Insurance Industry News from ProgramBusiness.comHandling Stress In Business Life
If you’re feeling pressured and apprehensive about business life, you aren’t alone. World events, significant changes in the insurance industry, a slowing economy, and increased expectations of clients and families can make daily life more stressful. Eventually, living with this tension takes its toll by affecting our mental and physical health. When people are constantly stressed, they lose perspective and tend to feel they’ve lost control of their own lives. But this doesn’t need to be the case. We can do many things to take back control of our lives. Often the simplest choices we make can influence attitude, success, and overall well-being.
Stop worrying. You may be anxious about an upcoming client meeting or fearful that your boss thinks you made the wrong decision. Worrying about anticipated problems depletes energy and produces nothing. Two methods can help to counteract anxiety. The first is to ask yourself what’s the worst thing that could happen? Usually, even the worst-case scenarios aren’t life or job threatening. The second method to stop worrying is to ask yourself the why and how of the situation.
Why are you worried about the client meeting? Are you prepared? Do you need to learn more about the situation? Have you considered fully the client’s issues and your appropriate response? Do you need to communicate information prior to the meeting to better prepare the client? Once you gain insight into the "why," then you can move on to the "how." Perhaps you need help from a coworker who has more experience or you need to learn more from the company underwriter. Make a list of what needs to be done to have a successful meeting, then do it.
Remember this important rule about dealing with anxiety. Nothing disperses anxiety more quickly than action. Analyze the situation, then take the initiative. Once you do that, you are in control of the situation and the situation does not control you.
Unclutter and organize your work environment. When your life is rid of clutter, productivity and focus increase. Looking at piles of paper, file folders, and manuals causes workers to feel overwhelmed. Donate or discard excess office equipment such as typewriters, telephones, computers, printers, and fax machines. Offices and individual work areas should be organized in a way for people to have access to materials and information they need to do their jobs without getting lost in a sea of clutter.
Take the time to organize paper and electronic files so that filing and retrieving is consistent for all who use the systems. Spend time in your individual work area to be sure your office is set up for the job you need to do. Go through every item and either toss it, file it, or act on it. The act-on-it work should either be appropriately delegated to someone else or put on your to-do list with a realistic calendar date as to when you will work on it. Once these systems are set up, it’s amazing how work gets done on an intentional and timely basis.
Get along with your coworkers. Face it. There are people you’d rather not have to work with. But circumstances are what they are. What can you do to make working together more pleasant?
Identify what’s provoking you. A lot of our frustrations are self-inflicted. We leave the house late so we arrive at work stressed. We create our own do-or-die situations by not anticipating inevitable events. Consider what you can do to eliminate the pressure that further damages a tenuous coworker relationship.
Recognize you can only change yourself. Assume full responsibility for changing your attitude and your behavior. Who knows why other people feel or act they way they do. You can’t change them. Don’t try. Work on your own stuff.
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