An overwhelming majority of Americans don't get enough sleep on a regular basis. As a result, they don't always perform optimally at work. But when we think about the reasons why those same folks aren't sleeping, we can't gloss over the irony of job-related stress being a major barrier to adequate shut-eye. In fact, nearly 30% of Americans lose sleep over work matters, according to data from Bankrate, and the problem is more prevalent among millennials than their older counterparts.
If work issues are keeping you up at night, it's imperative that you get ahead of the problem rather than continue letting it impact your health. Here's how.
1. Get organized
It's easy to get stressed about work when your desk is a mess, your files are in shambles, and you can barely locate your computer keyboard amid the chaos that is your workspace. A better bet? Invest a small chunk of time into getting organized.
File away the paperwork you need, get rid of clutter, and arrange your desk so that you have room to spread out as needed. Having a more organized workspace will make the numerous items on your plate much easier to tackle.
2. Create a weekly to-do list
It's natural to get overwhelmed when deadlines loom and you have multiple tasks to juggle. To reduce the stress of having a ton on your plate, sit down at the start of each week and create a to-do list that maps out your priorities. This way, you can rest easy knowing you've carved out time for the most pressing items on your agenda. You might even consider drafting your to-do lists on Sundays so that when you arrive at the office each Monday morning, you're ready to go.
3. Learn how to say no
The last thing you want to do on the job is let your manager or colleagues down. But if you keep saying yes to every single task that's thrown your way, you're likely to wind up in over your head -- and stressed about it in the process. Rather than allow that to happen, learn how to say no when the situation warrants it.
If you have two major projects due in a given week and your boss asks you to squeeze in a small presentation, firmly but politely push back. Explain that taking on that extra work will cause you to miss deadlines, and review the consequences that might ensue. Remember, you're only human, and the more you say no, the easier it'll be for the folks you work with to remember that.
4. Ask for help
It's great to be that person at the office who magically manages to do it all. But there comes a point when taking on that load can negatively impact your health. If you're stressed about the amount of work you have to do and it's messing with your sleep, swallow your pride and ask for help. Tell your boss you need more hands on deck, or beg your coworkers to pitch in if they're not as busy. Doing so won't make you look bad -- it'll only affirm the fact that you've been taking on too much to begin with.
We all need sleep to not only do our best on the job, but function well, in general. If work matters are causing you to lose sleep, it's time to stop that detrimental cycle. Your career and your health depend on it.
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