How you feelin’ today?  A little stressed?  Overworked?  Like you want to curl up in a ball underneath your desk and only resurface when the robots take over?

Well… you’re not alone.

It’s completely normal to feel stressed on the job.  Some of this stress can be good for you – it can keep you at the top of your game and help you prioritize more effectively.  But then again, too much stress and you’ll find yourself running from the Godzilla-like pile of tasks, commitments, meetings, and projects you’ve built up over time.

However, there is a way to avoid, or at the very least, manage the Godzilla-like pile of work-related stuff you’ve created for yourself.  Here are a few simple adjustments to get you started.

Say no.

Some people have attached this weird stigma to the word ‘no.’  If you say no even once, then you’ll be banished from the office and forced to dwell with the Orcs in Middle Earth for the rest of eternity.  But this is certainly not the case.  Not by a long shot.

When you say no to people (granted it’s for a valid reason), it’s not the end of the world.  What you’re really doing is making sure you don’t overcommit yourself.  You’re saying that today is not the day you’re going to meet that dreaded office Godzilla.

Say no to more people, and give yourself a legitimate opportunity to complete your own workload.  If you can manage to do that, then maybe the next time someone asks for help, you can answer with a confident ‘yes.’

Avoid people.

If there are coworkers who invite stress or, worse… create stress, avoid them.  This doesn’t mean ignore these people when they ask for input on a project or help completing a task; it simply means don’t go to lunch with these people, don’t have a 10-minute chat with them at the water cooler, and don’t commit to meetings with them unless you absolutely have to.

Anyone who gossips at work, talks about personal issues too much, or piles work tasks on you unnecessarily, would be considered a person who invites and/or creates stress.  Don’t attach yourself to them unless it’s for a legitimate work-related activity.  Otherwise, ignore, avoid, and walk the other way.

At the end of the day, your sanity is more important.

Template tasks.

Templates are beautiful.  If there is a document or project that can be replaced with a fill-in-the-blank Work document or Excel spreadsheet, then create it, love it, and use it.  The more of your day you can template, the less stress you’ll experience from activities and tasks you’ve done a thousand times.

While it might mean a little extra work now, it also means a lot less work later on.  With the correct template, something that takes you one hour could potentially take you less than 15 minutes.  Template, template, template, and you’ll be better off.