Multitasking may seem the more efficient, effective way to get through your day at work, but it has actually been shown to be less productive, and anxiety-inducing. Brain and Behaviour Specialist, Neuroscientist and C-suite Mentor Dr Lynda Shaw shares her advice on what we can do if we suffer from anxiety and how to tackle anxiety at work.
Anxiety at work is common, with just under one million cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety recorded in 2021-22 in Great Britain alone. Stress in the workplace is unavoidable, with causes ranging from work overwhelm to conflict in relationships and the results can be severe if unchecked.
Anxiety can be mitigated but employers and PAs need to work together to notice the signs and help implement solutions to create more supportive, safe and healthy work environments.
These tips will provide some help on ways to manage anxiety at work
Identify the root of the stress – Addressing workplace stress can be helped by simply talking to others about concerns to find a collaborative solution. Organisations who want to tackle workplace stress and anxiety naturally have a more open environment at work, allowing for conversations to be had and support to be given. Whether you are the employee or employer, reach out and start the conversation.
Multitasking may seem the more efficient, effective way to get through your day at work, but it has actually been shown to be less productive and anxiety-inducing. Taking the time to switch from task-to-task results in losing time and concentration which can add up, whereas focusing solely on one task usually takes less time overall by reducing the risk of getting sidetracked and overwhelmed, and making mistakes.
Overcome Imposter Syndrome
Take the time to recognise and reflect on your accomplishments, and celebrate your successes, to remind yourself why you are equipped for your position. Counter any self-doubts by seeking feedback from others and looking at any possible criticisms in a constructive light, using them to grow from and build up your confidence.
Learn how to say no
Being able to recognise your limits at work and not take on more than you can handle is important. Valuing prioritising and delegating work can ensure you have a more manageable workload.
Ask for flexibility
The workplace is seeing a huge period of transition as we assess how we can best do hybrid and home working. If you have good reasons for a need for flexibility and it could be life-changing for you then this opportunity has never been more of an option than it is today. You need to evidence your case of why this will help you, and in turn help the business.
Deal with toxic colleagues
Deal with conflict early on. Conflict is a common cause of anxiety at work, so if you can, set boundaries, steer clear of others’ toxic behaviour when possible, maintain professionalism, document incidents and seek support if you need to.
Have good work habits
Being able to switch off at the end of the workday is key to maintaining a healthy work/life divide. Tidying your desk and making a to-do list for the next day are two examples of small habits that enable you to put the day behind you so you can go home, switch off and recharge.
You can see more from Dr Lynda Shaw here.