Work life and stress go hand-in-hand in today’s fast-paced world – but much of this stress is artificial in that we create it through our own bad habits. The remedies are elementary and obvious once you consider them – here are a few of my personal favorites for how to purge stress and sustain a productive day:
Follow a healthy morning routine
If you want to have a fun, productive day, you must start it on the right foot – a light workout or some cardio, followed by a nutritious, filling breakfast with loved ones will charge both your physical and mental batteries for the challenges that lie ahead.
You can also have a mental rundown of the tasks you must perform during the day and come up with a logical sequence in which you can go about doing them – I personally find this quite helpful when there is an especially challenging goal lying ahead of me: break it down into small tasks and suddenly it won’t seem impossible anymore!
Don’t skimp on your sleep
Self-proclaimed ‘workaholics’ often place sleep at the lower end of their priority list, but unsurprisingly, this is the opposite of what one must do in order to boost productivity. An adequate amount of sleep the previous night will give you an optimum response rate leading to fewer mistakes at work and will also help you concentrate on your work even in a distracting environment.
On the other hand, sleep deprivation is a surefire cause of work burnout, irritable behavior, and lack of focus on the job. A painful bed is one of the biggest reasons for lost sleep, and the most obvious way to remedy the situation is to get a stress-relieving mattress – if you’re not certain about where to start, The Sleep Judge is one place you could start looking for in-depth guidance.
Once you’re at work, it is important to focus on it completely – remember that you’re at your peak energy level until that lunch break comes up, so try to do as many of your tasks before that as possible. When there is a lot of workload, it is easy to stress on it and start to procrastinate, but this will only compound the problem.
Instead, try to lighten the load bit by bit – the sense of achievement you feel after even the tiniest progress will ensure that you stay motivated enough to see it through completely. You could even come up with a reward scheme – say take a 10-minute break to watch some light comedy online.
Breaks may seem counterintuitive to the idea of productivity, but science says that they’re actually quite beneficial – especially when you’re faced with a lengthy, daunting challenge such as studying for a test or preparing for an important business presentation. There are multiple ways to go about taking breaks at work such as working in short bursts interspersed by five-minute breaks or taking fewer but lengthier breaks over the course of your workday.
During the break, you could do anything from listening to music to grabbing a drink to taking a walk – personally, I keep a playlist of my favorite songs handy on my smartphone: focusing on the lyrics and rhythm creates a sense of order in my mind that counters the stress of work. Similarly, listening to nature sounds may be acutely therapeutic by bringing down your cortisol levels that contribute to stress.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It is important to know your limits: none of us are superhuman capable of soloing each assignment that is thrown their way. Sure, it feels nice to be patted on the back by your boss every time you come through in a tense situation, but keep doing this again and again and you’ll eventually have residual stress left over from your previous challenge - and that will start compromising the quality of subsequent work.
Therefore, if you find a job too hard to do on your own, be prepared to ask for help well in time – sharing the glory with someone else will be a lot better than breaking down mid-job and not having any glory at all!
You don’t have to follow a Zen philosophy to achieve nirvana at your workplace – technology used strategically can help just as much. With the IT boom for the past couple of decades, lots of innovative productivity boosting IT services have sprung up – in their most modern iterations, they enable you to effectively oversee and manage teams consisting of dozens of individuals from the comfort of your office, via your PC or smartphone.
Not having to rush to the spot every time one of your subordinates has a problem (and even being able to proactively prevent problems from arising), is one tangible way in which office technology helps to reduce stress.