Your best chance of succeeding in the fight against stress is to aim for prevention. Use these three methods to prevent stress on the individual and organizational level.
Too many people wait until stress has progressed too far before taking action. But unlike other afflictions, like alcohol abuse or cancer, that only affect certain individuals, stress affects all of us — stress is not an “if” but a “when.” So, it makes sense to take preventive measures against stress.
As an executive, you know there are never enough hours in the day. From streams of emails to floods of meeting requests, your time is under constant attack. Time management becomes more difficult as workloads increase, but it’s crucial to effective leadership and stress prevention.
The first step toward understanding how effective you are at time management is to do a time audit assessing how much time you spend on the activities that consume your day. Then, to-do lists, calendar apps, and time-tracking software can all help you remain on task and better understand how effectively you are dividing your time.
Managers frequently struggle with delegating. Do you enjoy delegating, or does it give you anxiety? Effective delegating doesn’t just prevent stress and burnout among leaders, but it also enhances team capacity. When leaders delegate work thoughtfully, they empower their team members to take on new responsibilities and expand their skill sets. Effective delegation involves five key steps:
1. Evaluate. Leaders must first determine whether a task should be delegated. If it’s critical for long-term success and mission-critical to the company, they may not want to delegate it. Leaders must also evaluate whether they have enough time to effectively delegate the job. Delegating shouldn’t be a rapid-fire handoff. They’ll need to spend time training, checking on progress, and engaging in constant communication.
2. Prepare. Leaders must map out exactly what’s required. They should include clear and comprehensive information about timing, budget, milestones, communication frequency, and resources.
3. Assign. Leaders must determine which team members have the required skill set or expertise to complete the task. Ideally, it should help employees grow and expand their capabilities.
5. Avoid micromanaging. Once leaders hand off the baton, it’s critical to avoid micromanaging. If an employee hits a roadblock, leaders should treat this as a learning opportunity and not take the reins. Effective coaching will help employees understand where they’ve gone wrong and help empower them to succeed in the future.
If you struggle with delegation, consider blocking off time each day to create a plan of action. With careful planning, you and your team can succeed. Once you start delegating effectively, your team will dare to come forward more often and more vigorously.
Do you find yourself biting off more than you can chew? Overcommitment is common among executives and leaders as they agree to take on tasks without considering whether they have enough bandwidth. But as requests and tasks pile up on each other and deadlines draw near, leaders can become overwhelmed and stressed.
Overcommitment can be crippling and lead to a kind of paralysis. The most effective antidote against overcommitment is to be firm and set boundaries. You must be vigilant about protecting your time and learn how to say “no.”
Article courtesy of: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/337726
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