A Guide for Funeral-Home Stress Success
As most people have learned by the time they reach adulthood, stress is an inseparable part of success. In the workplace, stress is most potent in situations of high emotions, long or unpredictable work hours, and when unknown outcomes are based on uncontrollable circumstances. As a preneed insurance agent or a funeral director, all of the above conditions can be used to describe your everyday work environment. That’s why we’d like to take a minute to talk about stress.
What you may or may not realize is that a certain amount of stress is a good thing in a workplace. Stress is a motivator, it helps keep us focused on time-bound tasks and increases our creativity when problem solving. However, too much stress can ‘overload the system’ and be more harmful than helpful. If you are feeling overly stressed, it may be necessary to rethink some daily habits in order to be successful, not stressful.
- Act Rather Than React
After you can identify your stressors, you can act in order to reduce them. As a preneed insurance agent, one of the things that stresses me out is billing. In the past, I would often procrastinate billing my clients until the very last second. When I decided to act rather than react, I changed my routine to get all billing matters out of the way first every day, so I wasn’t dreading the task for hours before I actually completed it. Do the thing that stresses you out right when you get to work. Delegate a task that is a stressor for you to someone who can handle it. Avoid stressful situations like overdue bills and unsent emails by actively completing them first. You’ll see results daily as your stress lifts and your routine relaxes.
- Eliminate Interruptions
We know this step sounds impossible, but one of the biggest reasons for stress is an unpredictable schedule and long work hours. If you are constantly being distracted by co-workers, family, work emergencies, or even the internet, you will be unable to get your work done in the hours allotted for work. Funeral homes are full of distractions that can be stressful and frustrating. Eliminate these interruptions by setting “office hours” that you maintain strictly. If you work at home, as many preneed insurance agents do, leave your phone in another room and keep to a work schedule that you have outlined and shared with family members. Do not allow yourself to be distracted and you will be amazed at how much more work gets done in less time.
- Unwind and Destress
In the funeral industry, a lot of what we deal with are highly-charged emotions and desperate, difficult decisions. This field can really get to you if you let it, which is why unwinding is so important to reduce your stress. I know that unburdening myself to my coworkers after a particularly difficult consult leaves me feeling lighter and more capable than I felt before. It may seem like an unnecessary addition to your already busy routine, but factoring in time to relax could be the biggest stress-reliever at your disposal.