As many jobs and general workplace culture becomes more and more demanding, it’s no surprise that reported levels of anxiety and stress are on the increase. While this is completely natural every once-in-a-while, prolonged and sustained levels of stress and anxiety will actually kill your productivity at work and often leads to bad habits forming. So, what can you do about it? Follow our top 5 tips for combating productivity-killing stress right now.
- Set limits on your overtime
While you obviously can’t avoid it altogether, a workplace culture that encourages staff to work regular overtime can actually be counter-productive. Although you might feel that you are leaving work ‘early’ and that co-workers might judge you, make an effort to be out of the office at your scheduled finish time. To get into the habit, try making plans that will be difficult to cancel, that way you’ll have to leave at a set time and won’t be tempted to stay at your desk.
- Take breaks
Always make sure you take breaks throughout the day, that way you will allow time for your mind to reset rather than simply ploughing forward and making yourself even more stressed and exhausted. Rather than sitting at your desk and browsing the internet or your smartphone, go out of the office if you can and take a walk around the block – a change of scenery will help refresh and energize you.
- Don’t rush
The natural reaction to your stress levels may be a need to rush to get everything out of the way so you can clear your to-do list as fast possible. However, this can often result in poor decision making and an inaccurate standard of work which is likely to cause you more stress in the long run. Take the time to list out your tasks, assign a level of priority, and then work through them methodically. If your boss, a client, or a co-worker asks you to do something else, be honest and realistic about the timeline so you don’t set yourself up to fail by overcommitting and then rushing through the task.
- Help create a calm office culture
Studies have shown that individuals who run around the office jumping from one task to another and constantly listing out demands can have a significant impact on the stress levels of their co-workers. If you think this is an issue that is adversely affecting yourself and others in your workplace, talk to your boss and suggest some training for the whole team on handling stressful or demanding situations. You could also ask your boss to look at seating arrangements, as this can be the downside to large open-plan offices where any stressful situation is amplified amongst co-workers instantly.
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