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The Ultimate Guide to Eliminating Work Stress

We all understand that feeling of being anxious at work, under the weather and fantasising about staying off sick all week. You may ask yourself, is this feeling wrong? Am I broken? 

No, of course you aren’t, this feeling which is known as work stress affects a large majority of people in the present and has done throughout history. 

According to Ciphr’s statistics: 1 in 14 UK Adults feel stressed every single day, whether that is at work or in general, and 79% of the UK population feel stressed at least once a month. 

There is a solution to finding your workplace stressful!

Work stress can make you feel like you are trapped at work. It might play on your mind constantly, even at home, while relaxing. We, at Ceed, would like to help you to eliminate this feeling and separate your work and home life.  

Read Now: How to Achieve the Perfect Work-Life Balance

What is Work Stress?  

Work stress, simply put, is the feeling of stress at (and caused by) work. This can stem from work related problems like conflicting demands, deadlines, overworking or a lack of passion. 

Here are a few ways to lower and ultimately eliminate your work stress levels:  

Self-Positivity 

Don’t allow the monster of work stress to drag you down further. It can eventually lead to depression, or a severe spike in health problems. Once you’re done working, take a look at the work you have completed today. Take it all in like a beautiful sunset and think to yourself: “I’ve done that.”  

Take pride in what you accomplish each day for you are valued: as a friend, colleague, and family. Recognise the value of your effort and work, as others do. Although they may not verbally acknowledge your effort, your employers understand your importance as a part of their operation and you should too.  

Take a moment to appreciate your own work!

Every day, as long as you are accomplishing something you can take pride in yourself, and this positivity can help re-ignite a passion in your work life, reducing work stress as a whole. 

Read Now: 4 Effective Ways to Clear Your Mind of Stress 

Verbal Communication 

We fully understand the anxiety in everyone’s mind when considering speaking to your manager about your problems, and even more so about something as difficult as work stress.

No-one can force you to speak to your manager, but if you have the confidence then please do. This is the easiest way for your manager to understand what you are going through and adjust the situation as needed for you.  

However, you can also speak to your friends and family about these issues, or perhaps other colleagues. There are so many people in the world going through what you are, and many have advice that helped them or wished had helped them in the past. Listen to their words, but take some with a grain of salt! 

Whatever you do, do not ignore work stress, even if its symptoms are miniscule. The more exposed you are to it, the more severe your symptoms can become.  

Relaxing and Taking it Easy 

Many people don’t understand how to deal with work stress and think it’s normal. The truth is it is and isn’t at the same time. Stress is a natural thing that happens to everyone, even animals. One of the easiest ways to get rid of work stress is to relax your body and mind. 

Whether that is by:  

  • Listening to music  
  • Playing videogames 
  • Watching TV or movies 
  • Exercising  
  • Reading 
  • Writing  
  • Or even just having a chat with friends and family.  

There are lots of different ways to relax, but try everything and find out which works best for you. Maybe if listening to music works best you could see if you can wear earphones at work to relieve stress. 

But all in all, do what you love and treat yourself; order that Chinese, stay in bed all day on your day off, take a sick day off if you feel extremely stressed. Just do whatever you need to make yourself feel happy, and stress-free.  

Read Now: How Music Can Motivate You to Stick to Your Exercise Routine 

Re-Igniting Your Passion 

Lack of passion for a job is usually a work stress issue, as it can slow your productivity down as you see no reason to carry on doing it.  

Ask yourself: is this the right job for you? 

If your answer is no, then perhaps look for a new job, maybe something that’s totally different to what you’re doing right now. This could be as drastic as going from retail to police work. It’s hard to predict how a job is going to be before working there so do some research and check reviews online. Indeed and Glassdoor have the option to check company reviews.  

If your answer is yes, then there are a couple of things you can do: 

  1. Find meaning in your work 
  1. Seek new opportunities at work. 

This could even be taking a health and safety course. A change in environment even momentarily can be great for the brain, and maybe even make you miss your current environment. The section below can also help re-ignite that passion.  

Asking for new opportunities can make work more fulfilling.

Read Now: Mindfulness At Work: How To Increase Productivity 

Setting Goals and Rewarding Yourself 

It’s easy to finish a work day on autopilot, not realising how much you have actually done. Some people feel like they haven’t done enough, and others feel like they have done too much. Set yourself goals, and choose rewards for reaching those goals.  

