Many of us dream about a possibility of not having to work as hard as we do or being able to be free from the constant stress at work. Unless you have invented a product that has made you a millionaire or you have recently won the lottery, chances are you are needing to work a full day job like the rest of us.
Having said that, the workplace does not have to be a place of stress, worry and anxiety! There are proven methods and ways to decrease stress levels at work and to actually have a bit of fun!
It is possible and we are going to explore 7 of these helpful tips in this article.
Number 1 – Take a Deep Breath.
In a typical day, you spend 28,800 seconds at the office. That’s 480 minutes. Assuming you work the typical 8 hour day at the office, you have 28,800 seconds to get all your work done, stay on top of new projects and meetings, run errands, respond to emails, make phone calls, attend meetings, make sales, return customer calls, create new designs, make bookings and and and…. Stop. Take a breath.
If you took 10 seconds out of your 28,800 second day to stop what you are doing and take a deep breath, you may just find yourself focusing a lot more relaxed, calm and focused on the task at hand as well as being more efficient.
A recent study shows that by simply inhaling for five seconds, holding and exhaling in equal counts through the nose is similar to getting the calm and focus of a 90-minute yoga class in three minutes or less at your desk. That is an easy task with big results and definitely worth a try!
Number 2 – Eliminate Interruptions
If we are honest with ourselves, most of us are constantly bombarded throughout the day. This may be in the form of messages, emails, telephone calls, walk ins, texts, social media, that one irritating co-worker, last minute enquiries or those pressing deadlines. These all conspire to make todays employees more distracted than ever.
Now, you may not have control over the interruption itself but you are in control of how you handle it.
There are three ways you could handle these interruptions and choose how to react:
- Accept the interruption
- Cut it off
- Diagnose its importance and make a plan
As simple as these steps may sound, it is not easy to do in a stressful situation. It may be very helpful to have a ‘standardised’ response in order to acknowledge the situation and stay focused.
It is also very important to set standards or train those around you by answering email during certain time frames, setting up office hours to talk in person even closing the door when you need to focus.
There can be nothing wrong with escaping to a small office on your own in order to concentrate and get the job done.
Number 3 – Plan your day & schedule to be energized and focused
Many people go through the day using a “push, push, push” approach, thinking if we work the full eight to 10 hours, we’ll get more done. This is approach can be seen as working hard and not smart but in actual fact it has to be the perfect balance of both.
The ‘push, push, push’ headspace creates less productivity, stress levels that go up and you may find that you have very little energy left after work for your friends, family or social life.
It is advised to schedule breaks throughout the day to walk, stretch at your desk or do a breathing exercise. Tony Schwartz of the Energy Project conducted a study that has shown that if we have intense concentration for about 90 minutes, followed by a brief period of recovery, we can clear the build-up of stress and rejuvenate ourselves.
Neil Patel, a hugely successful entrepreneur and content marketer shared in an article that for him to write the amount of content he does and to ensure that it is of the quality standards that his audience has come to expect, he needs to completely block out all the noise and focus on the silence around him which helps him to concentrate.
Some people on the other hand may find escaping into their headphones a place of solace, peace and a place to be lost in their favourite music to truly focus on the tasks at hand.