Studies show that in the United Kingdom alone, 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress in 2016/17. Being stressed at work and your productivity is tied hand in hand. If you are feeling overly stressed because of your work then this leads you to be less productive, trapping you in a vicious cycle. However, there are things you can do every day which can help you increase your productivity and in turn help decrease your stress levels. After all, we spend most of our lives at work, so it’s important to be happy during this time! Whether you’re very stressed at work or you’re finding it difficult to stay motivated at work, here are some ways to increase your productivity:
Have a (healthy!) breakfast - Getting up early to start your day with a hearty breakfast sets the day off to a good start! Put a stop to the sugary cereals and instead kick start your day with brain foods such as fruits, eggs and wholemeal toast. After all, breakfast is not called the most important meal of the day for nothing!
List your tasks and start with the most important— When you feel like you have a lot of tasks to do on a working day, it can begin to feel quite overwhelming. One way of solving this is to list all the tasks you have to complete and start with the most important. Only move onto the next task when you have completed the one before, this is because multitasking leads us to work on individual tasks slower and we end up making more mistakes. It’s all about prioritisation.
Take a break - Studies show that 90-minute working blocks followed by a 20-minute break is the best way to keep your mind focused and increase your productivity throughout the day. Use these 20-minute breaks to take a short walk around the office, talk to your coworkers and refuel your mind with a healthy snack.
Coffee break - Coffee is great when you are feeling like your productivity is low. Studies show that drinking black coffee can heighten your brain activity and boost your focus. If you visit the Payments & Cards Network will you find hundreds of cups of black coffee flying around, seriously I think we might have a problem…
Listening to music - Listening to your favourite music is one of my favourite ways to boost productivity. This is especially great if you’re carrying out particular mundane work and need a boost. Stick your earphones in and blast some upbeat music to liven up your work.
Meditation - If you feel like your stress levels are seriously affecting your mind as well as your work then starting to meditate is a proven way of reducing this stress. However, that’s not all, meditation has many more benefits. For example, it is also linked to creativity, new ideas and being able to prioritise effectively. A great app if you’re just getting started with meditation or if you’re well on your way is Headspace.