There are things in your job that you can control and others you can’t (we’ll get to those next time!). Planning and organising is definitely something you can take control of.
Do you have a plan for planning?
We have a lot of digital tools available these days, but a calendar and pen and paper is where it all starts.
First thing on a Monday morning, plan out your week.
See what’s coming up.
Do a time audit, track each of your tasks for one week through X app and see where you are losing time. Studies show that the biggest distraction we have in work is email and if you are in the middle of a task and you switch to an email it will take 30 minutes to get your focus back on the task you were working on (could you have your email off during tasks?)
Set aside time for focused work for bigger tasks (if you get distracted at your desk maybe book a meeting room to get some focused time). Set a time limit for tasks to help you stay focused
And remember you can say yes or no…. Saying no… saying yes, but setting the expectations for the delivery… people will respect you more for being honest if the alternative is saying yes to everything and not delivering anything on time (I have been that soldier)
Make a To-Do list and prioritise it each day, always doing your least favourite task first to get it over with……failing to plan is planning to fail
Observe your habits for the week, if you find that you are your most productive in the morning but you go to the office later maybe switch it up to come in earlier and leave earlier. For me, I am most productive in the afternoon so I go into work a little later usually around 9:45am and then stay on later in the evening
Five simple habits to manage workplace stress
10 days of support to help you escape the cycles of stress at work
Reclaim a calm moment in your day
We are living in a fast paced world where it is a badge of honour to say your are “Super Busy”. Burnout and overwhelm are part of our daily vocabulary (they shouldn’t be!!!) When you’re regularly feeling overwhelmed by a heavy workload, or having to deal with difficult relationships within your team every single day … stress will build and build until you reach the edge of burnout. You need to find a way to be calm, confident and productive at work. Your job should never come before your wellbeing. Here’s a quick exercise that you can fit in even if your day is jam-packed!
Don't accept stress as “normal
Do a body scan at your desk when you feel overwhelmed. Take 60 seconds a day to do your body scan, check in with yourself without distraction so that you perform better, even when the pressure is on.
The 60-second Body Scan
Have you ever sat at your desk and see that you have 5 meetings booked in and 100+ unread emails along with actions from the meetings the previous day and end up paralysed with stress wondering how you will cope without having to work 24/7?
In that moment a Body Scan is the best gift you can give yourself to ease the feeling of overwhelm and get yourself feeling more at ease to tackle what you have on your plate and the best thing is that it only takes 60 seconds and this is how you can achieve it.
How to do the 60-second body scan
You can do your body scan as you read along with the instructions below:
- Sitting at your desk ensure that both of your feet are planted onto the ground with your hands in your lap.
- Close your eyes if that is comfortable but if not just focus on a point near you and keep your gaze planted.
- Start by taking a deep breath, hold for 4 seconds and then exhale, notice your feet and how they feel.
- Take another breath, hold for 4 seconds and then exhale, move your attention to your knees and how they feel
- Take another breath, hold it again and exhale moving your attention to your hips and how they feel
- Take another breath, hold it again and exhale moving your attention to your stomach and how it feels
- Take another breath, hold it again and exhale moving your attention to your back and how it feels
- Take another breath, hold it again and exhale moving your attention to your shoulders and how they feel
- Take another breath, hold it again and exhale moving your attention to your neck and how it feels
- Take your last deep breath, hold for 4 seconds and moving your attention to your head and how it feels, if you have the time stay focused on your head for two rounds of breaths
All the time during this exercise you are scanning your body to check in on how each part of you is feeling. If you are feeling stressed you may notice
Did you notice…
- that your stomach feels a little sick or
- that your shoulders are up around your ears and you had not noticed
- that your head is feeling a bit tight which could be that your blood pressure is raised while you are feeling under pressure
If you felt one or all of these it’s possible that stress is affecting your ability to focus. When your productivity is being affected by stress consider:
- Do you need to attend all of the meetings you have sceduled?
- Can you talk to your manager about your workload
- How you can delgate your tasks.
This very simple and quick exercise is the best form of self-care you can perform at work and afterward, you will feel better equipped to handle your day.