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Get organized at work and stay Zen


Stress at work can lead to a burnout. Diane Charbonneau, a specialist in stress management, has a few suggestions for preventing a meltdown.

In small doses, stress can motivate us to work better. On the other hand, too much work can have a negative impact on health. Here’s some useful advice for keeping things simple.

1. Do the hardest tasks first
If you put off doing the hardest or most unpleasant tasks, they will weigh on your mind – even small things like phone calls. Once you’ve gotten them out of the way, you’ll feel relieved.

2. Organize your tasks and folders.
“The busier we get, the more forgetful we become. That’s why it’s important to write everything in an agenda, clearly indicating the day’s priorities,” states Ms. Charbonneau. Straightening out your files is equally important. “Some people waste five hours of work time a week looking for their files.” To prevent this from happening, do a major clean up every two weeks or a small one every day.

3. Don’t be such a perfectionist
When you’re under tight deadlines, it’s not always possible to refine work to absolute perfection. Therefore, you have to allocate a reasonable amount of time for each task. “A teacher who works until midnight preparing the next day’s classes has to learn when to stop,” says Ms. Charbonneau.

4. Respect your limitsIf your boss is assigning you work when you’ve already got a lot on your plate, let them know what you’re working on. Your boss can decide if the new request takes priority over your other responsibilities.

5. Treat yourself
Since our ability to concentrate decreases after an hour of work, it’s important to take short breaks. This can be as simple as looking at the window, taking in some fresh air or eating a little chocolate. The same principle applies to vacations. “Instead of taking a month off every summer, spread out your vacation time throughout the year,” suggests Ms. Charbonneau. That way you’ll always have something to look forward to, which will help you manage stress and keep your spirits up at work.