Business Analysis can be a stressful profession, but many of us make ourselves more anxious and tense than we need to. We’re not taught how to reduce stress on the job, and many of us experience burnout. Try these ideas to keep you as tension free as possible.
Know your limits.
We all have our capabilities and limits when it comes to our workloads and working hours. Be aware of your own boundaries, and know when to say no and when to shift work times and tasks. If you’re stressed out, you can’t possibly do your best work, nor are you an effective team member.
Take care of yourself.
Eat well, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, and engage in activities that you enjoy. Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. Again, too much stress at work or at home harms both and keeps you from functioning at your peak levels.
Do your most stressful work during the time of day you’re at your best.
Just as we have our workload limits, we also have optimal times of day when we think the most clearly and have the most energy. Whenever possible, shift your high-stress work to those times. Determine which tasks consume the most energy and concentration, and schedule those for the time of day you feel your most productive.
Don’t be afraid to delegate.
You don’t have to do it all. As BAs, we are responsible for the entire project, but that does not mean we have to physically do it all ourselves. Use your team, and delegate the work as needed to the team members who are most suited to perform it.
Don’t overthink or overprepare.
One of the fastest ways to put yourself into stress mode is to overthink a project or task or to overprepare for a presentation or meeting. Know what you need and what the client needs, and gear yourself to that. Overachieving is a noble thing, and we all like to do our best; however, it is possible to overdo your job and in the process, lose what makes you an excellent BA.
Above all, breathe.
When you feel yourself begin to stress, take a moment for yourself. Get out of the office, take a walk, or be alone for a while and simply breathe. The work will be there when you return, and that short break will recalibrate your stress meter. The mistake most of us make is continuing to work when our brains and bodies give us a clear signal (stress) that it’s time to disengage for a few minutes.
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