Survive the Stress of a Short Work Week

Three-day weekends are awesome, but here’s the downside: You have to get five days of work done in four. That can send your stress levels soaring. Here are some tips to help you reduce your stress levels during a short work week:

  • Start early. Go in an hour early on your first day back and catch up prior to the actual start of the day. Review projects that need immediate attention and start sorting through your overstuffed inbox. Don’t expect to get caught up in a single day. Trying to tackle everything all at once will leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Prioritize what really needs to get done right away.
  • Evaluate your email. Reading all of your email first thing in the morning is only going to bog you down. Instead, deal with the most important ones first. Separate the things that can wait for a few days. This will relieve some of your first-day-back workload and stress.
  • Take short breaks. Stay energized and productive by taking short breaks throughout the day to stand up, stretch, breathe deeply and shake off the accumulating tension. Take a 10-15 minute break every few hours to recharge and avoid the temptation to work through lunch.
  • Share your stories. This might seem counter-productive, but it actually helps! Share stories and photos of your cookout or weekend getaway with your co-workers around the coffee machine. Even if you have a million things to do, remembering all of the fun you over the weekend will remind you why you work hard everyday. Use one of your weekend photos as your desktop background or keep a souvenir on your desk to help you out if you’re feeling stressed about catching up.
  • Resume all your routines. Even though it’s a short work week, stay on your routine schedule as much as possible. Have a healthy lunch at the usual time. Avoid the vending machine. Go to the gym after work. Routines help reduce stress levels.

Did you know? Everyone dreads Monday mornings, but researchers say that the most stressful day of the week for many office workers is actually Tuesday. More people work through lunch on Tuesdays than other day of the week, and one in five leave the office late.

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