This can help to fulfil you mentally, and make you more focused on your work. It pushes you to motivate yourself to get those goals completed and instil pride in yourself.  

Reward yourself with a short break, or a snack or drink you like. Set realistic goals that you know you can complete.  

Don’t be unrealistic or not realistic enough. Maybe you serve 60 customers a day? Let’s make goals based on that multiple. So, maybe a reward every 20 customers. That brings you to at least 3 rewards.  

Obviously, don’t go overboard with snacks as rewards as this may affect your eating habits. For some healthy options, check out this article we made to help you with foods that can lift your mood. 

Read Now: A Happy Diet: 9 Foods Proven to Lift Your Mood 

Online Communication 

In this modern world, one of the most widely utilised inventions is the internet. The ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere is a great advantage to modern life. You are bound to find strangers online who feel the same as you: 91% of Australians feel stressed about one or more important parts of their life, and 86% of Chinese Workers also report stress.  

The fact is: you aren’t alone. There will always be people there who have experienced and felt the same as you in some way. 

Just look online to realise you’re not alone in feeling stressed!

There are mountains of websites, pages, and social media apps that allow interaction between you and like-minded people. Talking to them can help you to develop and advice can be applied to your own situation, so as to not repeat the same mistakes as others. Not everyone is correct in their advice though, so be warned! 

Here are a few websites where you can utilise to find specific pages for help: 

Use the search bar to find specific communities or subjects such as: Tesco, UK, Manchester. 

To Sum Up… 

Please remember, you are only human at the end of the day and not a corporate machine. Your feelings matter, and you matter. 

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We hope this guide has been beneficial to you and if you think you need additional help with work stress then feel free to contact us at Ceed today.  

How to Achieve the Perfect Work-Life Balance

Finding the perfect balance between your professional and personal life can be challenging, but it’s essential for your overall well-being. Our drive and desire to achieve professionally can often harm our own successes. 

Creating a perfect work-life balance will improve not only your physical, emotional and mental well-being but it’s also crucial for your career. If you’re struggling to achieve the perfect work-life balance, you’re not alone. Here are some useful tips to help you achieve the perfect balance! 

1. Manage Your Time 

Time management is key. This will determine the work-life balance you maintain each day. Ways of improving your time management include: 

  • Create a timeline of your activities for one week. Make sure to include family commitments 
  • Prioritise your tasks in accordance to their importance 
  • Avoid multitasking. Focus on one task at a time 
  • Learn to say “no” 

We don’t have unlimited hours in the day. Be honest and let people know if you can’t take on additional tasks at the moment. Remember, your time is valuable! 

2. Set Specific Personal and Professional Goals 

There are many benefits to setting specific personal and professional goals. When your goals are clearly articulated, you can complete tasks with a strong sense of direction and a better focus. Take your list of priorities and turn them into specific and measurable goals. These can include: 

  • Walk thirty minutes a day, five days a week. 
  • Speak to a family member for an hour once a week. 
  • Take twenty-five minutes once a week to reflect on success and achievements.  
  • Decrease a website’s bounce rate by 10% in six months. 
Setting goals for a better work-life balance is key!

Read now: How to Build Effective Short-term and Long-term goals 

3. Ignore Perfectionism 

Moving through the challenges of perfectionism is difficult. Here are some tips to help you achieve this: 

  • Practice self-awareness. Remember that you already possess some level of self-awareness to realise that perfectionism is causing issues for you.  
  • Realise that no one is perfect. 
  • Never compare yourself to others. You are on your own journey. When you compare yourself to others, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment.  
  • Set realistic goals and remember to reward yourself as you achieve them. 

4. Establish Boundaries 

Setting boundaries between work and home is important in achieving the perfect work-life balance. This can be done by: 

  • Establishing fair and realistic limits on what you will do / will not do both at work and at home. 
  • Communicate this clearly to your supervisor, coworkers, partner and family.  

For example, a boundary you could set is not checking or responding to work-related emails whilst at home.  

5. Leave Work at Work 

Disconnecting from work at home isn’t easy. To get the most of our time off and leave work at work we need to be deliberate in how we end our days. This can be done by: 

  • Writing tomorrow’s to-do list today. 
  • Remove the expectation of thinking about work outside of work hours. 
  • Make time for your interests and pursue your hobbies. 

