Frustration is a feeling we all experience once in a while, and it is a feeling that is characterized by a desire for achievement or self-actualization. It is a feeling that doesn’t just happen to a selected few, it happens to all.

A few weeks ago, I was working with a start-up company that wanted to incorporate training programs into the list of services they offered. This particular startup experienced a deep level of dissatisfaction with the already formulated program. And the process of creating a custom program made the founders frustrated, stressed out and burnout. I also became frustrated with the whole program formulation and operational processes after a few days of working with this startup company.


After taking a break away from the problem, we were able to diagnose the issues and come up with an agreed solution. The program was launched and everyone was happy.

Looking back at those moments, I can’t help but recognize how frustrated we were, and how it caused a great deal of stress to everyone involved in the project.

It is worth recognizing that frustration has a part to play in our everyday lives, it acts as a feedback mechanism that tells the body or mind that something can be done better or that the answer, we seek is close-by. The problem with frustration lies when it is in excess just like every other thing in life. It can be detrimental if allowed to prolong for a long time or if it becomes a habit.

To help you deal with frustration, here are 7 tips to note in order to deal with frustration.

How to Deal with Work-Related Frustration

1.    Set Goals

If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” ~ Andrew Carnegie

The major reason why we easily get frustrated with ourselves while at work can be largely attributed to a lack of goal setting. Without having something to focus on, you’ll end up working in a zig-zag manner. Goal setting is crucial to every facet of life and business is no exception.

To help you deal with work-related stress or frustrations, it is advisable that you set goals for yourself and for your team, or organization. As a map is beneficial to a driver, goal-setting is what would equip you with the necessary foundation and also help you to define the path you intend to work. It helps you to be clear on your deliverables, priorities, and values.

2.    Prioritization

“Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

One of the lessons I learned after my encounter with the startup company is that you cannot solve all problems at once. Trying to do so will only drain you of your valuable energy. It will make you stressed out and also frustrated.

To effectively deal with frustrations at work, you have to prioritize your work schedule, and stick to your set goals. Avoid shiny object syndrome.

Prioritization is a powerful time management technique that is capable of saving your time, and also eliminate any form of work distractions that might trigger your stress level, and also cause you frustration.

3.    Discard the Thought of Perfection

“The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement.” ~ George Will

While it is appropriate to always seek out for best results, being obsessed about the perfect result can be leeway to frustration, stress, anxiety, and depression. You should understand that no matter how we try to get things to be perfect, they will never be perfect. That’s the reason why big companies roll out patches for their programs. It helps them fix bugs or mistakes that were missed out during development.

Trying to get things to be perfect before execution is one of the major reasons why a lot of startups and also well-established organizations undergo frustration and stress. They don’t understand the fundamentals of growth and evolution.

To help you combat work-related frustrations or stress, you have to let go of the thought of perfection and instead strive for progress, and growth.

Seek out an improvement mentality.

  1.    Take Time Off’s

“We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don’t allow our bodies to heal, and we don’t allow our minds and hearts to heal.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

it could be quite tempting to submerge oneself in a task especially when deadlines are crawling on our neck. While it is admirable to work hard, not taking time out to rest and rejuvenate can have an opposite effect on our progress. Excess work without breaks can drain you of energy, it can make you tired which then leads to frustration and burnout.

To be effective at work involves taking time outs to rest and recuperate. When you take time out, it helps the mind to relax and you get to see your work, and challenges from a different vantage point. This process helps you to be more creative in problem-solving.

5.    Discard the Thought of Immediate Result

“Trust the process. Your time is coming. Just do the work and the results will handle themselves.” ~ Tony Gaskins

In design thinking parlance, there’s a saying that if you want results, you have to be ready to get your hands dirty, you have to be patient, and you have to be ready to start all over again.

People who go on to experience lasting results in life and business would agree that good things take time, and it takes work, effort, and consistency. Frustrations most of the time are due to our desire or impulse to experience immediate results. We believe that everything should happen immediately without delay. This notion is understandable because that’s what most of our cultures preach. However, if your desire is to eliminate frustration from your life and work, you have to understand that just as a seed takes time to germinate, you have to also be patient to see your work and effort yield results over time. You have to let things evolve organically.

Eliminate the microwave mentality that is pervasive in society. Cultivate the habit of patience.

6.    Redefine Failure

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” ~ Paulo Coelho

Most of us are so afraid of failure that we allow the thoughts of failing to dominate our thinking up to the extent that it creates the feeling of fear and panic within us.

The reason why many people are frustrated is that they have allowed the fear of failure to be greater than their excitement for success. When you are afraid to fail, you panic at little things, you seek out perfection, and you become anxious about your results and future.

The best way to deal with frustration is to let yourself free – free to make mistakes and to explore. It is by exploring that you learn what works and what doesn’t.

7.    Seek out Help When You Feel Stuck

“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” ~ Chinese Proverb

This is one of the best ways to deal with work-related frustration. It gives you the opportunity to share ideas with a third party which helps to open your creative faculty. As the saying goes, two good heads are better than one.

It is unfortunate that most people find it hard to seek out help due to fear of being label as not wise or smart enough. For some, it can be a thing of egoism. The reason why you feel frustrated is that you feel stuck. And the best way to free yourself from frustration is for you to seek out help whenever you feel a problem is beyond you or it’s taking too much of your time.


The feeling of frustration can be annoying and it also has the potential of draining us of vital work energy. When frustration becomes a habit, it could easily lead to stress, burnout, and depression. It is therefore advisable that we do our best to always free our minds from stress and frustration. The best way I’ve found to be useful in dealing with frustration is by taking short breaks. This step helps me to refocus and view the problem that’s causing me frustration from a different vantage point.