Is Stress Destroying Your Productivity?

We all deal with stress from time to time.

It is part of what we are, you could say it is part of our wiring.

Yet, while stress can get us moving, it also directly impacts on our ability to be productive.

How does your stress affect your work?

Stress Much?

Lack of organization and poor time management can lead to self-inflicted stress.

In fact, some people seem to always put themselves in stressful situations.

They even try to tell themselves that they like it…

When you say, “I work best under pressure.”

You are actually saying, “I don’t get my work done when I am not under pressure.”

While stress can be a tremendous motivator, it is often counter-productive.

What Stress Does To Your Productivity

Is your stress helping you or hindering you?

Here are 7 Ways That Stress Impacts Your Productivity:

  1. Drains Your Energy – Ironically, stress will give you an adrenaline powered burst of get-up-and-go-like-hell. However, after that initial burst, it quickly drains your energy. Physically and emotionally, you will soon find yourself exhausted. And when you are losing sleep over your stress, you will not be able to perform at your best.
  2. Impacts Your Focus – Stress hijacks your brain and makes it difficult to focus on what is important. It keeps nagging until you end up doing the urgent over your priorities.
  3. Wastes Your Time – Ever spend an entire day worrying about something that “might happen?” Stress can make us spend time worrying that could have otherwise have been spent on productive activities.
  4. Causes Interruptions - Have you ever had your internal fire alarm go off? You are right in the middle of something important, when you remember that stress-inducing item that you forget to do. Suddenly, you are dropping what you are doing to deal with the urgent item.
  5. Decreases Your Creativity – When you are stressed you tend to “lock on” to the first solution that comes your way. Your mind has trouble opening up. Simply put, it limits your ability to come up with new ideas.
  6. Affects Your Personality – Stress directly affects your personality. Have you ever worked with someone who is stressed and said, “You don’t seem like yourself?” They often snap at others without thinking, and yell without knowing it.
  7. Impairs Your Judgement – Stress causes you to do things you wouldn’t normally do. You may find yourself taking risks that you wouldn’t normally take. In extreme cases, people will even do unethical things that go against their character.

Stress or Self-Destruction?

Stress may get you out of your chair right now. It may give you that jolt of attention that your body needs.

However, consider how it is affects you in the big picture. It is more detrimental that you realize. Maybe you have been under stress so long that you don’t know what your true potential.

Reduce your stress and increase your productivity.

Question: How does your stress impact your ability to get things done?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Depends on the situation, but over all I have to say stress makes me less pleasant.  And I don’t want to be snippy and I don’t want to not enjoy whatever it is I am doing.  So when stress comes- impossible to avoid it completely- I try to take a deep breath, say a prayer and refocus.  

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Hmm… a few people have mentioned that stress affects their personality. ;)

      • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

        LOL

        I know a stressed me is less able to deal with small annoyances. Thankfully I know this about myself and am working on letting God shine through- no matter how I am feeling.

  • http://www.productivegrad.com/ Vito M

    I used to be in that camp where I “perform best under stress.” It was always unpleasant and I was a miserable wreck every time it happened.

    Now, I do my best to plan ahead as much as possible and work in chunks. It’s been a huge boost to my productivity and I find I have more time to myself because I’m not stressing about something ‘upcoming.’

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Thanks, Vito! And yes, it can be quite game-changing to “get ahead of the ball.”  

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    One of the things I pride myself on is handling stress well. I absolutely agree with you that we shouldn’t be artificially inducing stressful situations – but I also think it’s crucial to handle those situations well when they naturally come our way.
    I think it’s worthwhile to attack stress on both fronts – both coping with it well when it happens and taking action to eliminate it as much as possible.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Loren, being able to keep your head in stressful situations is a tremendous asset that will serve you will. Most people do not hold it together.

  • http://twitter.com/HomemakersDaily HomemakersDaily

    Agreed.  For me, stress is a bad thing.  It doesn’t help me get things done – it just makes me more stressed. 

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Ah… the “compounding” stress. It can just build and build like a snowball.  

  • http://www.theemptyinbox.com/ Michael Hawkins

    Sometimes a little stress is a motivator for me to get stuff done.  But long-term, it’s a bad, bad thing and affects my mentally and physically.  I get pretty crabby towards people when I’m stressed out.  And I eat whatever I can get my hands on.  : – )

    Wastes my time?  Yes sir.  When I’m stressed I make silly mistakes and the old “Haste makes waste” thing kicks in.  Not a good thing.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Yes… many people are simply “different” people when they are under stress. Their personality changes and they can be quite not-themselves. 

  • Thisaggiesaves

    Stress for me leads to depression and that definitely doesn’t get anything done!

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