Work can quickly become stressful for anybody. You feel you are crowling under too many tasks, your manager is pushing to meet unrealistic deadlines and you feel the day doesn’t have enough hours to finish all your daily tasks. Don’t panic, this is totally normal and you are not the only one to feel this way!
First, you need to understand that business owners, managers and executives all want to get the most from their employees and will always try to put more on your plate. Not because they are bad people trying to make your life miserable, but because as long as you are accepting thoses tasks they will believe that you can manage them. They have themselves accountabilities and pressure from their own managers or simply by the necessity to make the business runs.
So here some simple tips to help you reduce your stress at work and boost your productivity:
- Learn to say no: People often say yes when they should say no. There are many reasons why we do this—like not wanting to disappoint someone. But saying yes to everything puts a huge strain on your time and productivity. Just remember this: Whenever you say “yes” to a request, you say “no” to something else in your life. So be fair with yourself and approach your manager in a respectful and professional way, explaining why you can’t do that. Always show that this will at the end impact the business itself and you are doing it for good reasons.
- Set your schedule for the next day: make a list of your top priorities that need to be completed by all means. This will help you focusing on those tasks even if you get interrupted during your day and will give you the satisfaction of crossing items off your “to do” list once you complete them.
- Take a five-to-10 minute break whenever you feel mentally fatigued: Walk a bit in the office or outside alone or with one colleague. Go grab a cup of tea, such as green tea or Earl Grey that has been proven to increase mental capability. Brief interludes from work can actually increase your productivity by getting your blood flowing and allowing you to return to your work with fresh eyes.
- Reduce your multi-tasking: Trying to accomplish more than a one task at a time might be tempting and you might think multi-tasking is the modern way of working, but the reality is that it can actually be more harmful than helpful. Studies have shown that people end up being more distracted and their productivity reduces. So focus on one task, finish it and move to the next one.
- Impose deadlines on yourself and stick to them: Deadlines will help you improve your productivity in forcing you to accomplish your tasks in a specific timeframe. Unconsciously you will force yourself to increase the pace and this will allow you to have a better understanding of the time require for each task.
- Avoid heavy lunches: Instead, snack on foods high in protein, fiber and antioxidants throughout the day. Granola and berries will keep you full and focused. Sugary foods and energy drinks keep you going only for a short time, and the inevitable “crash” may turn you into a zombie and ruin your ability to work for the rest of the day.
- Keep your workspace clear and clean: As the old saying goes, “A cluttered desk is a symptom of a cluttered mind.” The time you spend looking for misplaced papers each day is extra time you could be using to complete your work.