It is scientifically proven that if you are stressed, distressed or depressed your productivity and creativity decreases and can even stop.
We all have those times when our workload outstrips our resources, when this happens our stress levels rise and our productivity grinds to a halt. Despite this we feel we have no choice but to carry on.
This results in a drop in productivity, an increase in risk to your organisation (you are more likely to make a mistake) and you pay the price in physical and mental exhaustion.
The human body is amazing and can deal with high levels of physical and mental stress, so you can get away with this lifestyle for a while. However we are not super human and eventually we will reach our capacity.
Nobody chooses to put themselves or their organisation at risk.
Working long hours and not taking breaks should not be worn as a badge of honour, they should be considered as reckless.
Here are some ideas for reducing your stress levels and increasing your productivity:
- Get enough sleep before you go to work (on average most people need about 8 hours but you know how much you need to feel refreshed)
- Have a nutritious breakfast
- Plan your day (to the best of your ability, plan for what you know will happen and leave flexibility for the unexpected)
- Make sure you plan breaks (make sure you take them)
- Make sure your breaks are not used to do paperwork (make them sociable and involve eating and drinking)
- Ask for help if you need it
- If you are overwhelmed, stop, take stock, gather the information you need and prioritise your plans
- When you are thirsty drink water
- Eat when you are hungry
- Review your list and tick off what you have achieved
- At the end of your working day go home (you should not be working for more than 12 hours)
- When you are at home talk about your day, but don’t do any work. (keep away from emails and laptops, it can wait until you are at work)
- By all means have a drink of alcohol but don’t over do it and don’t rely on it.
- Make time in your day for 20-30 minutes of exercise even if it is a brisk walk to the sandwich shop at lunchtime.
Remember you are the most precious person in your life, how can you look after the ones you love if you haven’t looked after yourself.