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Intersection of Life and Faith

I Can’t Keep Up with the Workload - Part 5

  • The Navigators NavPress
  • 2007 19 Sep
I Can’t Keep Up with the Workload - Part 5
Disguising Stress

From Reducing Stress, by Tim Hindle
Take note of the predominant attitudes and behavior at work to assess your organization’s approach to stress. If stress is an intrinsic part of a job, it is often easier to glamorize it than to change working practices. A case study of this:

The managing director of a large commercial company often boasted that he spent more time out of the office on business trips than at his desk.

When asked to develop a new product line, he worked day and night to coordinate the efforts of different departments. He flew around the world in search of information and contacts to ensure that the new line would be a success. His free time shrank, his home life suffered, he was constantly tired, and he ate poorly — but because he knew that his company was depending on him, he continued. He began to experience severe stomach pains and was diagnosed with a peptic ulcer.

This case reflects a common problem: many high-powered employees accept the heavy workload imposed by their companies and brag about their responsibilities to disguise stress and fears of failure.

In certain work cultures, some stress is unavoidable: oil and mining companies expect employees to spend time away from home, and management consulting firms and investment banks expect their staff to work long hours. It is important to be able to identify unacceptable levels of workplace stress; disguising stress can make it harder to deal with the long-term effects.


• What is the workplace culture like at your job? Do the higherups model — or perhaps even glamorize — a stressful work style? • How is stress disguised at your workplace?
• What have you observed or experienced of this in ministry environments, where a stressful workplace culture is connected to spirituality?
• How successful or unsuccessful have you been in cultivating a reputation as an energetic and productive employee without stressing out yourself (and your family, friends, and so on)?

Father, give me margin . . .

Copied from Juggling Chainsaws on a Tightrope by The Navigators, © 2007. Used by permission of NavPress, All rights reserved.