Could you be a Stresstopus?
A Stresstopus is a person suffering from a mental state of fatigue from multi-tasking.
Remarkably similar to an Octopus, the Stresstopus has many mental tentacles working simultaneously.
Stresstopus’s will often be attempting to complete one task while splicing it with simpler, smaller or more urgent requirements. During this process, a Stresstopus will have more than 10 internet tabs and 4 email tabs open (each with a draft to a different person).
Identifying a Stresstopus.
A Stresstopus can be difficult to identify, as they will appear calm on the surface. In reality, these individuals will be experiencing an internal storm of impending deadlines, information and requests.
While outwardly calm, a Stresstopus can be spotted through cues such as:
- A sudden slump in front of a computer followed by holding the head in hands
- A curt outburst over trivial matters, such as receiving a free coffee with full-cream milk instead of trim.
- A constant neck bend / stretch thing followed by an audible exhale of air
- Crying and rolling on the floor
Dealing with a Stresstopus.
Many Stresstopus’s will be accustomed to their internal barrage of stress and may be resilient to changing their behaviour.
Be kind to the Stresstopus.
Here are a few ways of addressing the Stresstopuss:
- Limit internet tabs to two.
- Have only the primary Email inbox open. Say no to multiple draft emails!
- Investigate, finish or dispose of all draft emails.
- Question the purpose and benefit of tasks which induce stress. Take advantage of a ‘to-don’t list’
- Enjoy lunch. Leave all mental tentacles at your desk and leave. It doesn’t matter where, just leave the room where the desk sits.
- Communicate. Experienced Stresstopus’s are almost impossible to recognise. Ensure your team feels comfortable expressing their feelings of being overwhelmed and help them through it.