How To Stay Focused In A Stressful Work Environment

There are no two ways about it – no matter what you do for work, stress will appear at some point. Even if you love your job more than any other activity you do, there is something about the nature of work which brings about a pressure that can feel weighty and inescapable. When this happens, it is common for people to lose focus on the tasks at hand. Stress is both a physical and mental energy drainer so the presence of it makes any work related item that much harder to complete.

That being said, work still has to be accomplished. Too much stress is not a valid excuse for not getting things done. On top of this, stress has a way of growing people once they overcome it. Television and radio personality Peter Marshall summed this up, “When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.

Without a plan in place to handle stress, it can derail any work day it touches. This is why we connected with a few business experts to understand how they stay focused in a stressful work environment.

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One Bite At A Time

Ryan Rottman is the co-founder and CEO of OSDB, a brand offering online content related to sports and sports gambling. He believes that having the right mindset is most helpful when things become overwhelming.

I think everyone has had the experience at work where there are so many things on their plate that the office seems like it’s starting to spin. Stress is no easy beast to conquer but it can be done. Let’s go back to that plate. Imagine the largest Thanksgiving meal in front of you. How do you work your way through such an immense amount of food? One bite at a time? This same logic can be applied to a stressful situation. Keep doing the next thing, one bite at a time.


Big Heart Toys creates toys, books, and games to help unlock the power of learning within kids. Their Founder and CEO, Rio Wolff, suggests setting time aside to be mindful about oneself and the day.

At least in Western society, meditation has commonly been regarded as ‘mumbo jumbo’ for lack of a better phrase. It’s some abstract process involving humming and connecting with unknown realms. There may have been a little too much exposure to Saturday morning cartoons with this one. In reality, simple meditation involves taking notice of your physical sense in the present. What is your breathing like? What are you hearing? The idea here is to bring your body and mind into a state where its attention is naturally the present and nothing more. Instead of creating stress in your mind, meditate.


The human body breathes without prompting because that is how much it is reliant on oxygen. Diamond Mansion is a business providing diamond jewelry. Their CEO and founder, Omid Semino, considers it important to take notice of this.

Our bodies have interesting ways of processing stress. I’d say the most popular of these is the fight or flight reaction. This reaction is born out of fear, agitation or stress and can cause decisions to be made that we wouldn’t have if we were thinking clearly. The next time you’re feeling your stress levels grow, try to remember and take a moment for a few deep breaths. Your body is likely short on oxygen as a result of this natural reaction. The addition of needed oxygen will be warmly welcomed and the favor in the form of clearer thinking will be returned.

Do Not Multitask

Caleb Ulffers is the CEO of Haven Athletic, a brand offering organized gym bags. He advises others to avoid the popular trend of attempting to accomplish multiple tasks simultaneously.

Stress can make us do things that are unwise because the pressure of our given scenario is clouding our judgment. Being prepared for when this happens is one of the best courses of action. Take multitasking for example. In a vacuum, it might seem like a great idea to handle multiple jobs at the same time or to swap between them. However, as much as we wish it were different, our brains don’t function like that. You need to teach yourself that multitasking is not an option otherwise you’ll instinctually revert to it.

Take A break

Sunshine 79 specializes in swimwear. Their VP of eCommerce, Karim Hachem, believes it is necessary to step away from work for periods of time in order to maintain health.

If you’re mentally stuck in stress because of the amount of time you spend working on career related items, it may be a sign that you need a break. I’m not saying to walk away from what you’re doing but refreshing the mind with another activity is incredibly beneficial. Some studies have discovered that employees who lack satisfaction or joy in their work have been shown to struggle with productivity. If stress kills our productivity, then finding a healthy balance that brings satisfaction is the way to combat it.

Avoid Caffeine

Anytime there are seemingly endless amounts of work to be done, a performance boost is tempting. Relay is a community app focused on helping its members overcome addiction and bad habits. Their CEO, Chandler Rogers, proposes steering clear of this.

An honest assessment of the working professional world in America is that a serious caffeine addiction exists. There’s no way around it. The six AM line at Starbucks is something to plan around should you be a regular consumer of theirs. People know where, when, and how they’re going to get and I assure you, they’re going to get it. But what if I told you that it triggers stress? It’s true. Stimulants trigger fight or flight and that’s just what caffeine is. There’s no worse way to avoid stress than to ingest it.


Chris Vaughn is the CEO of Emjay, a brand offering marijuana delivery. He cautions others to be aware of how much physical activity they are engaging with.

Have you ever used an electric air pump? If you have you’ll know that pressurized air builds up in the tank until it is full. Then, the user has the option of releasing the air or keeping it in the tank. Stress is like this. We can choose to sit with or find an outlet to rid ourselves of it. Exercise is one of those outlets that is effective. It doesn’t have to be anything specific either. Whether you enjoy walks or a game of pickup basketball, just get your body moving to get rid of that stress.


Identify The Problem

Fighting for You specializes in a variety of legal aid. Their CMO, Max Schwartzapfel, considers it critical to seek out the source of stress in an effort to remove it.

I don’t know if it’s the qualities of stress that make people think they just have to suffer through but everyone seems to share that approach. There’s nothing healthy about it either. It would be like if you had a deep cut and just kept putting a band-aid on it. Your hope would be that it would get better as you tough it out but really you’re just kicking the problem down the road. What I’m saying is this: identify the problem. Find what is causing your stress and see if there is a solution to that problem. There’s no reason to make things worse for yourself simply because you’re ‘supposed to.

Nobody wants to do their job in the face of stress but it is bound to happen at some point. If one or more of the ideas are able to be applied in response to this then that stress should prove far more manageable. Essentially, one can rise to the challenge of stress or succumb to it. Actor Bryan Cranston put it best, “To me, character in a person is judged by the decisions that are made under pressure.

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