7 Ways to Manage the Crazy at Work

October 25, 2017

10:50 am

At some point something at work is going to stress you out. Whether it be the demand of the job, a fast pace environment, coworkers, the pile on of tasks, unrealistic boss demands, whatever, our mind and body will get taxed at some point. So what can you do to minimize the crazy and bring some serenity to your day? Here are 7 things you can do.

Create Your Space

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Whether you’re in an open setting or cubicle, you can bring some of the things you love to your environment. Having positive reminders of what you enjoy, hobbies or people you love is a good thing to have in your space. For example, if you love the ocean, bring a picture of your beachside vacation or a beach you’re planning to go sometime soon. Sticking with this theme, having an item such as a sea shell or a jar filled with sand and beach rocks on your desk could be a reminder of why you are working so hard. If you like the outdoors, then having something that reminds you of nature can be a good addition. An inviting workspace can make your day a little less crazy.


This tactic may not work for every workspace but there are ways to bring a calming scent into your space without impacting your coworkers. According to the Mayo Clinic some studies have shown that aromatherapy could have health benefits in relieving anxiety and improving sleep. Essential oils such as lavender has health qualities that can help treat headaches and nervousness. Unless you have a private office and can spray some lavender scent, there are lavender filled pouches, or essential oil roll on that can accomplish the same aromatherapy goal.

Take a Breath

At some point during the week, you’re going to be annoyed or frustrated with something. Instead of spending all of your energy getting upset, take a breath and pause. According to the Harvard Business Review, when we get into a “fight or flight” mode it triggers our internal stress responses and eventually will impact our health. By engaging in deep breathing exercises “it encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. Not surprisingly, it can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure.” If you can’t get outside and take a breath, then force yourself to do some deep breathing exercises at your desk and calm the internal storm.

Remove the Clutter

If you’re desk and computer files are disorganized this can cause more stress than you know. The ability to find what you need, maintain a flow and accomplish tasks can be interrupted by clutter. Decluttering can help you reduce anxiety and embarrassment, and you might be able to tackle more if you’re organized, said Dr. Robert London, a psychiatrist based in New York City to US News and World Report. Instead of tackling this problem all at once, start with your desk drawer, or one main file folder on your computer. Small bouts of accomplishment will go a long way towards reducing the stress at work.

Get Rid of the Drama

There are people in your company who just attract or bring on drama. To reduce the crazy in your work life, it’s best to modify your interactions and responses to these individuals and not get caught up in the office gossip. If a coworker comes to complain or looking to gossip about something there are a few easy solutions: offer a positive response, avoid the conversation all together or if you do respond chose your words carefully. Don’t worry these people will continue to search out others who will listen to them complain and you can get back to work.

Donna M. White, LMHC, CACP said to PsychCentral, “Stay away from people who are part of the rumor mill or always have a negative attitude. You never want to be guilty by association and accused of playing a part in a workplace rumor. You also want to avoid those with negative attitudes. If your coworker is always talking about how long the work week is, how bad the supervisor is, or how coworkers don’t pull their load, their negativity just may rub off on you.”

Improve Your Communication


The crazy at work can come from little misunderstandings. Whether it be from a response to an email or on a message board, people can’t read your mind or hear your tone when you communicate online-and choosing your words carefully is key. Most importantly, if you are frustrated or angry, DO NOT reply to anything or fire off a comment you think is going to improve the situation, it never does. In addition, making jokes or using sarcasm in these mediums may not be interpreted the way you intended and could cause you even more stress.

Communication is an art form and it requires practice. Some tips to improve your communication style include: check your grammar, monitor your tone, be more formal with coworkers, if you are unclear about a message rephrase what you hear and repeat it back to your coworker/boss so you are all on the same page.

Build Self Awareness

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Stress management starts with you. Being aware of how you respond to people, tasks, projects, etc. can give you insight as to how you can begin to manage your stress levels and reduce the crazy at work. We all have characteristics that we don’t always see and it might be good to ask a close friend or coworker for some feedback about you. It might be hard to hear the truth, but the information can help you grow as a person and your career. There’s always an option to seek out a mentor that can guide you in your area of expertise and help you focus on reaching your potential.

At the end of the day try this exercise: reflect on what you did good, what you can improve on and how you responded to people. Through this self-reflection exercise it can help you manage the crazy, build on your strengths and start fresh the next day.

Read more about being a healthy entrepreneur at TechCo

Read more on the psychology of work from Tishin Donkersley

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Tishin is a technology journalist and correspondent. She has written for TechCrunch, Demand Studios and Fitness, and has regular network segments on local Phoenix affiliate stations. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical and Sport psychology, and has covered many areas of technology ranging from 3D printing and game development to neurotech and funding for over 15 years.

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