In the 21st century it seems 90% of the first world countries are battling with constant stress and constant workloads. Most people are overloaded but not getting much done, either because they are tired and fatigued, or simply fed up. I have seen the result of this, and it isn’t very nice. I don’t believe in statements such as ‘I don’t have enough time to plan’ or ‘I do it as it comes’.
Here are some of my top recommendations to beat stress and boost productivity!
1) Start Waking Up An Hour Earlier
If you want to get on top of your work, and your life, it is imperative to make the most of the day you are given. There is a reason the sun rises so early, it’s because you are meant to rise with it. Yes, it is hard, and an extreme sport for some people. Just the thought of getting up 10 minutes earlier is painful, especially for the limus pigris of us. But in doing so you benefit from tons more than just extra planning time. It makes you feel great, boosts energy believe it or not, and gives you no excuse to miss breakfast! If you rise at 8 usually, then start getting up at 7, have your planner filled and your checklist set, do any emails, eat breakfast or even workout! It’s also a good opportunity to spend time with children or family, depending on if they are awake…
2) Get More Exercise
Exercise is a most crucial thing to human health. Walking, running and swimming are the most beneficial forms, offering the strongest boost to metabolism. It benefits every organ and system within, especially the cardiovascular system. It doesn’t take much, maybe 10 to 20 minutes a day, and you can add a few more years to your life. What’s more, is running at a moderate intensity for just 10 minutes boosts endorphin production, the chemical responsible for making us feel good. So naturally, by getting more exercise, we become more productive. It’s most likely due to the fact work is depressing, and the exercise combats this better than medication can. It also ties into the first, if you get up an hour earlier you can fit in the morning walk or run.
3) Learn To Plan An Entire Week
You have a day planner, which lasts the year, but don’t use it. Well, why get it then? The entire purpose of the thing is so you can plan everything out in the entire week, month and year! Students usually have one, but most probably seldom use theirs. When you go to bed on Sunday, get the planner and write the entire weeks appointments out, don’t leave it till Monday or whenever you see fit. By doing so, you can also plan your free leisure time, your family time, and more importantly the work time you need. It greatly improves time managements as well. One day you could be working 10 hours, then have a free night with no work. Whereas another might be 8 hours working and 2 hours working at home. Having these in a planner makes it so much easier and you don’t go around asking yourself whether you have time to do this and that, and you don’t worry about ‘what I am doing tomorrow?’ Don’t forget the unexpected problems that most people have, such as deadlines being moved forward and covering for sick work colleagues.
4) Cut Out Television
This is ambitious and undeniably difficult for absolutely everyone in the developed world. It’s hard to cut something out which you are used to watching around 4 hours a day, or 5 hours, or more. It’s almost an addiction. The reality is that there is nothing productive about the box, even documentaries and so-called educational shows are just mind garbage. In order to really feel free and lighthearted and able to work harder than ever, you must either a) cut the television out entirely, or b) cut down considerably. You might want to limit the time to 10 minutes in the morning of watching the news before heading off to work, or limit it to 1 show a night. Whatever you choose, know that your mental health will improve immediately because you aren’t masking your emotions by living in a fake reality most of the time. All the time spent watching TV could be spent with family, friends, and doing the work you are probably behind on.
5) Socialize more
It’s a good feeling to spend time with friends and family, but often underrated when it comes to being more productive. You need to socialize in order to maintain a sense of well being, and also to gossip and debate and sometimes just to talk drizzle. It helps to wind down from stress, and that is the most important element of this point; by reducing stress we automatically become more productive and happy. You might struggle if you have children or other hard hitting commitments, but if not then there is no real reason to not socialize! Go out after work with colleagues and spend time watching some football, eat a meal or play golf! Best times would be after work and weekends of course, but don’t limit it to a Friday or Saturday, be the guy or girl in the office who likes to head out midweek to the opera or concert and take someone with you!
So, there you go. Try incorporating these 5 awesome tips into your life and hopefully you can reap the benefits yourself. If you have any suggestions please feel free to comment!