If you are finding it difficult to keep focused at work, and you struggle to make it through the day, perhaps you just need to take a look at how stressful your work environment is.  There are lots of ways your environment can stress you out, and all of them can make you more anxious and can impact your performance.

Clutter and messy work spaces is one of the main culprits of stress.  A disorganized desk can cause immediate stress and stifle efficiency.  Time is wasted trying to find important documents or lost paperwork, and you are more likely to feel overwhelmed.  This clutter also carries over to digital items.  Keeping your computer files and emails organized is just as important as your desk and physical files.  Missing a note or email from a coworker can lead to missed deadlines, and poor communication.  Lack of good communication can create a stressful atmosphere for the entire organization, not just one person.

If you want to help keep yourself stress free, follow these tips.

  • Keep Solid Communication – Don’t let yourself get behind on phone calls or emails.  Responding quickly to your requests, even if to say “I’m looking into this and will get back to you soon” will make you look and feel very on top of your work.
  • Keep an Updated Calendar – I can’t stress this enough.  An updated calendar is the most useful thing you will ever create for both you and your coworkers.  Use Outlook’s, Google’s, Thunderbird’s, whichever you prefer, but use one.
  • Learn to work with Interruptions – Interruptions are going to happen in an office.  People will have loud conversations right next to your cube.  A person with a laugh like a dying hyena will watch some stand-up comedy.  Phones will ring endlessly.  Learn to work through it. Listen to some music, bring ear buds, or meditate on breaks.  Find your method.
  • Personalize your Cube – I know it sounds silly, but it really does help.  I never wanted to put up any personal stuff at work, but I eventually gave in and found out that it really did help me feel more relaxed.  It gives a more home like feel and reduces anxiety a little.

These may not seem like big changes, but they can make a big difference.  I have noticed the difference in my own workplace and I would challenge you to do the same.  Let us know what your ways of staying stress free at work are in the comments below.