6 Ways to Reduce Stress and Increase Productivity

When thinking of new content for this week, I originally planned to write about ways to relieve stress in the workplace. In light of the sweeping coronavirus epidemic, more and more people are bringing their work home. While we may not be driving to work right now, you can still implement these six tips to reduce stress and stay productive during the workday.

Start your day off right

In my opinion, having a morning routine is key to having a productive day (see here). If you’re not a morning person, don’t worry. You don’t need an extensive routine. However, completing simple tasks, like making your bed, helps you both feel organized and gives a sense of accomplishment which will help as you complete other tasks throughout the day. During this time when we’re working from home, I’ve found it helpful to stick to my morning routine as much as possible. Making the bed, showering and putting on clothes (other than pajamas) have all helped me to feel more focused and less stressed throughout the day.

Get organized

When your space is cluttered, it can make a stressful situation at work seem even more stressful. That’s where getting organized comes into play. After clocking in each morning, I write out a list of tasks that I plan to complete throughout the day. I also make sure that my work station is tidy. When your space is clean and you have your tasks laid out, it is easier to stay relaxed and productive. You can do this same thing if you’re working from home. Whether it’s your kitchen table or makeshift living room desk, keep your area clean, organized and keep a list nearby of the things you’re working on each day.

Avoid multitasking

Multitasking can be both daunting and stressful. One easy way to stay on track is to try The Pomodoro Technique (see this article by Two Peas in a Prada). In short, you set a timer for 25 minutes and complete the task at hand before the timer goes off. This technique REALLY WORKS…give it a try!

Get fresh air

Athletic shoes are a staple item in my office. Whenever I’m feeling stressed out or simply need a break from sitting at a desk, I throw on my running shoes and take a quick 15-minute walk outside. Studies show that taking a walk outdoors can both increase productivity and help reduce levels of stress. If you’re like me, you may be going stir-crazy working from home. Being cooped up inside all day makes it hard to focus. To stay on track with work tasks on hand, throw on some shoes and take a couple laps around your block. The fresh air and physical activity will help you regain focus and productivity when you head back to your computer.  

Keep perfectionism in check

These new changes in our normal routines can create an added layer of stress to what can seem like already stressful jobs. Don’t let perfectionism get the best of you. Throughout the day, things will happen that are out of our control. Whether you’re at home or in the office, take a deep breath and refocus next time things don’t go quite according to plan.

Listen to music on the drive home

How the day ends, is just as important as how it begins. Music acts as a distraction and helps our brains to relax. Next time you’re driving home from work, turn on the radio and let your mind unwind. While many of us are working from home, it can be difficult to differentiate the difference between the end of the work day and the start of our evening off. After you clock out for the day, grab your headphones and listen to music or a podcast as you walk around the block a few times.

Work can be stressful, whether you’re in the office or working from home. However, stress doesn’t have to get the best of you! Try these techniques next time you’re feeling stressed out. Better yet, implement some of them ahead to time to beat a stressful situation to the punch. What things do you do to help reduce stress at work? Write down your tips in the comments below!

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