. Greet people you meet along the way.

  • Make a noise survey of your office area and find ways to reduce unnecessary racket. Help your employees reduce the noise level wherever possible.

  • Get away from your office time to time for a change of scene and a change of mind. Donít eat lunch there or hang around long after you should have gone home or gone out to enjoy other activities.

  • Reduce the amount of minutia and trivia to which you give your attention. Sign only those things that really require your study, understanding and approval. Delegate routine paperwork to others whenever possible.

  • Limit interruptions. Try to schedule certain periods of "interruptability" each day and conserve other periods for your own purposes. Take phone messages from your secretary and return all calls at a certain time (except for emergencies, of course).

  • Make sure you know how to delegate effectively. Inventory a typical dayís work and find out how many things you tended to that could have been assigned to someone else whose job it really should have been.

  • Donít put off dealing with distasteful problems such as counselling a problem employee or solving a human relations problem in your staff. Accept short-term stress instead of long-term anxiety and discomfort.

  • Make a constructive "worry list". Write down the problems that concern you and beside each one write down what you are going to do about it.

  • Get a complete catalogue of current worries, so that none of them will be hovering around the edges of your consciousness. Get them out into the open where you can deal with them.
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