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The following excerpt is from Dr. Nadine Greiner's book Stress-Less Leadership. Buy it now on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple books | IndieBound or click here to buy it direct from us and SAVE 60% in this book if you use code LEAD2021 by 4/10/21.
Too many people wait until the stress is too advanced before taking action. But unlike other ailments such as alcohol abuse or cancer, which only affect certain people, stress affects us all – stress is not an “if” but a “when”. So it makes sense to take preventative measures against stress.
Below are a number of methods you can use to avoid stress on an individual and organizational level. You should choose the ones that feel right to you.
As a manager, you know that there are never enough hours in the day. From streams of email to a barrage of meeting requests, your time is under constant attack. Time management becomes more difficult as the workload increases, but it is critical to effective leadership and stress prevention.
The first step in understanding how effective you are at time management is to do a time audit to see how much time you are spending on the activities that are consuming your day. To-do lists, calendar apps, and time tracking software can help you stay on top of things and better understand how effectively you're dividing your time.
Related: Why Forgiveness Is A Big Role in Stress Reduction
Managers often have problems with delegation. Do you like to delegate or do you fear? Effective delegation not only prevents stress and burnout among executives, but also increases team capacity. When leaders thoughtfully delegate their work, their team members can take on new tasks and expand their skills. There are five key steps involved in effective delegation:
1. Evaluate. Managers must first determine whether a task should be delegated. If it's critical to long-term success and business critical to the company, they may not want to delegate it. Managers also need to assess whether they have enough time to effectively delegate the job. Delegating shouldn't be a quick handover. You need to devote time to training, reviewing progress, and communicating all the time.
2. Prepare. Managers need to define exactly what is required. They should contain clear and comprehensive information on the schedule, budget, milestones, communication frequency and resources.
3. Assign. Managers need to determine which team members have the skills or expertise required to complete the task. Ideally, it should help employees grow and expand their skills.
4. Acknowledge your understanding and commitment. Executives often make incorrect assumptions about whether employees understand what is being asked of them. You should confirm understanding by asking their staff to summarize the request and requirements. Managers must also make explicit commitments from their employees, who must commit to the expected results, milestones, resource requirements, and the proposed budget.
5. Avoid micromanagement. Once executives hand over the baton, it is important to avoid micromanaging. When an employee encounters a roadblock, managers should view it as a learning opportunity and not take the reins. Effective coaching helps employees understand where they are wrong and helps them to be successful in the future.
If you're having problems with delegation, consider blocking time each day to come up with a plan of action. With careful planning, you and your team can be successful. Once you start delegating effectively, your team will dare to come back more frequently and forcefully.
Related: Do You Feel Stressed? You can still motivate your employees to do their best work
Do you bite off more than you can chew? Tying is common among executives and executives as they agree to take on tasks without considering whether they have enough bandwidth. But when inquiries and tasks pile up and deadlines are approaching, managers can be overwhelmed and stressed.
Lying can be debilitating and lead to a form of paralysis. The most effective antidote to excess attachment is to be firm and set boundaries. You need to be vigilant about protecting your time and learn how to say "no".
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