The tech industry is one of the most promising and fast-paced fields out there. Working in tech can be rewarding, given that you’ll get a chance to be part of the next big thing in technology. On top of that, you could also take advantage of remote work options, great pay, and fantastic workplace benefits like free food, employee wellness, and self-care.

All these may seem picture perfect for the outsiders. But, what they do not see is the long hours, competition, pressure that goes with staying productive, and the stress that may come with it all. It’s safe to say that stress and burnout are still widespread among tech workers these days. If not addressed, this could lead to unproductivity and costly mistakes such as data breaches.

The good thing is, you can do something about it. Here are four best ways to handle stress and anxiety while working in the tech industry.

1.    List down stressors and manage or avoid them in the future

When you’re worried about something, your mind’s working capacity decreases ass it constantly hovers over the factor that led to you getting stressed out. As a result, you won’t be able to process anything related to the task at hand.

On the other hand, writing down stressors can help you determine the root cause or source of your worrying. Once you’ve identified the cause of your stressors, you can come up with a plan on how to overcome that problem if it arises. Writing also helps unload your feelings so you can stop pondering over a specific concern. That said, you’ll be freeing up space in your mind, allowing you to think more clearly and refocus on the things that actually matter at the moment. Plus,

Whether you’re behind schedule on a lead generation tool you’re designing or nervous about your upcoming pitch, writing things down will lessen the level of stress you’re feeling. If possible, carry a journal around so that if you’re feeling anxious or stressed, you can just grab it and write your feelings.

2.    Create a schedule for your tasks and stick to them

Stress can sometimes stem from improper management of time. If you’re working in the tech industry, chances are, you’ll be dealing with a heavy workload every single day. That said, the best way to avoid extreme stress is to make use of your productive hours at work by budgeting your time.

Proper time management helps give you direction when you’re overwhelmed with work. By scheduling your work, you’ll be able to focus on one task at a time, allowing you to be more productive. When you’re using time efficiently, you’ll be able to find enjoyment in your work and fulfillment as you tick each task off your list.

There are a lot of tools that can help you in creating a schedule for your work. Online calendars like Google calendar offers many features, including color-coding of tasks (helpful in prioritization), integrations with certain apps like Zoom and Slack (for automatic scheduling of meetings), and more. Or, you can always go with the traditional pen and paper. Regardless of the system you use, time management is key to keep a work-life balance and avoid stress and burnout.

3.    Take a break

Tech professionals need to be able to know their limits and stop when they’ve reached them. When you’re just staring at the computer, loss for ideas, and you find yourself zoning out and thinking about how tired you are, that’s a good sign that you need to take a break. Continuing in that condition simply isn’t sustainable and could decrease the quality of your output. Not only that, but you could suffer from eye strain, thus exacerbating stress further.

With that, take breaks if and when you need to. It could be a five- or 20-minute break where you head outside to take in the fresh air and stretch or to the break room to chat with your co-workers. Even activities as simple as this can give you the mental rest you need and fuel you for the rest of your shift.

If you can take some time off right now, try to go off on a much-needed vacation. This can give you ample time to recharge and restore your creative juices.

4.    Switch to a healthy lifestyle

If you’re working tirelessly day in and day out, it’s easy to pick up habits like eating poorly, exercising less, and constant lack of sleep. All these could be bad for your mental and physical health and could be the main contributing factor to your stress.

As much as possible, keep your diet healthy. Instead of ordering fast food, pack a lunchbox to work. Also, squeeze in at least 30 minutes of active time each day. Exercise causes a release of hormones called “endorphins” in your body which helps promote positive feelings like love, pleasure, and happiness.

Final Thoughts

No matter how busy you get designing apps or planning for the next big thing, remember to take care of yourself. Stress can be sneaky. If you don’t stop and take a minute to rest, it will slowly creep in and take the motivation out of you until you get burnt out.

There are virtually many ways to manage stress as a tech worker, and those listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. By taking steps, tech workers can overcome the stress that comes with the job.