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Six Causes of Stress at Work

The 2008 Snapshot of Stress in America released by the APA reports the following statistics about women and stress:

  • 33 percent of women report an average stress level of 8, 9, or 10 on a 10-point scale (versus 27 percent of men).
  • 50 percent of women say they are not doing enough or are not sure if they are doing enough to manage their stress (versus 39 percent of men).

The report also notes that compared to men, women report higher levels of stress and do not think we are doing enough to enough to manage our stress. Click here to download the full report.

On a recent episode of “From Bright to Brilliant,” my online radio show, I interviewed Michelle Govan-Davis—the De-Stressed Diva who identified six things that can cause stress at work.

  1. Clutter: Being in a constant state of “trying to find,” creates stress when you have to find important documents or project files.
  2. Poor communication: If you the information you receive or give is missing important details or isn’t provided in a timely manner you are creating stress and potential re-work.
  3. Poor relationships with co-workers: No man is an island. While you may not always agree with your colleagues, if you don’t have anyone to turn to for help when you’re overloaded you may constantly find yourself over-worked unable to meet deadlines.
  4. Not having priorities: Multi-tasking is a great skill—but not all projects are created equal. Not being able to prioritize means you will more than likely find yourself doing too much at once. You are putting yourself at risk of mental and perhaps physical overload.
  5. Over-committing: Sometimes you just have to put the cape away. Learning to say “No,” to things not on the top of your priority list means you don’t have to think of how to get it all done. Chances are if you are committing to any and everything, your performance is mediocre at best.
  6. Procrastination: Just like not saying “no” when we need to—waiting until the last minute is another way we create stress. For example: Two weeks was plenty of room to get the project done, but with just two days left panic and anxiety begin to set in. Do yourself a favor and just do it.

What are some ways you de-stress when you are overwhelmed with work?