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10 Ways To Deal With Overwhelm And Stress

Written by: Anila Bashllari, Senior Level Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Anila Kaba - Bashllari

According to the latest research from the Harvard Business Review, 82% of executives say workplace stress is a problem at their organization that is affecting their employees to engage, their productivity, effective communication, creativity and problem-solving.

Stress working woman at the office

The increased complexity associated with modern life ¹ has increased life and work overwhelm while reducing significantly our ability to handle that level of complexity in an effective way. In addition to that, there is a cognitive impact being perpetually overwhelmed in terms of mental focus and slowness, forgetfulness, confusion and coherent thinking. And when this continues for an extended period of time it results in cognitive and physical fatigue and a weaken immunity system. It doesn’t matter high smart we are or our IQ level we have but with how we make sense of the world and how we operate in it. I have named these skills living intelligently.

“Levels of stress are absolutely astronomical” emphasized Arianna Huffington ² recently. “HR doesn’t have to convince the C-suite that this is a problem.” In fact, this should be on the agenda the same way as discussed for sales, marketing, business development, investment strategies, etc.

10 ways to deal with stress

That’s why many forward-thinking companies and organizations aren’t just making mental health a priority. Instead, they are starting to realize that helping their employees deal with what’s going on in their personal lives and training them in intrapersonal skills help to create a positive working environment, more energy, more time for self and family, and being more present at daily work. In other words, they’re reinventing the way work gets done to support mental health and stress reduction.

1. Recognize the signs

As human beings, we have the ability to create habits without being aware if supporting or damaging us. Thus, even when overwhelmed the employees may not notice their own behavioral changes, so direct managers should be aware of red flags such as tardiness, missing deadlines, decreased productivity, irritability, errors health issues absenteeism etc.

2. Check in and evaluate

It would be good at the end of each week if you check with your direct reports and it’s important to create a psychologically safe environment to avoid any fear or worry when raised challenges are perceived as inability to cope. This helps employees feel supported enough to be transparent and vulnerable.

3. Allow working from work-home

Naturally depends on the profile of work but when allows flexibility it can often alleviate stress in other aspects of their life.

4. Work in blocks of time

“Work in blocks of time” is suggested by top coaches and mentors of productivity and leadership in the world such as Brendon Burchard, Eben Pagan, and Robin Sharma, to mention a few of them. This means a schedule of uninterrupted work for 60 or 90 minutes, avoiding any interruptions at any cost unless it is an emergency. This helps to increase the collective focus, avoid error and delays, accomplish tasks on time-based on priorities, and increase productivity and satisfaction.

5. Set up effective meetings

Often meetings are considered as a huge waste of time by employees. And often they are. To avoid that problem, every meeting should have a productive agenda that allows productive discussions and decision-making. Less items, more action taken. It is important that a call for a meeting is necessary and will lead to actions.

6. Check for multitasking and urgent tasks

Due to overload, employees tend to multitask without being aware that on the contrary multitasking not only doesn’t achieve more but worsens their focus, attention, and making errors, leaving at the end of the day with a feeling of non-achievement.

7. Give the recognition they deserve

Employee recognition is about creating an emotional connection between employees and the company while supporting the work employees do and staying authentic to the company’s values. The fact that recognising employees costs considerably less than rewarding them with monetary bonuses etc. doesn’t make it any less effective. Taking the time to show recognition is likely to be considered a more personal and therefore more effective way of rewarding staff.

8. Review “Must–do” lists

Overwhelming is related to more tasks on the plate than an employee can handle. Often managers, especially in business, try to sell more in order to put the company in good financial terms. But this creates an overload and as a high-performing employee, they may not want to admit it! Both, managers and employees are not aware of the huge cost of being overwhelmed!

As a manager, it is important that you help your team to prioritize, delegate, outsource, or if needed, remove items from the list and reschedule. It’s also helpful to practice the art of setting healthy boundaries. This will help them in better self/time management skills and their stress levels.

9. Emphasize wellbeing/wellness

The world is waking up to the importance of well-being. We are spending one-third of our lives at work and either a small local business or a global enterprise, in order to sustain a healthy working environment, well-being should be at the heart of every strategy, decision-making, and implementation.

Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, healthy food awareness as well and personal development skills need to be the focus for employee well-being.

10. Lead by example

There is a saying that kids do what they see in parents not what they are told to do. I think the same applies to employees. They build trust and respect if their leader walks their talk. Talk to your team about what you plan to do, and why you think it’s important, and inspire them to follow. If any strategy doesn’t work, admit it, try something different, and move ahead.

An authentic leader is one that has gone through a transformation him/herself and by example inspiring others to do so.

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Anila Kaba - Bashllari Brainz Magazine

Anila Bashllari, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Anila Bashllari is an Executive and Business Coach on mindset enhancement, mental fitness and high performance. She coaches business leaders worldwide on Conscious Leader Framework, supporting them to live a holistic life, grows their business, become real manifestos of their dreams and vision, reconciles the conditioning patterns with true deep inside values through Inner and Outer Game. She has developed strategies how to enhance the mindset for creative thinking and achievement, feel resourceful, manage the inner energy to achieve a meaningful life and purposeful business and thrive during adversity times. Her mission is to create future leaders.



  • [1] V.U.C.A world – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguity

  • [2] CEO of Thrive Global, a wellness company that focuses on behavior change technology



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