May 19 2011

The Value of Stress Avoidance

Carlos Portocarrero

Stressful Times

None of us like being stressed out, but how much is it worth it to us to avoid said stress?

Travis’ comment on my Google/20% Rule post over at Wisebread got me thinking about this:

Google’s campus is also pretty sweet. It seems they make it so their employees aren’t stressed about “normal life stuff” Need stuff dry cleaned, no problem…Baby sitter canceled? Got one lined up. Dont want to drive to work? No Worries, we have our own buses.

We All Have Stress

I’ve been going through some stressful times of my own as our nanny decided to retire and the family we were nanny sharing with went the daycare route. All within a few days.

Which left us high and dry when it comes to having somewhere to put A while we’re at work.

Not knowing who is going to take care of your child is very stressful.

The Value of Stress

Let’s put aside what the monetary value of stress-busting perks like free daycare amount to in dollars, and imagine a job where your stress level gets cut in half.

Not because the actual job is less stressful, but simply because they offer a bunch of perks that make your out-of-work life less stressful.

Things like:

  • On-site gym: No more struggling to find time (and money) to get to a gym.
  • Daycare: Never having to go through this process would’ve added 14 months to my lifespan.
  • Paid sabbaticals: Take a few months off and go see the world…on them.
  • Free Commutes: Google has its own buses that’ll do the commuting for you.
  • Work from home: How about simply avoiding the commute altogether?
  • Tuition Reimbursement: MBAs are expensive…if you’re paying for them.

You start to add these kinds of perks up and all of the sudden your salary isn’t as important as all the side benefits a company can offer you. There’s a reason why Google is always at the top of those “Best Places to Work For” polls.

Daycare alone could amount to getting a $20,000 bonus every year. And that’s leaving out the best part—not feeling stressed about where you’re child will go if your situation changes.

What Stresses You Out?

I’m curious to hear what stresses other people out and what kind of perks would help resolve that stress. Is it daycare? Commuting? Traveling? Let me know in the comments!

Image by BLW

Jun 12 2009

When Things Get Crazy at Work

Carlos Portocarrero


Starting a new job isn’t easy—there’s usually a fair bit of stress involved as you adjust to new people and a new flow. After a while, you adjust and things get a little easier and the days aren’t as stressful. But then there are those inevitable days or weeks when things get really crazy: too many clients for too few employees, an impossible deadline, a promotion that has you doing new things you’ve never done before…by Friday.

We’ve all been there. But what can you do besides burn out, try your best, and hope you don’t melt down? Here are some tips on how to deal with crazy work situations so it doesn’t totally stress you out and take over your life:


This should be your first step. Write down everything you have to do and all the people you have to talk to, no matter how insignificant it may sound. The idea here is to just get it all on paper.


Take that list you just created and start putting dates next to each bullet. If no one has given you a deadline, create one for yourself and give yourself plenty of time. This is going to be your roadmap, so make sure you give yourself enough time.


Start with the first thing on focus on that one thing. One big problem people run into is trying to do too many things at once and that can be overwhelming. Work on one task and complete it, then move on to the next.


Leave your work at home. Don’t come home and start talking about all the stuff you just left behind in the office. Let it go. It’s going to stress you out enough at work without bringing it into your happy place.


Do something that will take your mind off of work. Remind yourself that there’s a whole world out there that could care less about what you do. In the grand scheme of things, it’s nothing. Watch a movie, read a book, enjoy time with your spouse, play with your kids, ride your bike, practice a hobby, go for a run, etc. Do something you love.

Work is always going to have its stressful times, but hopefully these tips will help you deal with them without freaking out.

Photo by orangeacid