5 ways to reduce stress and increase your productivity
In the UK, over 12.5 million working days are lost every year due to stress.
We experience stress when we believe that we don’t have the time, resources or knowledge to handle a situation – when we feel ‘out of control’.
As a business owner or member of a team, it can feel like there are not enough hours in the day. At times, you may feel overwhelmed by your workload and how best to manage it, which can lead to feelings of stress.
However, it is possible to manage stress and work more happily, healthily and productively.
Here are 5 practical things you can do to reduce stress and increase your productivity:
1.Use a task manager app
A task manager app acts as a ‘second brain’ – a place to capture our ideas, reminders, deadline dates, tasks and to-dos.
This second brain helps to free up space in our brain for other things, which prevent us from feeling overwhelmed.
A task manager app such as Todoist sycs with all devices so it’s with you wherever you are.
Top tip: Order your tasks in chronological order or by priority.
2. Prioritise your time and tasks
A heavy workload and limited time to complete it can contribute to feelings of stress.
Write out all your tasks in a to-do list/task manager app and then re-order them by importance.
Break large projects into smaller chunks or sub-tasks to make them more manageable.
Identify what’s really important today and what can wait until tomorrow or next week.
Top tip: Use your peak working times for your most important tasks.
3. Carry out a weekly review
Time to reflect and review at the end of the week creates an opportunity to reward yourself for what you have achieved and a clear idea about what is due next. This will help you to feel more in control of your workload.
Here are some questions to help:
- What progress have I made?
- What setbacks have I encountered?
- What do I need to change or do next?
- ‘What are the highest priority items that need my attention tomorrow/next week?’
- What am I grateful for?
Top tip: Create a ‘Ta-dah list’ to celebrate your milestones and successes!
4. Take regular breaks
Breaks help to:
- Restore focus and motivation
- Consolidate memory and learning
- Boost creativity and productivity
- Reduce stress
Top tip: Build a combination of micro-breaks, moving breaks, nature breaks and social breaks into each day.
5. Create me time
This is time that is just yours, to do what you want with; whether that’s being in nature, meeting friends, reading a book, or listening to music. This is important to create distance away from work and recharge your batteries.
Me time can also be in the work environment where you set boundaries for when you are available and when you are not available, giving yourself time to focus on deep work without interruptions and distractions.
Top tip: Put a notice on your door or on your computer screen to let your team members or people at home know you’re not available at this time and turn off email and social media notifications.
It can be difficult to overcome feelings of stress, but using a task manager app, prioritising your time and tasks, carrying out a weekly review, taking regular breaks and creating me time will help to reduce stress, feel a greater sense of control over your workload and increase your productivity.
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