Who knew combating stress was a simple way to be more productive at work and school? It makes sense when you think about it. You may feel tired, worried, anxious, or depressed when you’re stressed. Some people lose focus and motivation, which can lead to a dip in performance levels.
Loss of enthusiasm eats away at the time you have to perform tasks. Before you know it, you find yourself scrambling to meet the scheduled deadline. Adrenaline kicks in, stress hormones increase, heart rate goes up, and you feel anxious. These symptoms are signs of stress and activation of the body’s fight-or-flight system. You can’t escape. You’ve got to finish the job efficiently and effectively. Your boss is counting on you.
Luckily, there are ways to fight stress and increase productivity without compromising the quality of your work.
8 Tips for Beating Stress and Boosting Productivity
Stress is your body’s response to physical, mental, or emotional pressure. You may feel overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result. Stress can be a positive and negative thing, depending on the circumstances. Some people perform better under stress, but that’s usually because of procrastination, followed by an adrenaline rush to finish the job or academic assignment at the last minute.
This is risky business as it leaves little wiggle room for mistakes and corrections. Meanwhile, time is of the essence. Don’t let this be you. These tips will help you knock stress out of the way so you can make room for success.
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Have you ever walked into someone’s office and noticed books, papers, and documents strewn across their desk? It makes you wonder how in the world they know where to find what. Then you watch them rummage through the clutter for a document they need but can’t find.
Organizing and planning strategies will allow you to execute your work structured and timely. Being disorganized overwhelms your brain. It can raise your levels of cortisol (stress hormones), increase anxiety, or make you procrastinate. It’s also time-consuming and time-wasting when you cannot readily find what you need to get the job done.
Arranging tasks on a list in order of importance and following the to-do list is an essential organizational skill for time management and productivity. Prioritizing tasks prevents important or time-sensitive tasks from slipping through the cracks. Many office tools are available to help you create in-depth to-do lists.
Allot reasonable time to complete tasks work on them in order of priority. Granted, you may need to reprioritize tasks from time to time. Your ability to recognize the need to quickly make and adapt to these changes without interfering with workflow will optimize productivity by decreasing your stress!.
3. Create the Right Work Environment
An orderly work environment is therapeutic and can help get your creative juices flowing. Ensure you have the right office furniture and equipment for comfort. You can invest in an ergonomic chair or office desk if you work from home.
Good ergonomics reduce physical stress and strain on your body. Poor workplace ergonomics is linked to musculoskeletal pain in employees, missed workdays, and loss of productivity.
You can also add cozy elements to your workspace, e.g., your favorite artwork, to enhance mood and workplace satisfaction.
4. Focus on One Task at a Time
Some people prefer to multitask as a strategy to accomplish all that needs to be done in a certain timeframe. But studies show it can decrease productivity and efficiency levels, particularly when working on complex tasks.
Switching focus back and forth from task to task is essentially an interruption or distraction. It splits your brain’s attention and interferes with cognitive functions, such as information processing and memory. And multitasking increases your chances of mistakes.
Consider using a task manager to help tackle one thing at a time if you have trouble sticking to one particular task.
5. Tackle Difficult Tasks First
The idea of a complex task can activate stress and anxiety. That may explain why people prefer to do the easy tasks first and work their way up to the more challenging ones. There’s no right or wrong way. The bottom line is getting them done efficiently and effectively.
But avoiding difficult tasks is a form of procrastination and can interfere with time management and productivity. Besides, shoving challenging projects aside doesn’t make them easier to perform later. Tackle them now and enjoy the gratification that comes with only having simple tasks remaining. You’ve decreased your stress by getting the stress out of the way first.
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6. Take Short Breaks
Focusing on completing a task can make you tense and anxious. Your blood pressure and heart rate also increase, especially when working on a complex or challenging assignment. Take a break to relax your mind and body and regroup.
Get up and move periodically. Movement counts as exercise and helps reduce stress on your body and musculoskeletal aches from sitting for long periods. If you work on a computer or other screen device, taking breaks helps to relieve stress on your eyes. Brain breaks also help you feel refreshed and more mentally prepared to tackle remaining work or studies.
Consider disconnecting from your phone or social media if it interferes with time management or leaves you feeling stressed and anxious. Browsing through social platforms during work is distracting and reduces the time you have to finish projects.
Your employer may have liberal policies that allow you to interact online during work hours. In some cases, it can serve as motivation. Other times, it leads to low productivity, particularly for employees who cannot properly manage time. Less time increases mental or physical stress and may result in poor performance.
8. Use Mindfulness
The mind is always filled with thoughts and worries even about things you have no control over. Ruminating and chronic worry are ingredients for stress and anxiety. One study concluded that being mindful enhances psychological well-being and productivity.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that allows you to focus on the here and now. You’re able to block out distractions and focus on the task before you. Another aspect of mindfulness is paying attention to your breathing. This can help relieve stress and increase concentration and performance in the workplace.