Karen Gastle

Stress is a daily factor in the day of an interior designer. Vendors are delayed, clients are unhappy, accounts are mismanaged—the list is endless. Fortunately, there’s many ways interior designers can manage stress at their job. Keep reading to discover new ways to manage and understand how to handle stress in the interior design industry.

Eliminate Interruptions

You’re constantly interrupted throughout the workday. It could be questions from staff or clients, managing new deadlines, handling phone calls, and other issues that crop up. In addition to stressing you out, it can cause a loss in focus while completing other tasks.


You can’t control the interruptions, but you can control your reaction, and anticipate some of the interruptions that may occur. Manage your stress level by accepting the interruption, adding itto the list, and moving on with your day. Dedicate certain hours of the day to handle these interruptions, whether it’sa few hours in the morning orriht before closing the office door.

Organize Your Workspace

Whether it’s a clean space with only the essentials on it, or it has designated folders and spaces, staying organized makes it easy to handle matters with minimal distraction. Give items on your desk their own home; that way, it’ll be much easier to find things in a hurry.


A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. Keeping your desk organized and clear will leave you feeling less overwhelmed with everything you have to do, and 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 the To-Do List

A to-do list is a handy element at work. Too many things on the to-do list, however, are ineffective and won’t teach you how to handle stress. Instead, an extensive list will cause your stress level to rise when you see just how many things need to get done.


A long list can increase feelings of anxiousness when it feels like there’s no end in sight. Writing a good to-do list should include only prioritized activities for each day. A short daily task lists only the important tasks, reducing stress levels to make the day easier to manage and complete.

One Thing at a Time

Stop multitasking! Multitasking is defined as the apparent human ability to do more than one task over a short time period. So if you’re on the phone with a client and also answering an email, you’re multitasking. You’ll probably soon discover that you didn’t answer the email properly, or you missed vital details from the phone conversation.


Multitasking is a myth, resulting in spending more time working on many things and accomplishing nothing, 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 mandate to follow and you produce work of a higher quality, instead of switching back and forth on different activities.

The Work/Life Boundary

This is a favoured tip commonly included in the “how to handle stress” lists, but it’s true, which is why it keeps showing up. Everybody needs a break from work to recharge and reset. Setting boundaries, such as not answering emails after 5:00 p.m. or leaving the phone until the next work morning clearly clarify when your workday starts and stops.


Interior design is a competitive industry, and many feel like they need to be constantly working to do the best job. This just results in burning out faster. Relieve some stress and reenergize yourself by penciling in time for activities and hobbies you enjoy. Disconnecting for a short while will rejuvenate you to handle future tasks and problem.


New Call-to-action

Karen Gastle

As an account manager, Karen has experience working with design firms of all sizes to integrate DesignDocs to streamline business processes, increase administrative efficiencies, and deliver higher profits.
Find Karen Gastle on: