Monday, January 30, 2017

The Right Amount of Stress

What!?!  I want NO stress!

And there are a lot of good reasons that you don’t want stress.  Too much stress has been shown to cause a myriad of health problems including hypertension, heart issues, depression, and more.  And at work, too much stress can lead to bad decision making, low quality of work, burn out, strained relations with colleagues, lack of focus, and more.

Yerkes - Dodson Law
But you also don’t want NO stress.  That is, you don’t want “no stress” as long as you’re working.  More than one hundred years ago, Yerkes & Dodson identified the relationship between stress and performance.  With too little stress, we are not challenged to do our best.  With too much stress, the quality of our performance suffers.

The trick is to get yourself into a situation where you have just the right amount of stress – which is called “eustress.”

If you are feeling too much stress then address it as best you can – you are not being as productive as you think you are, even if you are very busy (BUSY does not equal HIGH PERFORMANCE).

Say no to additional assignments as best you can and/or negotiate different deadlines.  Manage expectations of yourself and others.  Don’t fall victim to the tyranny of everything being urgent.  Dial back the stress until you get to that sweet spot.

Too much stress leads to distress.  The right amount leads to high performance and enhanced Mission Impact.

*Also check out "The Mayo Clinic Guide for Stress-Free Living" by Dr. Amit Sood here.

For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment