[August 13, 2019] If you’re a leader, you face many demands and it is easy to become overwhelmed. When you’re frantically busy and always stressed, you are unlikely to be an effective leader. Here are some reasons why you might be feeling overwhelmed and what you can do about it.
- You have too much to do and too little time
As a leader, you have many responsibilities and you may often feel as though you’re racing against the clock.
Manage your energy, not just your time. Everyone has times of the day when they’re able to concentrate more and feel more energetic. Find your own rhythm and work with it instead of against it.
Categorize your workflow. Categorize different tasks and the best times to do them.
- You try to do everything yourself
If you are trying to do it all, you won’t succeed. You’re leading a team and it’s not all about you. As a leader, you need to teach, coach and mentor others to do the right thing.
Set clear goals for your team. It’s important to be transparent about the goals of the business and how the roles of team members support these goals. When they know what to focus on and why, they feel part of the process.
Be a role model for team members. You don’t want team members to see a stressed, overworked leader who isn’t prepared to let anyone else take responsibility. Show them that you trust them and you want to help them grow and achieve their own goals. One of the NSBroker HR team professionals emphasizes such a piece of advice: “You should always give your employees time off during their exams and motivate them to pursue more courses.”
- You are driven by emotions
When your work is your passion, your emotions may run high. You may make decisions in the heat of the moment that you regret later. You may shout, yell, criticize and blame others.
Learn self-regulation. As a leader, you should not be a hostage to your emotions. Emotional self-awareness can require some special effort at first. It becomes more natural with self-reflection and practice.
Learn conflict management. Learning conflict management strategies helps you to deal with relationship stress. Emotions and anxiety are channeled into problem-solving rather than allowing problems to fester.
- You constantly feel you’re not making progress
Go for some quick, small wins. Clear your desk, do the software updates on your laptop, answer some emails you’ve avoided or phone someone you’ve been meaning to contact.
Take a break. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to take a break. When you’re relaxed and refreshed, you can look at a situation more objectively.
- Your work becomes more important than your health
Your health should be a priority. It’s important for you to continue to eat properly, exercise and rest. If you want to be at the top of your game, good health is vital.
A last word
When you’re overwhelmed by stress, it is impossible to be an effective leader. Using the above ways to deal with your stress can make you a better leader who is able to remain calm, exercise integrity, think strategically and bring out the best in others.