First, we would suggest taking a few minutes to write down some of the things in your work life at present that are stressful. Be as specific as you can.

Second, it may be of equal value for you to open up the process to include notes to yourself not only about stressors at work but also in the rest of your life. It's still your life, and we have never met a person who is such a good compartmentalizer that there is no spillover whatsoever of personal stress into the workplace, or vice versa.

In fact, a major study published in early 1998 by James Bond (really!) and his associates at the Families and Work Institute verified this very issue, which doubtless makes intuitive sense to you already. Called "The 1997 National Study of the Changing Workforce" (Bond, Galinsky, & Swanberg, 1998), one of the major findings was what the researchers called "the spillover effect" -- pressures at work come home to impact family life, and family demands affect performance at work.

You need to decide whether it will be more helpful for you to gather data over a particular period of time, or instead to begin with whatever comes right off the top of your head at this moment, then to reflect on what's going on and how, if at all, it is impacting your work.

If you need some journaling reminders about how best to help yourself keep track of the important issues, click here to make a quick visit to the journaling material.