How to Stay Energized During a Stressful Time at Work

By Chelsea Babin

When the work is piling up, you’re pulling tons of extra hours, and the stress is starting to get to you it’s really easy to get burnt out or make a mistake. Even when you work at a company that offers a great work-life balance, there will be more stressful times when work needs to take up more of your energy than your personal life. In order to stay energized and motivated during these stressful work times, try out one or more of these 8 strategies.

1. Reduce Responsibilities Outside of the Office: If you try to keep your kitchen spotless, cook homemade meals, make it to all of your regular exercise classes, and grab drinks with your friends multiple times a week during a stressful time at work you’ll definitely get burned out. The whole idea behind work-life balance is that work shouldn’t seep into your life or obstruct your responsibilities outside of the office and, most of the time, it shouldn’t. However, during stressful times at work, it may be necessary to reduce your responsibilities outside of the office so you can stay energized at work. As long as this is a temporary shift it can be manageable. However, if it seems like the stressful times are outweighing the regular times at work, you may want to suggest to your boss that you need additional help.

2. Sleep at Least 6 Hours: Don’t let the extra hours you spend at work during a stressful time cut into your sleep. In order to stay energized at work, you need to be sleeping at least 6 hours every night.

3. Prioritize Ruthlessly: One of the reasons you may be stressed out at work is a lack of prioritization. When you’re particularly busy, looking at the mountain of tasks in front of you and barely chipping away at it can be frustrating and it can deplete your energy. Instead, take some time to prioritize ruthlessly. If something can be put off or passed on to someone else, do that. If a less important task needs to take a backseat, let someone know that you’ll be focusing on more pressing issues for a while. This isn’t a license to shirk responsibility but, instead, a chance to focus in on high priority tasks and save the others for later.

4. Don’t Sacrifice Small, Regular Breaks: If you want to stay productive and energized you need to be taking small, regularly scheduled breaks. Take a lap around the office building, grab a coffee or tea from the break room, or have a quick chat with coworkers. Ten minutes here and there can add up but they can also keep you energized, motivated, and productive.

5. Ask for Help if You Need it: If you’re really in the weeds and there’s no ending in sight, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you ask your supervisor to hire someone to help pick up your slack or you ask a coworker if they mind lending a hand on a task they’re familiar with, you shouldn’t work yourself to the bone. Asking for help can sometimes be difficult but, often, it will result in a lightened workload for you and a renewed abundance of energy.

6. Vent to a Trusted Friend: If the stress of work is getting to you, you may need to vent to a trusted friend. Make sure you do this with someone who isn’t a coworker, who knows they need to listen but they don’t need to solve your problems, and remind them that this is only a temporary situation. Venting will prevent your from burning out or blowing up at someone on the job.

7. Make Late Nights More Enjoyable: If you have to stay late at the office for a while, make it fun! Order delivery from your favorite restaurant, put on a pulse-pumping playlist, or gameify your workload. Do whatever you can to make those late nights more enjoyable and you’ll stay productive and energized despite the long hours.

8. Focus on the Shrinking Timeline: If you’re up against a fast-encroaching deadline, panicking sometimes seems like the best option. But, unfortunately, panic drains your energy faster than you’d think. Instead of focusing on the fast-approaching deadline, focus on your shrinking timeline. This stressful period will come to an end soon and a countdown will help you stay energized and focused while it’s still here because you have the end in sight.

Staying energized, productive, and motivated during a stressful time at work can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! Try out one or more of these 8 strategies to prevent burnout during your stressful time at work. And, remember, if this hit to your work-life balance stops being temporary but your boss is unwilling to hire new people to pick up the slack, it may be time to look for a new job.