I was talking to a friend of mine. He was frustrated because he wasted his weekend sleeping. He slept all day Saturday and all day Sunday. But as I continued to talk to him, it became clear: he didn't sleep the weekend away because he was lazy; he slept the weekend away because he was dog tired!
He was recently promoted and is routinely staying at work until ten or eleven at night trying to get every little thing done and he is exhausted. I tried to give him a couple of tips that could help regain control of his life and restore some much needed balance.
Since he has an hour's drive home, I suggested that he use that time to decompress. Play a favorite CD, listen to a book on tape or just drive in silence. As the physical distance between my friend and the job increases, so should his stress level decrease.
He told me that the main reason he stays so late is so that he can completely finish everything on his plate. I correctly sensed that he's afraid of having things fall into the cracks if he leaves them until later. What I suggested, is that he do a brain dump at the end of the day, and write out everything that needs to be done the next day before he leaves work.
My last suggestion was to do something relaxing each evening. It could be a hot bath and shower, watching a favorite TV show, surfing the net, reading a book or just talking to a spouse or a friend. When leaving work, it helps if you have something to look forward to.
What other tips can you think of to help my friend reduce his work stress? I'll pass them on!