二○一八年十月二十日／十月二十一日 Click here for English version
Relieving Work Stress
Rev Gordon Siu
Many of us face tremendous work pressure – working hours are long, the workload heavy, and the boss is so demanding. The company wants everybody to "enhance productivity." Where a post is vacated, no new staff is recruited. Instead, the work is shared among serving staff on top of their present duties. Staff members are expected to be multi-skilled so the company can enhance its competitiveness… Government departments are no exception. In order to fulfill performance pledges and meet standards of assessment, civil servants also face increasing pressure from work.
As such, the church needs to pray more for believers' work environment. Brothers and sisters must consider how to keep their body and soul healthy amid a tight schedule. They must watch over one another in love. Below are a few tips on relieving work stress:
1. To handle large amounts of work within a short time, we must be able to distinguish which tasks are worth (or have room for) more time, and which ones only allow for brief handling. We therefore need to pray for soberness and biblical values so we can make sound judgment and choices.
2. Sometimes we have no choice but to finish all the work. While rushing it all out, the output quality will inevitably suffer, and we can easily blame ourselves (particularly when superiors make apathetic comments). In the process, we lose confidence. Our self-esteem is hurt, as is our spirituality. If that happens, we should learn to humbly accept the constraints of the circumstances and try some simpler means to respond to the demands without easily denying ourselves (“Given sufficient time, I will do better!”). Do accept the reality before our eyes.
3. In trying to beat the deadline, we can easily grow nervous, staying in a sort of wartime mode. This may lead to wrong decisions that nullify what we have done. It is therefore important that we order ourselves to stop from time to time and ask ourselves: Is this dangerous? Should this be the way forward? Will God be pleased if I do this? Then we should turn our hearts towards God, pray and watch for His guidance. We may even have to intrepidly lay down the work in front of us for the time being and calmly entrust to God what remains to be done.
4. Decorate your workplace with small plants or Bible verse cards. When you feel the pressure, read something that gives vitality. Savor the wonder of the creation. Just a glimpse of green trees or the blue sky can bring encouragement to the heart.
5. Find time to pray. Come to the office earlier and put before God all the things to be done that day. During lunch break, allow yourself not to work while you eat nor to engage in chats about work. Find a quiet corner to keep your heart in tune with God…. After entrusting everything in God’s hands, boldly meet the challenges from work, knowing that it is God working within us, not ourselves.
[The original article is excerpted from Rev. Siu's book's《工作為祭》(Work as Sacrifice), published by China Alliance Press]