6. Make Time for You 

Making time for yourself and doing things that you love is important. Doing so will energise and refresh you. It will also enable you to nurture your creativity which is extremely beneficial in the workplace. Remember to give yourself a relaxing break and enjoy yourself at least once a day. This can include: 

  • Going out for dinner with friends or family 
  • Catching up on your favourite show 
  • Reading a book 
  • Having a relaxing bath 
  • Going for a dog walk.
Relaxing is essential to staying energised!

7. Work Smarter Not Harder 

The skill of being able to use your time more efficiently is one that everyone could benefit from. Working smarter, not harder involves managing your time better, knowing what needs to get done and when, and making most of the tools that will keep you on track. Here are some ways to achieve this: 

  • Batch similar tasks together. 
  • Take more breaks. 
  • Turn off notifications. 
  • Track your time and review your productivity. 
  • Stop multitasking. 
  • Unload your more pressing tasks by doing them first. 
  • Trim your to-do list by removing less important tasks. 
  • Plan tasks based on your energy levels. 

We tend to ignore our energy levels when planning our work. However, being mindful of this can be extremely beneficial in regards to productivity. Everyone’s energy spikes are different. Whether you’re more productive after lunch or first thing in the morning. Determine when your energy spikes are and plan your tasks accordingly. 

8. Unplug from Technology 

Our phones and technology follow us everywhere. This means our ability to disconnect from work is increasingly difficult. However, unplugging from technology is achievable. Here are some tips to help you get started: 

  • Switch off your phone for a couple hours each day. 
  • Enjoy some tech-free activities, like switching off technology at dinnertime. 
  • Prioritise human connection. 
  • Set up a Digital-Free Zone in your home. 
  • Create non-negotiable working hours. 

Read now: The Impact of Screen Addiction on Health and Well-being

9. Take Care of Your Health 

Your health should always be your number one priority. A healthy lifestyle is fundamental to coping with stress and to achieving the perfect work-life balance. Neglecting your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing will see both your personal life and work-life suffering. Take care of your health by: 

In order to achieve balance, you need to take care of your health!

10. Rest 

There are many benefits to a good night’s sleep (internal link to Why Understanding Sleep is Crucial to your Wellbeing). While you sleep, your brain works to restore your mind and body. This involves processing your emotions and what you’ve learned during the day. Receiving more sleep can improve your memory which may help you perform better at work and in your day-to-day life. The following techniques may help you achieve a good night’s sleep. 

  • Avoid screen time for an hour before bed. 
  • Reduce your caffeine intake. 
  • Avoid liquids before bed. 
  • Implement a morning and night routine. 

Read now: Why Understanding Sleep is Crucial to Your Well-being

By implementing a routine in the morning and evening, you are supporting the hormones that affect sleep, manage stress levels and help you feel rested and energised throughout the day. This will help you achieve the perfect work-life balance.

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If you need help achieving the perfect work-life balance, we’re here to help! Reach out to one of our experts here at Ceed today! 

Common Reasons Behind Project Failure in a Team Environment

You’ve been assigned to work on a team project. In your first meeting, you get to know your team members a bit better and establish what tasks need to get done. After the meeting, you set out to work on some of those tasks. 

But before you know it, things start to fall apart. Essential tasks have not been done, leading to missed deadlines. The tasks that have been completed only make up a small fraction of the total work that needs doing. All team members are left dissatisfied as they blame each other for the project’s failure. 

Findings from the KPMG Project Management Survey 2010 show that 70% of companies have experienced at least one project failure in the past 12 months, with over 50% of companies stating that they failed to consistently accomplish what they set out to achieve. 

There are many benefits to collaboration in team projects, yet we don’t see these benefits as countless team projects lead to failure. So, what can be done to prevent such failures? Here are some common reasons for project failure: 

Team projects fail in a business setting due to a range of reasons concerning people, processes and communications.
Teamwork is important to get a business project done in time, but how can you avoid many of the pitfalls that lead to project failure?

People 

Scope creep 

In project management, scope creep is when a project’s scope changes, extending or “creeping” beyond what was originally agreed upon. 

