The Truth about Workplace Stress
Workplace stress has increased almost 20% in the past three decades. It is the 5th leading cause of death according to Jeffrey Pfeffer, author of Dying for a Paycheck. The World Health Organization has identified stress as a world-wide epidemic. Workplace stress negatively affects motivation and creativity, which in turn reduces engagement, productivity. Annually, this costs US businesses about $300 Billion.
Causes of Workplace Stress
If you Google, you will find a myriad of workplace stressors and their causes. These include: too much work, too little work, too much overtime, too many demands, deadlines, competition, travel, low wages, poor benefits, job insecurity, job ambiguity, lack of support, bad management, injustice, unfairness, harassment, poor personal relationships, getting promoted, being in the spotlight, organizational change, and fear of being attacked by terrorists.
If you believe your Google results, workplace stress is closing in on you every day and if you don’t join an ashram, you will die from it. It is true that external stressors are everywhere. The mere pace of change causes so much cognitive dissonance that you don’t even have to go to work to feel it.
The Number One Cause
The truth is that the number one stressor at work is YOU! Yes, that’s right. You!
Yes, that’s right. You!
One of the most important things we do on our jobs is create repeating processes. That is how businesses get product out the door and invoices to customers. Establishing process is the premise of Project Management. Defined and documented process keeps all the gears moving together until our project is delivered to the customer. In a word, we create habits that are intended to create products and services and increase organizational profits.
When those habits translate into personal habits, it can lead to perfectionism, hyper-control, multi-tasking, and chronic negative thinking. Every organization, job, and individual experiences external stressors differently, so the work it takes to go from pre-burnout to relaxed clarity is unique to you.
From Stress to Success
As you take your internal journey, external stressors will start to fall away. Negative people will find some else to dump on. Your communication with other people will improve and so will your productivity.
This kind of change takes dedication, commitment, and it takes time. But if you want to move from stress to success, it is time to pack your bags. If you want to hold the focus and stay on your path of personal excellence, consider working with a business coach who understands your external stressors and who has experience in personal change techniques.