How To Manage Stress and Be Efficient at Work
Turn off those computers and phones, everyone. More people than ever are working more hours, more often. This extra work load can take a toll on our mental health, fitness level and wellbeing. The number of people working more than 48 hours a week has risen 15% in the past five years. People who spend such long hours at their desks are more prone to developing heart disease, stress, diabetes and mental illness. The following are some ways you can work more efficiently so you can leave the office earlier and spend more time doing the things that are healthy for you, like going to the gym.
This is especially effective for those of you who get overwhelmed by the amount of work in front of you or procrastinate. Set a timer for 25 minutes and stay on one task the entire time. When time is up, take a five-minute break, then do another 25 minutes. After four work periods, take a break of 15-30 minutes. Repeat this throughout the day.
Exercise is Essential
When we think about the benefits of exercise, we tend to focus on the physical reasons. Low blood pressure, a healthy heart, an attractive body. But over the past 10 years, social scientists have quietly gathered compelling evidence suggesting that there is another, more immediate benefit of regular exercise: its impact on the way we think.
Studies show that our thinking and mental firepower is directly linked to our physical fitness activities. And nowhere are the benefits more noticeable than to our performance at work. Consider the following cognitive benefits, all of which you can expect as a result of adding regular exercise into your routine:
- Improved concentration
- Sharper memory
- Faster learning
- Prolonged mental stamina
- Enhanced creativity
- Lower stress
Many people think that this is the best way to get more things done at once, but multi-tasking actually slows down overall efficiency. Don’t juggle multiple projects. Our brains work best when we concentrate on one thing at a time. Constantly switching our attention back and forth wastes time.
Check Things off Your List
Prioritize your to-do list and chip away and the most critical tasks. Break down the bigger tasks into smaller steps so that they can be checked off your list. This will give you a sense of achievement and keep you motivated. If you tackle a big project and can’t visualize the progress, it could lead to the release of stress hormones and adrenaline. This would have a negative impact on your progress, as it would cause feelings of anxiety, pressure and fear of not completing the task in a timely manner.
Set Early Deadlines
Break down larger projects into smaller chunks. Give yourself an earlier deadline than needed and chip away at each chunk. Research has shown work always expands to fill the time available to do it. So, setting yourself early deadlines and breaking down the job can increase focus and motivation. Don’t forget to take those short breaks throughout, as mentioned above. Get up and walk around. This physical activity will help you get through the next work period more efficiently.
Regardless of how you go about adding these into your routine, reframing them as part of your job makes it a lot easier. Remember, you’re not abandoning work when you use these tactics. Its the opposite: You’re ensuring that you get the most out of the hours you put in.