Productivity Ninja Task: Recognize your Stress Areas

Productivity Ninja
skills will certainly help you to feel less
stressed, but let’s face it – stress in one form or another,
will always be a part of our lives. How we deal with stress,
however, is crucial and something we can continuously get better
at. The first step in doing so is certainly recognizing what is
causing us stress and how that stress is portrayed, so we can use
everything we learned in various
time management workshops
to lessen the impact on our
productivity and, most importantly, our wellbeing. 

We don’t always spend enough of our time on our own wellbeing
and happiness, so let us set you a little task:

TASK: Recognize your Stress areas
Pen and Paper
15 minutes

Productivity Checklist

Some Background

The British Health and
Safety Executive
, the Government body responsible for ensuring
high standards of health and safety at work, has issued guidelines
to help employers to minimize the stress they cause to
The broad headings that employers are asked to focus on are all
things that the psychological contract between employer and
employee is built upon.

These are:

  • Demands
  • Control
  • Support
  • Role
  • Relationships
  • Change

There is often crossover between these areas.

Productivity Ninja Balance

The Task

Working through the 6 stress areas, think how each of these
manifest themselves in your life and write them down on a piece of

  1. Demands – for example: targets, deadlines,
    financial responsibilities, etc. 
  2. Control – for example:  health issues, new
    routines, etc. 
  3. Support – for example: unreliable staff,
    technology issues, etc. 
  4. Role – for example: not understanding
    duties, moral dilemmas, etc. 
  5. Relationships – for example: domestic
    issues, challenging friendships/co-workers,
  6. Change – for example: redundancy, change
    in legislation, recession, etc.

Don’t forget  – sometimes these areas overlap – don’t
worry if that happens. If there are multiple areas and factors
which are causing you stress at the moment – don’t worry,
we’ve all been there – give the different causes a rating from
1 to 5, with 1 being the least stressful and 5 being the most
stressful. That way you’ll know which areas to prioritize.

Productivity Ninja To Do List

The main job is done – you’ve recognized the areas and parts
of your life which are causing you stress at the moment. Now it’s
time to activate those
Productivity Ninja
skills and put yourself and your wellbeing
first. On your piece of paper, mark down possible solutions for
each stress areas. For example: If you’re feeling stressed about
looming deadlines, think: Are there any other projects that can be
put on hold while you’re working to meet your deadlines? Could
you speak to your line manager to shift priorities and help you
organize your day to day work?

By Hannah Urbanek
Hannah is Think
Productive’s Head of Marketing and the voice behind our social
media and editorial content. You can connect with Hannah
directly here or on LinkedIn.

Before You Go…

Is your team increasingly feeling overwhelmed, distracted or
overall feeling under pressure to juggle productivity and
wellbeing? Our full day ‘How to be a Productivity Ninja’
workshop will help your whole team to overcome information
overload, how to manage your attention and so much more. Most of
all, you will all leave the session feeling less stressed and more

This post was originally published in October 2012 and
has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and