By Jim Wong, CPA | April 26, 2017


“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” –William James

Most people, no matter where they are in their careers, whether a new graduate or a well-tenured professional, have experienced some form of stress. For many accounting and finance managers, you might find busy seasons such as year-end or tax season to be more stressful than other times during the year. The same can be said for information technology managers in the middle of a systems conversion or network upgrade.

Usually, everyone has their own way of coping with stress. Some people may drink that extra cup of coffee or eat a candy bar in the afternoon for a so-called pick-me-up and others might hit the gym on the way home from the office to wind down before dinner with the family.

Some of these methods might be healthier than others and some provide only short-term fixes, however, you’re options aren’t limited to treats and treadmills.

There are other ways for managers to alleviate stress.

One thing to keep in mind is that stress is common—no matter how much a person loves their job, stress can pop up in many facts of your life. In fact, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 40 percent of professionals report their positions are very or extremely stressful and 25 percent view their jobs as the No. 1 stressor in their lives.

That’s why when I came across a Forbes article that discusses how to manage stress, I knew it was something we could all relate to. I’ve written about this topic before, and I feel it bears repeating.

Learn 4 Ways for Managers to Alleviate Stress below.

1. Trust your team. 
Ever heard the phrase, “work smarter, not harder?” There’s certainly truth to it, especially when it comes to managing your team. It is best to focus on the projects that are most important to you and to delegate other tasks to the individuals who can take them on just as effectively. Further, you should allow your team to make decisions without you. That helps to alleviate stress for all involved; empowering the individuals who can lend a helping hand and empowering you at the same time. This will ultimately also show your team members how much you trust them.

2. Consider what really matters. 
As a manager, what motivates you? Why do you do what you do? It might be beneficial to think about why you go to your job every day. Some managers might say that they work to provide for their families. This is a great source of motivation and can keep things in perspective when it comes and not get overwhelmed with stress.

3. Take the time to plan and prioritize. 
While it might sound like a no-brainer, this tip is essential when it comes to managing stress. Look at your calendar and determine what upcoming projects, deadlines and events are taking place and when. Then, take the time to prioritize what needs to be done first and what can be done at a later time. Simple organization skills can do wonders for your stress levels and make conquering your to-do list much more manageable. Of course, sometimes stress is unpredictable so there is an element of adaptability you need to have, but this certainly helps managers have a better understanding of what they can and can’t control.

4. Step back, even if momentarily. 
Not every manager can afford to take a vacation when they’re faced with stress at work. However, there are ways to step back from work when it becomes overwhelming in order to be successful. Whether that means taking a walk around the block or spending time with family and friends, there are small tips for alleviating stress. By taking even a 5-minute break from overwhelming tasks, just to rest your eyes from your computer screen, a stressed out manager can return with a clearer mindset and an improved mood overall.

These are just some of the ways for managers to alleviate stress. Do you have other tips? Comment below and let us know.


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