While stress is inevitable in the business world, it can have a negative effect on productivity. As a result, it is important to learn how to reduce your stress levels, increase your productivity, and stay focused and clear-headed throughout the workday. Read on to learn how.
Break up the day
A recent Baylor University study found that taking short, frequent breaks during the workday leads to more energy and motivation, less aches and pains, higher job satisfaction and reduced emotional exhaustion.
One example of how you could break up your day is to take two to three 15 minute breaks a day. Those breaks could be at any time. If you’re like so many professionals and get so caught up in work that you forget to take a break, set a timer to remind yourself.
Just be sure to keep yourself mentally strong by taking frequent breaks throughout the day.
Focus on productivity
Focus on your most important tasks in the morning. Not only are you fresh and energetic in the morning but feeling accomplished first thing in the day will give you the necessary momentum to move through the day.
If you have issues with productivity, there are apps available that actually help improve productivity by scheduling work batches and break batches. During these work batches, all distractions are blocked. You won’t receive emails, won’t have access to social media and can even set up it up so that no one can call you.
Write it down
Some people feel overwhelmed with a to-do list, but these lists can help you effectively set goals and direct your focus on what needs to be accomplished within a specific time frame.
Studies show that as we age, our short-term memory begins to deteriorate. And because cognitive decline and memory lapses are a normal effect of aging, lists can help us keep track of our necessary tasks and goals.
Some computers have builtin notepads where you can write down your tasks and have those tasks displayed on your desktop, so you always see them. There are even tasks app available. Or, you can go the old fashioned route and simply use pen and paper. It’s been proven that writing things down makes them easier to remember.
Enhance your environment
Being organized translates into better interactions with others. Instead of wasting valuable time searching for information—and becoming flustered—strong organization skills will improve your day-to-day environment. So, removing clutter can help improve focus and attention in your environment.
Additionally, a study back in 2012 focused on the effects of hospital paint colors found that the color “white” made people feel intimidated and unwelcome.
What does this mean? It means that colors can have a either a positive or negative impact on a person’s mood, which can greatly reduce or improve productivity.
So, one way to enhance your environment might mean giving it a paint job. Consider these colors:
Blue: Mind– The color blue stimulates the mind, leading to more productivity. The hues of the blue color palette are ideal for staying focused in repetitive industries. Accounting offices often use blue paint colors to increase productivity and keep their employees focused.
Red: Body– Red evokes a sense of urgency. This is great for physical jobs like construction as it will stimulate their energy levels.
Yellow: Emotion– Yellow taps into our emotions, making it a great color creative industries because it often evokes feelings of happiness and can brighten spirits.
Green: Balance– Green is often associated with money (which isn’t too far off) but it’s mainly about balance, calmness, and reassurance. So if you work in the financial industry, green is a good choice.
Keep out the distractions
It is common to frequently receive emails throughout the day. But stopping to answer these emails during the day can be a continuous distraction that interrupts your thoughts. Instead, schedule a block of time to read/reply to email and stick to this allotted time frame. In addition to email, social media alerts can hinder your focus. So be sure to turn off these alerts and save them for after work hours.
As mentioned above, there are apps available that are designed to reduce distractions if you lack the self-control or motivation to block those things yourself.
Nobody likes to feel as if time is being wasted. As a result, it is important to hold meetings that take into consideration people’s schedules. Always create an agenda to organize your meetings and ensure important points are covered. Stick to this agenda and do not lose track of time. Be sure to leave time at the end of the meeting for questions and follow up.
Learning to manage your stress and improve productivity can be the differentiator between success and failure in the business world. The key is understanding exactly what causes your stress and productivity impediments—and making positive changes immediately.