The FM Professional

How to Deal With Stress on the Job

David Spence
January 29th, 2015

5 Stress-Relieving Techniques for Facilities Managers

Get Your Heart Rate Up

As a facilities manager, you’re probably moving around a lot throughout the day. Try to up the ante by finding quick ways to boost your heart rate. For example, you could walk up and down a flight of stairs for a few minutes, or do some lunges when you have some minutes to spare in your office. If anything, increasing your heart rate will take your mind off of what’s causing your stress for a few minutes while also getting your blood flowing, too.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the things on your plate, try carving out a few minutes to sit at your desk and meditate. Close your eyes, or keep them open and focus them on one spot. Then, for five minutes, simply sit quietly and try counting your breaths in increments of ten. Any time a thought occurs, try to acknowledge its presence without letting it overtake your mind.

In other words, when your mind turns to that replacement part you’ve ordered, simply acknowledge the fact that the thought is there and try to turn your attention back to breathing. Don’t think of how much the part costs, or whether it will be delivered on time. Instead, take these few seconds to focus only on the present, rather than the past or the future.

See Things from a Different Perspective

Ever have a colleague who spent five minutes complaining that the office is too cold, even after you explained that you’re doing everything you can to solve the problem? It can be easy to let a person like this put a damper on your day. Instead, try to see things from his or her perspective—maybe they’re having a rough time, and their frustrations actually run deeper than the office temperature. They may have nothing to do with the office at all. Remembering that may help ease the pain of being someone’s personal complaint line.

Make a To-Do List

Have so many things to do that you have trouble keeping them straight? Try writing them down. That way, instead of having to sort through each task in your mind, you have a record of all the things coming down the pipeline. This can make it easier to think through what needs to be done, and in what order. You may want to keep a running task list on your phone, or a whiteboard by your desk where you can add notes or cross things off as needed.

Take Things One Step at a Time

You can also use to-do lists to break big projects down into smaller tasks. Rather than saying to yourself, “I’m going to spend part of my day researching potential office locations,” try using a more gradual approach. You may want to spend some time only focusing on certain regions of the city, or an hour researching real estate agencies to work with. For major tasks, picking one thing to concentrate on will be far less overwhelming than starting with a vague goal in mind and getting lost in the process.

Facilities management can be a stressful job, so it’s important to find balance between working and relaxing. While it may seem like a good idea to accomplish everything at full speed without stopping, taking a break from your work has been shown to lead to better performance on the job. So the next time you feel your shoulders tensing up, try one of the techniques above. Breathe.



photo credit: 19melissa68 via photopin cc