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Rethinking Workloads: Reduce Stress Without Killing Productivity

We all know the dilemma: the team is overloaded, stress levels are skyrocketing, but the work's gotta get done, right? What if I told you it's possible to ease that stress and keep your productivity intact? Here’s how.

Prioritize and Simplify

First things first, get a handle on what's actually important. The truth is, not every task is a top priority. Create a list of what needs immediate attention and what can wait. Doing this helps in eliminating the mental clutter that comes with an overloaded to-do list.


Are there any tasks on your team's plate that aren't aligned with your key objectives? Host a team meeting to list and rank current tasks by priority. Shed the lower-ranked ones or defer them.

Delegate Wisely

Leadership isn't about doing it all; it's about getting it all done. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your team allows you to delegate tasks in a way that maximizes individual skills and reduces workload stress.


Do you know your team members’ strengths well enough to delegate effectively? Create a skills matrix for your team to identify the best fits for key tasks.

Implement Flexibility

Work-life balance is a non-negotiable part of reducing stress. The pandemic taught us that many jobs can be done remotely or during non-traditional hours. Consider hybrid work models or flex hours to meet team members where they are.


See if a flexible work schedule benefits your specific team dynamic. Conduct a work arrangement survey to gauge your team’s preferences.

Check-Ins & Time Off

Sometimes it's necessary to just ask, "How are you doing?" Regular check-ins give space for team members to express their stressors. Encourage short breaks and time off — a rested employee is a productive employee.


When was the last time you took a mental health day? Schedule bi-weekly one-on-one check-ins with team members to discuss workload and well-being.

Reducing stress without impacting productivity isn't an impossible task; it just requires thoughtful management and a human-first approach. Now, go shake up that to-do list and show your team you care!

Dr. Merrylue Martin is President and CEO of the Job Joy Group and best-selling author of the Big Quit Survival Guide. To learn more, visit and connect on LinkedIn.


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