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10 tips to help CIOs reduce stress

Paul Rubens | May 3, 2016
Too much work-related stress is unhealthy, but reducing it may be easier than you think.

Personal stress

Tip 8: Ration yourself

It may sound obvious, but making sure you are working on the right things by prioritizing your activities in line with your company's  IT goals can go a long way to helping your life become less stressful, says Cynthia Stoddard, CIO at data storage company NetApp.

She also advises against trying to be everywhere for everyone.  "While it’s important to be available, don't instantly give people your attention unless it's absolutely crucial in your business to offer an immediate human response. Instead, schedule time to answer email and return phone calls."

Tip 9: Take timeouts to recharge

Steve Phillpott, CIO at hard drive manufacturer Western Digital Corporation, recommends taking a break from technology for a few minutes every now and again rather than gritting your teeth and ploughing on with your job without relent.

"Rather than allowing technology to cause you stress, know when to step away and recharge.  If you are tempted to check your email during this break, take an extra few seconds and ask if refreshing email for the umpteenth time will really make a difference," he says.  "When you return to technology, you will have renewed energy."

Tip 10: Don’t forget to take a vacation

Your team and your business will benefit if you are mentally and physically strong, and that means taking a rest from it all now and again -- however indispensable you may feel you are.

That may take a little planning, but it's not impossible, says Cynthia Stoddard. "To ensure your vacation is stress-free, create and communicate a straightforward plan for your team that sets expectations and covers the 'what ifs' and 'must dos' while you’re out," she says.


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