Sometime during the great sexual revolution of the 20th century, women switched from being stay-at-home moms to moms (or maybe moms one day) with a career. But the workplace didn't switch with them.
Women are still paid less than men. They're overlooked for promotion; they haven't made it to the most senior ranks; they are still doing the bulk of home duties and child raising; and they are more likely to end up trying to cram a full-time job into part-time hours so they can cram full-time caregiving in as well.
It's not really surprising then, that the research shows women are more stressed out about their jobs than men are.
We've got a lot going on, and a lot in the way.
So how can women minimize stress at work, in lieu of a total change in the way society values us? Here are some starting points.
1. Try single-tasking.
Women are multitasking all over the place, dealing with work, home, kids, friends and family. If you feel like you're being pulled in a million different directions all day, it's time to try a little focus.
Single-tasking is exactly what it sounds like: Just do one thing at a time.
You can read more about it here.
2. Ask for what you think you deserve.
If you feel like you're undervalued at work, it's going to eat at you and make you more stressed out. So instead of ruminating on it and putting in extra hours to try and make your bosses see what a good job you're doing, gather your evidence and make your case for a pay rise.
If they say no, you can at least try and set some goals to give you something tangible to work towards.
Here are our top tips on pushing for more pay.
3. Find the productivity tricks that work for you.
Not everyone works the same way. But everyone can work smarter. The more you feel like you're on top of things, the less stressed out you will be.
So think about how you work best, what time of day suits you, how you get through the stuff you don't enjoy, and anything else you think contributes to the decisions you make every day—and how high your stress levels get—and tweak your routine.
Productivity styles will be different for everyone, but here are some good places to start experimenting with what works for you.
Changing how you work isn't going to solve the myriad problems that have led to women's sky-high stress levels. Single-tasking won't narrow the pay gap; being productive won't make your partner take on more home responsibilities; asking for a pay rise won't increase the number of women running companies.
But if you're trying to find time to fight those very important fights as well, lowering your own stress levels might just give you more room to breathe. Every little bit helps.