Anyone struggling with anxiety or stress will often find themselves feeling overwhelmed at the end of a long day. It’s not uncommon for us to undermine those feelings and carry on as we are, but it’s important that we make time for ourselves. Here are some tips to help increase calm and well-being in your working week…
Plan your day – That means being organised before the day has even started. Make yourself lunch, prep breakfast, pack your bag, even layout your outfit for the next day. These tasks may seem minimal, but when put together, easily add an extra half an hour to your morning routine. Tackling tasks the night before allow you to start the day with a clear head. One of my favourite productivity tips is to write my to-do list the night before, which I find saves me valuable time in the morning.
Get up earlier –There is something to be said for the correlation between being an early riser and being successful. Could their success be down to the strong mindset they possess, choosing to get up and work out over and extra half hour in bed? Maybe it’s because they allow themselves quiet and space to focus before waking up the whole house, or just simply giving themselves those few extra hours each day. Try it and see if it makes a difference to your productivity.
Meditation – Practicing mindfulness and getting in touch with your inner ninja is proven to reduce stress and increase creativity and focus. Taking 10 minutes each morning to meditate will help you to block out the distractions we encounter each day in work and outside of it. Try using apps such as Headspace or Buddhify and block out some time each day to breathe. I find mornings are best for me.
Utilise your commute time – Whether you get to work by train, bus, car or foot, your journey doesn’t have to be spent in silence, or glued to your phone. Instead, why not tune into that podcast you never got round to listening to, start a new book, or just enjoy the view.
Take a break – As our sign at TPHQ reads: ‘Rest and recovery are not optional. Take a break people!’ On your lunch break, get away from your desk, get outside and leave your phone behind – your eyes need a break as well as your brain! Having a rest helps to relieve us of stress and can actually increase productivity. Whenever I have time booked off, for some reason, I find myself more focused the week before and determined to tick off that to do list. So try it, your body will thank you later!
Be a ruthless ninja – say no and do less. It doesn’t sound like great advice to increase productivity, but it really will. Decide what your priorities are and anything else can wait. Our time is valuable and sometimes saying no means you’re going to accomplish a lot more in the end and you are far more likely to reach your goals if you define your priorities from the start.
Block out chunks of time for email – we all get emails and plenty of them, but to keep productivity at a maximum, we need to tackle them without inviting too much distraction. By setting yourself specific times to check your inbox, you can sort and reply in batches, without having to constantly check-in. I find 15 minute slots once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once before I leave for work keep me productive.
Engage your creativity –No good idea is formed without inspiration of some form, which is why it’s vital that we take time to fill our minds with new thoughts and experiences. If you’re constantly at work, chances are you’re going to have too much other stuff buzzing around up there to allow yourself to be inspired. Go outside, explore and do what you love.
Tidy space equals tidy mind – I’m a clean freak so any kind of mess sends my brain into frenzy, which is why I insist on leaving a tidy desk before leaving work. Coming into a clean space the next day saves me the stress and effort of rummaging through a stack of papers to get to my to-do list. And it’s the same with my house. If you find yourself tripping over shoes when you walk through the front door, unable to find your keys amongst junk in the messy drawer, or stressed by too much paperwork, check out our ‘Get Organised’ board on Pinterest for inspiration.
By Emma Gibbins