When you are really overwhelmed at work, you may think you need to take drastic measures to feel less stressed again. Don’t start looking for a new job yet! Here are 3 things you can start doing today to make your workday less stressful.
1. Meditate. Yes, I know what you're thinking. Meditation is for hippie, spiritual people and I definitely don’t have time for that. Keep an open mind just for a minute. What do you normally do when you get to work? Get coffee, surf on Facebook, read the news, check email, get stressed. On Monday morning, instead of checking Facebook and reading the news, meditate for 10 minutes. Try it for a few days and see how you feel.
According to a study by the University of Washington Seattle, HR workers had more focus and a more positive attitude toward work at the end of an 8-week mindfulness meditation course compared to learning relaxation techniques alone.
Meditation helps people to reduce stress, increase focus, and have a greater sense of purpose. Harvard completed a study proving that meditation rebuilds the brain’s gray matter in only 8 weeks. In a world filled with noise, meditation allows the mind to recharge and grow.
Headspace and Calm are two great apps for beginners to get started. Headspace offers a free 10 day trial with a program called Take 10. You can learn how to meditate for only 10 minutes each day, which is perfect for busy professionals. Calm offers a free 7 day program called 7 Days of Calm where you learn the basics of mindfulness meditation. Both apps are great for beginners and a perfect way to try out meditation.
2. Don’t check email (or your phone) all day. How do you get work done when this happens every 10 minutes? Your email alert pops up 5 times, your husband texts you about the dog, your phone alerts you that it's your turn for Words with Friends, and your best friend posted a really cute cat video on Facebook. Stop the distractions! Start small by allowing 2 hours of your day to be completely free of distractions. Choose a task that you really want to get done and pick a time of day that you are most productive. Shut your office door, put your phone in the drawer, and put up your out of office email. Not sure what to say? Click here to grab these 3 email templates for a perfect out of office message. Write "Out of Office Email Templates" in the subject line.
3. Create blocks of time. You may try to create blocks of time now but continue to get interrupted. Take the reducing distractions a step further by making sure your colleagues respect your efforts. Add the 2 hours of do not disturb time to your calendar and tell your colleagues about your goal to increase your efficiency. By having you and your colleagues respect your time, you will get more things done. Have your staff utilize your calendar to schedule meetings or have open office hours along with your do not disturb hours. When you are more intentional and respectful of your own time, you will feel more accomplished and less stressed.
What are you going to try this week to have a less stressful workday?