I have worked with a number of people who stress out, either with the pressure from their bosses or the workload.
They resort to binge eating and other extraneous habits that does more ill than good in stress management.
You too would have seen people pull their hair out, turn and twist in their seats, and never get up, except for toilet. Lunch and breakfast are done in front of their terminals as well!
In China, stress is dealt in a very different way. They hide behind a mask, and call it the no face day. Or perhaps, employees take things in their own hands by changing their designations to deal with stress.
I rarely stress out. No matter what the pressure is, and the weight of the workload can hardly make a dent in my emotional psyche.
I was not always like this. I have learnt through experience, and past errors. My learning is what I call the trick, which I refer to in the title of this article.
The secret, as it happens, is taking constant breaks and encouraging sufficient distractions to allow my mind to wander between different worlds, thoughts and actions.
Yes, I take mini breaks after every few minutes of productive work. This helps me not to focus repeatedly on work. This works to my advantage, by avoiding stress.
On a regular day, I work for maybe half an hour, take a coffee break. Another half an hour of work, and then a loo break, and so on. Before I know it, the work on my hands gets completed rapidly fast, and I am as fresh as I started.
My colleagues who are sitting next to me, and doing the same thing as me, without the breaks, are not as productive, and start to lose social cognizance as the day goes by. They start binging on candies and other sugary snacks, to counter the stress, and, munching does not help, unless the target is to increase the waistline.
I don’t need reminders to take breaks. I am used to taking breaks that my body starts to crave after a while. But if you need to set reminders, so be it. You can leverage on your task list, or calendar to schedule breaks.
There is a popular tool called as the pomodoro technique, that proposes that you break down your work in intervals of 25 minutes, and followed by a short break. The founder of this technique, Francesco Cirillo, believes that working with breaks helps in developing mental agility. You can find a number of web and phone apps to help you keep time, and sound an alarm when you are due (for a break).
If you have to live with a boss who does not conform to end result, but rather keeps tabs on work hours, try breaking with stretching exercises at your workstation.
If you believe in being productive, and not stressing out, if you believe that the end result matters, and the not the means, take sufficient breaks. For you, it could be a break after 20 minutes of work, or 50 minutes. Working time does not matter, but breaks do.