5 Ways Technology Providers Can Manage Stress this Federal Fiscal Year-End
If you’re a technology solutions provider, we hope you had a great summer and managed to squeeze in some time off, because the busy season is here, and September has already been a frenzy.
Work is already a top source of stress for many Americans, but right now government procurement teams face enormous pressure as they rush to negotiate and award contracts while ensuring regulatory compliance before the federal fiscal year ends on September 30th.
If you’re in the business of federal procurement, here are five ways to beat stress this federal fiscal year-end busy season.
Identify and Manage your Stress Triggers
Coping with stress starts with knowing what sets off those tense shoulders and sleepless nights. The Mayo Clinic recommends identifying your particular stress triggers as a first step towards tackling stress. Common triggers include obstacles to getting your job done efficiently, unrealistic deadlines that make you feel rushed, endless emails, or interruptions.
Look for ways to resolve these. If you experience several triggers, rank them by the most persistent. As the Mayo Clinic points out “…the best way to cope with stress is to find a way to change the circumstances that are causing it.” Try talking to your boss, set realistic expectations and goals, prioritize your tasks and keep an eye on that list throughout the day, and block off time so that you minimize interruptions.
Have an Outlet
There’s no escaping the fact that it is busy season, but you’re not invincible either. To avoid burnout, carve out time for yourself. Take a walk at lunchtime and enjoy your meal away from your desk, listen to music during your commute rather than the news, avoid checking email as it comes in and definitely not at home. If things are getting too much, meet with your supervisor so that you can come up with a plan to manage stress and perform better at this critical time.
When you’re under pressure to work longer hours, you probably find yourself hitting up the vending machine, coffee pot, or eating too many processed foods. But these foods can make you feel more stressed and anxious. Instead, opt for whole grains, fresh unprocessed meals, lots of water, and other foods that can help you beat stress.
Reap the Benefits of Wellness Programs
Stress isn’t just a one-time event, if it’s not managed it can lead to long-term health issues, so take advantage of the resources available from your employer.
A 2017 Work Life Survey by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) found that federal work-life programs have a big impact on workplace satisfaction. 44% of those who participate in health and wellness programs, such as onsite exercise facilities or subsidized gym memberships, lifestyle counseling, and stress management programs, agree that it helped to keep stress under control, while 43% to 48% saw improved performance and morale.
Look to an Unlikely Source – Government Contractors
Government contractors and aggregators, particularly in the busy IT sector, know exactly what busy season means to technology providers. Find out what your contractors can do to make your job a bit easier at this time of year. For example, what’s their quote turnaround time? Do they have extended hours? What about web chat so that you can multitask and get the answers you need instantly? Do they have the contracts and contracting expertise required to make the procurement process simple, quick and easy? Now that would be a lot of weight off your shoulders.
Federal fiscal year-end is a stress factor that isn’t going to go away. Yet there are steps you can take to prevent and even turn-around any stress you’re experiencing with some forethought, action, and focus on self-care.