Alright, so the title of this article might be a little misleading. We can't guarantee you a 100% stress-free workday EVERY day (we certainly wish we could!). Deadlines approach quickly, disagreements happen, and that's all just a part of life. What we can offer you are some actionable tips and tricks to minimize your stress levels throughout your work day and manage any stressful situations in the best way possible!
Here are seven tips for creating a stress-free workday!
1) Start your day off right
Your morning routine is what sets the tone for the rest of your day. Waking up a bit earlier than usual might be tough at first, but it will give you time to enjoy your morning before work. Rushing to get to work will start your day off on a stressful vibe which will carry over into your workday.
Eating a healthy breakfast is essential to provide you energy throughout your day. Skip the bacon and waffles and try one of these ideas (add link).
Early morning meditation is also a great way to clear your mind before you start your day. You don't need a half-hour zen session either - just 5 to 10 minutes will make a huge difference!
On your way to work, try listening to a motivational podcast to get your head in the right place. There's an endless amount of podcasts out there, and it shouldn't be too difficult to find one that inspires you.
2) Attack your most difficult task early in the day
What's the one thing on your task list that you're dreading/pushing off? Whatever it may be, you should attack that project early during your workday. Studies show our ability to focus is strongest during the morning, and slowly decreases as the afternoon rolls on.
Completing your toughest projects early in the day will give you a massive sense of accomplishment and relief. The rest of your day will be much more enjoyable without that dreaded task lingering over you.
"Eat that Frog!" by Brian Tracy is an excellent book that talks about this exact topic. You don't actually need to eat a frog by the way (whew!). The frog represents your most difficult task.
The saying goes: if you eat a live frog first thing each morning, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that it's probably the worst thing you'll do all day. Apply this to your to-do list!
3) Focus on one thing at a time
Some people claim to be great at multitasking, and maybe they are! But when it comes to being productive at work, it's much better to focus on one thing at a time.
That way you can focus all of your energy on the task at hand without worrying about a dozen other things. Having one browser tab is MUCH less stressful than 20.
4) Get up and take a walk every once in a while
Everybody gets writer's block or stuck on a project from time to time. Taking a quick walk to get a drink or to say hi to someone at the office will let your brain recharge before attacking your work again. Our brains aren't meant to function at 100% capacity for hours on end (and if yours is, we're incredibly jealous).
5) Listen to music while working
Listening to music is a great way to brighten up your workday and keep things interesting. Music is especially great for mundane (but necessary tasks) or creative activities (writing, graphic design, photo editing, etc.).
Chill instrumental music is excellent at work because there aren't words to distract from writing or thinking. If you've never heard of Tycho or FKJ, check them out some time. You'll thank us later :)
6) Make your lunch break count
Think of your lunch break as an opportunity to replenish whatever it is you've been neglecting yourself of during your day.
Have you been sitting at your desk all day? Get some exercise! Have you been socially isolated all day? Ask someone to go to lunch with you! Have you been surrounded by people yelling at you all day long? Take some quiet time to yourself to meditate and relax.
Whatever you decide to do, try to take some time away from what's going on at work so your brain can refresh itself by the time you get back.
7) Talk through disagreements with co-workers
Every person at every job in every city simply isn't going to agree on everything that goes on in the workplace. Disagreements are bound to happen, but that doesn't mean they need to escalate to major conflicts that create a tense workplace.
If you have a disagreement at work, it's typically better to talk to that person about it than let tension build up over time. Just make sure to be respectful when handling issues and try to see things from your coworkers' point of view as well.
We just dislike passive aggression and would rather be open with each other, so there's no confusion on people's feelings/opinions.
Stress is almost impossible to avoid at work, but you can certainly minimize the effects it has on the quality of your life. Hopefully, you can take something from this guide and use it to brighten up your work day!
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