Project Management Institute

Pressure Relief

We Asked the Project Management Community: How Do You Reduce Work-Related Stress?

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How do you reduce work-related stress?

TALK IT OUT

“When I feel stressed about an issue, I tend to talk about it with someone I trust. That conversation can give you a different perspective or good advice that can help dispel or change your notion—or maybe validate your feelings. When you explain a problem to somebody else, you grasp the subject matter better, because it helps you see how it sounds when you say it out loud. It makes you evaluate what should have happened and thus facilitates creating a potential solution.”

—Rashmi Sheth, program manager, Amadeus, London, England

SOAK UP THE SUN

“I take a brisk walk outdoors in the middle of each day. The natural light gives my eyes a much-needed break from the computer screen. And the outdoor scenery allows my mind to remember the beauty of just breathing and being alive. The mental clarity I gain helps me stay productive for the rest of the workday.”

—Eilly Workman, PMP, project consultant, SolomonEdwards, Houston, Texas, USA

CREATE SOLITUDE

“Too much noise can be a source of stress for me. I need quiet so I can focus. I've yet to find all of the answers, but some of the measures I take to create a silent space include:

  • Using headphones to dampen the noise in the office.
  • Asking others to move discussions to meeting rooms if they look like they might go on for a bit.
  • Completing my tasks in a meeting room or desk in a quieter area.
  • Working from home if the task is something major.
  • Silencing my phones and turning off notifications on my computer.”

—Enda McGuinness, new product introduction manager, Phillips-Medisize, Sligo, Ireland

ANTICIPATE STRAIN

“It's not just about reducing stress but managing stress wisely. Prioritizing on a daily basis and investing your time and efforts in what actually matters ultimately help save your time and prevent unnecessary stress. When I need to calm down after an intense meeting during the day, I take a short walk or have an informal chat over a coffee break to ease my mind.”

—Sergey Kuzmichev, project manager, Practicus Consulting, London, England

GAME THE SYSTEM

“I play World of Warcraft. There's nothing better to burn off stress than a little digital monster slaying and accomplishing quests.”

—Renee Rhoades, PMP, senior project manager, Insight Global, Pevely, Missouri, USA

PRACTICE SELF-DEFENSE

“My Brazilian jiujitsu trainings in the morning help me manage stress. Any form of sport is great to blow off steam, but martial arts teaches you a lot of skills that you can use at work. For example, it's taught me how to stay focused, how to handle situations when you're not 100 percent in control and the importance of continuous improvement. It also helps me understand how to keep fighting for my goals and when to tap out and move on.”

—Ferenc Csizmás, PMP, project manager, Asia and Pacific region, NNG LLC, Budapest, Hungary

FLIGHT OVER FIGHT

Flying remote-controlled gliders and helicopters really helps me take my mind off work. I have to stay completely focused on my model, because flying something that can travel around 200 kilometers per hour (124 miles per hour) requires focus. It clears my head. When I return from the flying field, the problems of the day are gone.”

—Christian Weber, senior process and project manager, IT, ISS Schweiz, Zurich, Switzerland

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Which people skill are you trying to improve—and what tangible steps have helped you do it?

Email responses to pmnetwork@imaginepub.com for possible publication in a future issue.

Stress Test

Workplace stress is on the rise. And the source of pressure is wide ranging.

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PAIN POINTS

Top sources of workplace stress:

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Source: Korn Ferry, 2018

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.

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