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Headington Institute Page 1

Analyze your job stress

1. Take an average day. Write down a list of average tasks (e.g., reading and answering
emails, project planning, drafting reports…etc) and make notes on your routine and
tendencies (i.e., always read and reply to all my emails first thing in the morning).

2. One of the key steps in managing your work stress is knowing where that stress comes
from. So think about the information you’ve noted down in a couple of ways:
a. What is your general strategy in the way you organize and approach your work?
b. What’s really dragging you down (e.g., is it a type of work or a time of day)?
c. Do you dread particular types of tasks and put them off?
d. Do you feel overwhelmed by some tasks?
e. Do you feel sleepy the same time every day?
f. Do you have trouble getting started in the morning, or re-plugging in after lunch?
g. Where are you consistently wasting time (e.g., the way you read and answer emails?
Procrastinating at the end of the day before you leave the office…)?
h. Check off any of the items below that you feel a major source of stress:
___ Work overload (too much to do)
___ Work underload (too little to do)
___ Too much responsibility
___ Too little responsibility
___ Dissatisfaction with current role and duties
___ Poor work environment (danger, noise etc)
___ Long hours
___ Lack of positive feedback/recognition
___ Job insecurity
___ Lousy pay
___ Excessive travel
___ Limited chance for promotion or advancement
___ Prejudice because of race/sex/religion
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___ Problems with boss/management


___ Problems with client
___ Problems with coworkers/staff
___ Office politics
___ A grueling commute

3. Ask yourself to what extent you can remove, or at least reduce the impact of that stress?
Brainstorm how would go about doing that. Realistically, in some cases you will not
have the ability to eliminate some of the sources of stress at work. You may still be able
to modify them somewhat, or change your level of exposure to them. Focus on what you
can control.
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Some of what you can do to reduce the impact of job stress will be to make changes in the
way you work or interact with others. Other things that might be helpful may involve talking
to your boss or colleagues about your work plan, work style, or other issues. One of the
things you might wish to think about is whether seeking training/information from any of the
following areas might help you address your job stress difficulties…

Communication and conflict resolution skills training


o Listening
o Encouraging
o Assertiveness
o Effective management
o Mediation
o Negotiation
Personal skills training
o Basic stress management
o Learning to recognize and manage specific difficulties for you (e.g., anger
control, etc)
o Time management
o Personal motivation and work pacing (goal setting, task ordering, how to break
down big projects into manageable chunks)
o Career planning (planning for the future, mapping out new skills you would like
to learn)
Job-based skills training
o Software packages
o Project planning
o Specific competencies

Lisa McKay ~ Headington Institute ~ 200 E Del Mar Blvd, Ste 119 ~ Pasadena, CA 91105
www.headington-institute.org ~ 626.229.9336