Altering what needs to be done midway through a team project only serves to complicate things, making it more difficult for the team to complete the project in time. 

Scope creep can occur because parameters weren’t defined well from the outset of a project. It could also be because people both internal and external of the team add on objectives that were not part of the original project. Even vague and open-ended requirements can contribute to the scope creep of a project. 

According to Quay Consulting, if the scope is unclear more than 15% into a project, it’s unlikely that it will get back on track

Unrealistic expectations 

It’s easy for assumptions to be made that tasks can be done quickly, when in fact, they end up taking longer than expected. This has a knock-on effect on the other tasks that need to get completed, especially if this occurs nearer the start of a team project. 

Everyone works at different paces, so it’s important to be realistic with what team members can accomplish and in what time frame. By attempting to match expectations as close to reality, you can gain a consensus with your team about the ongoing progress and expected delivery of the project. 

Processes 

Lack of resource planning 

If your team spends too much time project planning, in terms of what needs to be done, you may forget to plan for resources. 

Resource planning involves allocating tasks to team members based on their capacity and skillsets in order to maximise efficiency. This is especially important if your team is working on a budget and using valuable resources. 

To make sure that all team members know exactly what they should be working on, figure out how many people are needed to complete a particular task and for how long – this ensures that one person is not left doing all the tasks while the others do nothing. 

Find out what facilities are needed, such as office space and computers. Can the knowledge resources required for this project be accessed easily? Spot any other limitations so that you have a resource plan in place for your team project. 

No risk management 

Risk management is a process that allows risks to be understood and managed proactively. By minimising threats and maximising opportunities and outcomes, success is optimised. 

Every team project carries a degree of uncertainty and therefore risk. Risk management aims to reduce uncertainty to a tolerable level by putting actions into place that help when the project does not go to plan. 

To mitigate risk, employing risk management can address issues of uncertainty from the get-go, boosting a project’s likelihood of success. This can be done by creating a targeted and relevant risk log that assesses risk adequately through the entire span of a team project. 

Communication

Unclear goals and objectives 

According to executive leaders in the 2017 Global Project Management Survey by PMI, the primary cause of project failure was a lack of clearly defined objectives and milestones to measure progress (37%). 

Your team project is more likely to fail if you begin working without any clear objectives or goals. This is because your whole team doesn’t know what’s being accomplished and whether the project is on track to succeed. 

Make sure to create well-defined and reasonable goals that can be achieved by everyone on the team throughout the entire project. 

Lack of project visibility 

Project visibility refers to the ability to see how a project is performing, including resource allocation and potential risks. 

Even with a project plan in place, the lack of visibility when it comes to project transparency of task status and document management can leave your team confused as they try to work on the project. 

Project visibility is important because it allows team members to set realistic expectations on the progress of the project. 

When a goal hasn’t been met, or a deadline is going to be missed, be upfront with others on your team about the situation. Visibility creates accountability, allowing your team to make decisions that drive the project forward towards success, rather than being stuck in failure. 

Communication gaps 

Even though you are working as a team during this project, there will be instances where team members have to conduct research or complete a task on their own. 

Clear communication is essential to relay vital information about the project to each other. Explaining what you know clearly and concisely can reduce communication gaps that may arise. 

If there are moments where you have concerns about a particular decision related to the project or are struggling to complete a specific task, being honest with the team by letting them know will improve communication in the long run. 

By explaining your worries, the team will be able to give some guidance that can help you out. By keeping up good communication within the team, in turn, you can help anyone else having issues concerning the project. 

Take action against these common causes so that your team project succeeds!
Clear, concise communication is key to good teamwork and ensuring project success!

In Conclusion 

When it comes down to your team project, recognising these common causes and taking action against them can allow you to stay ‘on time and on budget’. 

That being said, it’s inevitable that there will be some bumps along the road while working on your team project. Some reasons for failure can be out of your control, while other reasons can be fixed by addressing issues upfront with the rest of the team. 

Team projects are successful by not letting controllable issues perpetuate and negatively impact the team’s performance towards the project. 

As quick fixes typically prove to be ineffective and make things even worse, spend time dealing with these problems so everyone can put in their best work to get the project done on time. 

At Ceed, we provide support to students and employees who are involved in team projects. Visit our website to find out more! 

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