Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

December 30 2013

3 Tips for Dealing with Stress in 2014

By David McMillin

There’s no better time to review your work-life balance than the beginning of a new year. Unfortunately, if you’re like most employees in the meetings industry, that balance may be tipping in the direction of your office desk. A recent survey from Philadelphia-based talent and career management firm Right Management shows that more than 90 percent of employees find their workplace more stressful than it was five years ago.

As 2014 kicks off, it’s time to make yourself a happier meeting professional. Here are three tips for dealing with stress this year.

1) Unplug occasionally.

You may have heard this advice before, but now is the time to ask yourself a key question: have you actually taken it to heart? Planning a meeting can require plenty of late-night hours in the weeks and months leading up to the on-site executing, but remind yourself that the always-on mentality doesn’t have to be part of your everyday routine. According to a survey from the American Psychological Association, 53 percent of employees regularly check work messages over the weekend and 52 percent check them before or after work during the week. Give yourself a break from the rapid response game.

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2) Learn to say no.

Accepting more responsibilities may seem like the best way to get ahead in the office, but you can’t do everything. While your colleagues may feel overwhelmed with work, that doesn’t mean you need to add their load to your list. The psychologists at the Mayo Clinic recommend using your own yes-to-stress ratio to gauge just how much saying “yes” to a new duty will weigh on your mind and body. You can even say “no” to your boss - - you just might want to learn how to sugarcoat the negative response.

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3) Track your time.

With so many items to check off your task list, you may not have a handle on how you’re divvying up the minutes and hours of your day. In the early part of the year, do some personal research to understand what’s taking up big chunks of your time. You can use an app like Timesheet or Eternity Time Log Lite for a clear portrait of all your personal and professional activities.

SEE ALSO: Five Career Resolutions for the New Year

Looking for more tips to better your work-life balance and reduce your stress? Click here for some great insights from Richard Branson, Mark Cuban, and other successful CEOs.

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