Stress — who needs it? Payroll professionals sure don’t, but they see certainly see their share of it. Payroll is a critical function, and if accurate payments don’t get out on time to the right recipients, it can be bad news for the business. Hence, payroll pros are under constant pressure to hit deadlines and avoid even the slightest mistakes — and they often end up working long hours to help ensure they can do both.

These intense work conditions can cause your stress level to soar, which is bad for your productivity as a payroll professional, not to mention your overall well-being. Burnout is certainly a risk — and it’s on the rise in the workforce, too. In a recent Robert Half survey of more than 2,400 professionals in the United States, 41% of respondents said they are more burned out now than they were a year ago.

Even if you’re working remotely all or part of the time, you may find it challenging to carve out just a little personal time during the day to unplug and enjoy the people and activities you care about outside of work. The same Robert Half survey mentioned above found that 75% of employees are devoting more than 40 hours per week to work — even though they have the ability to set their own hours. Add in the need for sleep, and there is little room for much else.

The good news is that you can take steps to manage your work-related stress and anxiety better. Whether you work at the office, at home, or both during the week, the following five strategies can help you reclaim your inner peace.

1. Practice the art of single-tasking

You might think multitasking is the only way to get things done, but research suggests it is ineffective. Worse, it can undermine your health and productivity.

Mindfulness, the act of focusing on the present, is a better approach. Embrace being in the moment by not getting distracted by another task or problem. (And yes, this is easier said than done, but it is well worth the effort to condition yourself to work in this manner.)

To bring more mindfulness during your workday, try making small changes. For example, when you are on a video call or in a meeting, pay close attention to the speaker rather than checking your messages. And reduce daily interruptions that you can control: Do you really need to be notified of every email that hits your inbox?

The better you become at single-tasking (aka “monotasking”) — a basic time management technique — you can increase your ability to deliver high-quality work faster.

2. Create more structure in your day

Using windowed work, or the practice of breaking up your day into distinct chunks of business and personal time, can be an effective approach to controlling work-related stress. And it can be especially useful when you are working remotely and challenged in creating a distinct line between your work life and your home life.

Here are three tips for using the windowed work method:

  • Identify your power hours. When do you typically reach peak productivity on our payroll tasks during the workday: early morning, late afternoon or evening? Carve out quiet time to tackle high-priority projects when you tend to hit your stride.
  • Set wide time windows. Bouncing between tasks can be inefficient. (See item #1 above about the downsides of multitasking.) Try to cluster activities that require similar effort and resources, and block off hour-long increments, or longer, to focus on getting them done.
  • Schedule and share your calendar. Make sure your colleagues in payroll know when you’re available to meet and collaborate — and when you’ll be less accessible or offline.

3. Amp up your physical activity

Exercise can feel like torture when you’re in it, but its stress-relieving effects can stay with you long after your workout. For one, it increases blood flow to your brain, improving memory and helping you process information better. And according to the Mayo Clinic, working out also combats depression by increasing the number of endorphins (“feel-good” neurotransmitters) that you produce.

So, do your best to make exercise a regular part of your life. If you’re back to commuting to the office, choose public transportation rather than driving, if possible. Jog up the stairs instead of taking an elevator. Take a lunchtime yoga or tai chi class (online or in-person), so you can breathe and learn to let go of stress.

Another tip: Rather than surfing the web during work breaks, head outside for a brisk walk. Your work-related stress will ease before you know it, and you’ll feel better physically, too.

4. Take your vacation time (really!)

Because people need to get paid every two weeks or every month, it’s understandable that payroll specialists are often reluctant to take time off of work for an extended period. However, it’s one thing to be a dedicated employee, but quite another to jeopardize your well-being by burning the candle at both ends.

Vacation time exists because you need and deserve that time away to relax and recharge. So, go ahead and schedule that weeklong break — no guilt or work emails allowed! Ask colleagues to cover for you and return the favor when it’s their turn to get away. And be sure to create an out-of-office message, so you aren’t overwhelmed by an overflowing inbox when you return to work.

5. Reflect on your status quo

Naturally, peak periods like year-end processing and reporting deadlines are stressful. But if your anxiety level is high all year long, it’s time to reflect on your work environment and consider whether you should start a new job search.

For example, are you coping with bad management or a toxic workplace culture? In these situations, you could relieve your stress by finding another employer. While it’s true that a job change can be stressful as well, the peace of mind you can get from making a change is a great reward.

Plus, your job search stress may be minimal, as you may not have to wait long to find a new opportunity in the current hiring market. According to Robert Half’s latest Salary Guide, payroll specialists are in high demand. Depending on your skills and experience, you may even be able to advance your career in payroll by making a move now.

No payroll job is 100% stress-free. But it is within your reach to prevent work-related worries from taking over and undermining your sense of well-being. Consider using the tips above to bring more control and calm into your workday.