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Executive Leaders: Top 5 Tips For Managing Work-Related Stress
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Executive Leaders: Top 5 Tips For Managing Work-Related Stress - Executive Leadership Articles

Executive Leaders: Top 5 Tips For Managing Work-Related Stress

Executive Leadership Articles

Executive Leaders: Top 5 Tips For Managing Work-Related Stress

Whether you are a veteran Executive Leader or a fledgling Executive climbing your way up the management ladder, you will bear the brunt of work-created stress at multiple points throughout your career. Responsibility goes hand-in-hand with power, and with responsibility comes accountability and the pressure of expectations. Oftentimes, depending on your specific role, the success or failure of your company could fall upon your shoulders and be affected by the decisions that you make. While many Executive Leaders are comfortable with this and have learned coping mechanisms to function despite stress, the truth is that most professionals in the workforce today—from the administrative assistant who staffs the front desk to the CEO in the corner office—do not know healthy methods of handling stress. Here are 5 proven tips for managing work-created stress that will help keep you calm and balanced despite the pressures of leadership:

  • 1. Learn to Compartmentalize. This tip is crucial because Executive Leaders who learn to do this well can avoid much of the stress that comes from thinking about work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The key to compartmentalization is mental discipline. You must learn to teach your brain the following rule: when you are at work, you are at work; when you are at home, you are at home. Work should not spill over into your home life. If you are enjoying dinner with your family or sitting on your couch watching the game, your mind should not be occupied with anxiety over deadlines, projects, and problem employees. As must as is possible and realistic, keep these two realms—your professional life and your home life—strictly separate.
  • 2. Determine the Top 3 Reasons that You Must Work. In short, what makes the stress worth it? Do you work long, stressful hours so that you can send your daughter to the best high school in the district? Do you work hard to finance your travel plans? Support your spouse? Build an impressive retirement fund? Whatever your reasons, they must be compelling and highly personal. They will help keep you going long after you think you can’t.
  • 3. Seek Advice. Identify a mentor who is either a current or retired Executive Leader. The ideal mentor will have faced similar challenges, learned the ins and outs of leadership, and be willing to offer you guidance based upon years of experience. Sometimes, the best stress relief can come from identifying someone with whom you can talk out issues to find direction and knowing that another person has been in your shoes, experienced your pain points, and conquered the obstacles that seem insurmountable.
  • 4. Learn that Worrying Is Like a Rocking Chair. The old adage is true, especially for Executive Leaders. Worrying may give you something to do but will ultimately get you nowhere. Determine a path then follow it.
  • 5. Take Care of Your Body. Whether you find peace gardening, doing yoga, kickboxing, or going to a spa, do something healthy for yourself and your body at least once a week. Physical exertion or relaxation can help take your mind off work-created stress and focus on replenishing your energy for the work ahead.

While the above tips may work for some Executive Leaders, there are hundreds of other coping mechanisms that may assist you in dealing with stress. The trick is not to give up searching for the right combination that will help you be a calmer, more centered person—and, by extension, a better leader too.


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