When we’re too stressed, performance and productivity suffers in our professional lives. On the flip side, we need challenging and rewarding tasks to keep us motivated. It’s often hard to distinguish the boundaries between the two. Harvard Business Review explains, “Increasing stress may feel counterintuitive, but remember that, according to the research, increasing arousal also corresponds to increasing attention and interest (up to a point).”
You might notice yourself feeling increasingly stressed and overwhelmed throughout your work day. If you’re at that tipping point, it’s time to do something about it. Here’s a few simple hacks to get started today.
It’s no secret productivity and stress are related, and you’ve likely already noticed the ebbs and flows of both at some point in your career. So, what can you do to refine your productivity?
First, evaluate yourself and think about these questions:
- What time of day do you feel most productive?
- Do notifications distract you?
- Do you take breaks from what you’re working on?
- Do you get enough sleep?
All of these things (and more) can impact your productivity and it’s important to work through them. For example, taking frequent breaks – even to have some fun– throughout the day is extremely important. This recent survey about the lives of gamers shows that the study participants believe gaming fosters productivity, with 54 percent of respondents playing online games at work. You have to start somewhere and just remember, progress is progress!
Prioritize Health & Wellness
Believe it or not, your overall health and wellness can severely impact your professional life. Many people think this is solely exercise but it also can include sitting all day long, not taking enough breaks, not nourishing your body with foods that will fuel your mind and even staying employed in an environment that is weighing on your happiness. All of these factors can contribute to a stressful professional life. Organizations are now understanding the impact health and wellness can have on their employees and many are working toward or have already implemented robust wellness programs.
A few actionable tips to start with include:
- Keep a water bottle nearby or on your desk and refill it often;
- Take breaks from sitting to either stand or walk around the office/building;
- Get fresh air when possible;
- Be sure to eat healthy meals that fuel you.
Track Your Goals & Objectives
Many times stress can happen when you are unorganized and don’t have a clear plan in place. One of the best things you can do to stay on track is to set clear objectives and goals (or even micro goals) for yourself throughout the year. We’re not talking about New Years resolutions that are forgotten by February, but rather a plan that you set in motion and keep referring back to all year long. Keep these in front of you where you’ll see them weekly if not daily.
Pro Tip: At the beginning of each month – write down what your professional objective is that month. Even if it’s something small such as, deliver three prospects. Then, set micro goals for yourself on how to achieve it. Maybe it’s ‘spend less time on social media’ or ‘actively pursue a new lead generation tactic’. Whatever the case, if you can keep referring back to what you’ve set in motion, you will feel more prepared and less stressed.
Seek a Mentor
Having a mentor can have a huge impact, not only on your professional life, but on your personal life as well. If you’re feeling stressed in your career, someone who’s been there and done what you’re doing will be able to offer you advice your coworkers or partner/family just simply cannot. Not because they aren’t invested or don’t care – but because they have not been there.
Maybe you’re launching a new project and are struggling to endure the process or maybe you are just feeling stuck in an organization that won’t recognize your talents. Having a mentor can do wonders for your career and help you manage when stressful situations arise.
At the end of the day, stress is something every person deals with in life and it’s how you learn to manage it that can make all the difference.