Stress is a daily factor in everyone’s lives, every day. Whether it be our personal lives or professional, some stress is inevitable. As an interior designer, you’re always going to be dealing with many moving parts when you’re working on a project. From clients and vendors to workrooms and deliveries, not to mention all of the accounting and finance side of things, it certainly can be a juggling act. But there are some strategies and tactics that everyone can employ that can help them to manage and reduce their stress.
REDUCE INTERRUPTIONS, IF YOU CAN
It's indisputable, you will have to manage interruptions throughout your workday. It could be questions from staff, handling client Zoom calls, or trying to entertain your kids if you're working from home. While this can no doubt be stressful, it can also cause a loss in focus while completing other tasks.
You can’t control the interruptions, but you can control your reaction. Anticipating that some interruptions may occur is key to not losing your cool when they do happen. Manage your stress level by accepting the interruption, adding it to the list, and moving on with your day. Dedicate certain hours of the day to handle these interruptions if you can, whether it’s a few hours in the morning or before ending your workday.
USE THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR INTERIOR DESIGN
To minimise your stress, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right tools for interior design. It will make your job as an interior designer much easier if you're using a business management and accounting software that’s made specifically for your industry. Plus, if it's cloud-based it means everything is always kept at your finger-tips, minimizing your stress if you need to quickly access something when you're not in the office.
Organize your workspace
A cluttered desk can lead to a cluttered mind. Keeping your workspace organized and clear will leave you feeling less overwhelmed with everything you have to do. Plus it will keep you motivated to get the project done. Practice what you preach; if you’re always telling clients about keeping an organized space, live by the same ideal. You’ll thank yourself later.
PRIORITIZE YOUR TO-DO LIST
A to-do list is a handy tool to have at work. Too many things on the to-do list however can present a stumbling block for some. Extensive, very long lists can cause your stress level to rise when you see just how many things need to get done.
Writing a good to-do list should include only prioritized activities for each day. Create a short daily task list that captures only the important tasks. This will help to reduce stress levels making the day easier to manage and complete.
ONE THING AT A TIME
Stop multitasking! If you’re on a call with a client and also answering an email, you’ll probably find you didn’t answer the email properly, or you missed vital details from the phone conversation.
Multitasking is a less effective way to work; resulting in spending more time on many things, instead of spending time on one task and completing it fully. Learn how to handle stress by doing a single task for as much of the day as possible, and if you need to multitask, schedule a short period of time in the day to do so. You’ll find it’s easier to produce work of higher quality, instead of switching back and forth on different activities.
THE WORK/LIFE BOUNDARY
Interior design is a competitive industry, and many feel like they need to be constantly working to do the best job. Be careful however as this can result in burnout.
Setting boundaries, such as not answering emails after 5:00 p.m. or stepping away from the phone until the next work morning, help to define when your workday starts and stops. Disconnecting for a short while will help to rejuvenate you for the next day and make you more effective during this time.