A Stress Reduction and Productivity Strategy from Watching a Smoker
Written by geoff on 13th June 2018
A Valuable Stress Reduction & Productivity Strategy from Observing a Smoker
This strategy stems from my days working for a printing company; the environment was intense and demanding; I worked in a huge open plan office which contained the estimating, production, purchasing and customer services departments. I remember watching my peers venting their frustrations in their unique ways but one group seemed to have a common response to stressful situations, that group was the smokers.
I have to admit that I paid no attention to this and other strategies until I started my business teaching resilience and performance and now I often reflect on my times there, how they and I dealt with work stress.
The Non-Smokers: quite often would be forcing themselves to concentrate, they would be pulling their hair out and not really progressing in their task, I would often watch their frustration rising as they noticed mistakes and worked through their breaks and lunch to complete the job at hand.
The Smokers: they dealt with that pressure very differently and despite the apparent Health risks that are linked to smoking their strategy was sound. A smoker reaches a point when they identify they are getting stressed and frustrated and at this stage, they stand up and go to the smoking shelter located outside the building, after several minutes they will return to the desk and deal with the task at hand.
The strategy I want to focus on here is when the smoker stands up they are breaking their current state, they are going for a walk which helps change their physiology, when arriving at the smoking shelter they start smoking and taking some deep breaths which slow them down after a few minutes feeling more relaxed (another interesting observation because they are using a stimulant) they return back to the desk fresh and ready to deal with the task at hand.
In using this strategy, it is possible they have thought about new avenues in dealing with the current challenge because of the way they have removed themselves for a brief moment from that stressful Situation.
We can all use this strategy to help increase our resilience and boost our performance; it is amazing how only a few minutes away from a stressful situation can create new thoughts and perspectives which can be so beneficial in accomplishing our goals.
Whether you work from home or in an office, you can adopt this strategy and I look forward to hearing how it has benefited you in your performance.
Wishing you the greatest success