10 Ways to Boost Productivity Without Increasing Stress
Let’s be honest, we all want to achieve more, do more and get more done faster, all while being on top of our game and always ready to take on anything. However, getting to that level of efficient productivity, while being consistently proactive, without increasing our stress levels can be challenging, if not impossible.
When we’re stressed out, we have the tendency to lose focus. Consequently, when we’re unable to focus, we can’t be very productive. As a result, we may start to forget things or have trouble processing new information, getting stuck in a loop of taking one-step-forward, two-steps-back.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take and changes you can implement, which can help you stay productive, while keeping your stress levels low, and maintaining your sanity.
Here’s our list of 10 great tips to improve your productivity without getting stressed out:
1. Create a Pleasant Work Environment
Minimizing clutter is a key way to improve your productivity. When we’re surrounded by clutter and disorganization our attention and focus are affected. A decluttered space eliminates distractions and does not disrupt the flow of your work.
A recent report published by the Journal of Neuroscience indicated that clutter limits the brain’s ability to process information correctly. Basically, when our brain is overstimulated and we have too much ‘stuff’ in our surroundings to look at, our brain will find it more difficult to focus our attention on the task at hand. So, if you want to start completing tasks more efficiently, it’s time to get tidying.
2. Eliminate Distractions
Although this one should be a no-brainer, most people don’t realize just how distracted they really are. We live in a world where we’re constantly connected. Whether it’s the non-stop notifications from our smartphones, the persistent messages from colleagues on Slack or the pressure to reply to every single email right away.
All these distractions take our attention away from the task at hand, causing us to lose focus. Every time you’re distracted, your brain requires some time to become focused again, thus, inevitably prolonging the time it takes us to accomplish what we set out to do.
Consider putting your smartphone on silent while you’re working. However, an even better option is to opt for a distraction-free phone, such as Mudita Pure, which eliminates digital distractions from attention-stealing apps while letting you focus on what matters most.
If you do have a smartphone, you can always use Mudita Launcher, which can help you focus and use your smartphone in a more mindful manner.
3. Don’t Procrastinate
We can all agree that procrastination may be productivity's worst enemy and self-discipline is not easy when we struggle to accomplish all our tasks in a timely manner. This is where the motivational saying, “Just Do It” can help you get back on track.
Turn time-wasting into productivity by breaking up more difficult tasks into smaller assignments and just dive in.
Sometimes, we put off working on something because the assignment feels too big, too vague or too overwhelming. Smaller tasks are easier to tackle. This way, small steps can lead you to a bigger accomplishment.
4. Keep It Simple
Do you think multitasking will allow you to accomplish more in the same amount of time? As our workloads increase, it is common for us to think that we can accomplish multiple tasks at the same time. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, research has proven that productivity decreases significantly when we are multitasking. The truth is, our brains are not created to efficiently perform multiple tasks at the same time. When you are multitasking, what you’re really doing is switching your attention from one task to another, causing your brain’s focus to be diverted. Consequently, it takes your brain more time to refocus on each activity, taking longer to complete it. To put it simply, we’re not that busy, we’re just distracted.
To be more efficient at completing your tasks, it’s important to learn to monotask, which means focusing on one task at a time.
5. Prioritize & Organize
This one should be a no-brainer. Creating a priority to-do list, with enough time dedicated to each task is key to productivity. Having an organized task list will help you visualize how your time is spent, thus helping you to move towards your goals.
6. Work smarter, not harder
Technology can either hinder productivity or significantly improve it. Yes, digital technology and the internet can cause distractions at work. However, when used intentionally and mindfully, they help you quickly and easily achieve your goals. Recurring and monotonous tasks can be done automatically, such as scheduling social media posts, while calendar and scheduling applications enable more strategic planning and time management.
7. Delegate or Switch Tasks
Although we may think that we can do it all, sometimes it’s important to recognize that we may not be the best person for the task at hand. There’s no shame in admitting that, perhaps, you’re not the best person to tackle an assignment. Instead of wasting time, trying to finish something that is frustrating you, try to switch tasks with a colleague who’s got the skill set to get it done right. To keep things fair, offer to take on some of their assignments, which may be easier for you to complete.
8. Ask For Help, If Necessary
It's important to ask for help if you're getting overwhelmed or if the workload is becoming "a little too much." Sometimes, switching tasks is not an option because the assignment is just too much for one person to handle. Asking for help is not an announcement that you’re incapable of doing your job. It actually means that you’re a team player, focused on making sure the assignment is done correctly and not just finished.
9. Practice Mindfulness & Breathing Exercises
Sometimes, a little stress is unavoidable. However, we cannot be productive and efficient when we're stressed out. That’s why, it’s always best to know how to recover from stress as quickly as possible. Practicing mindfulness daily is vital to reducing stress. It also helps with focus, clarity, creativity and flexibility.
Breathing exercises are also great at reducing stress. They facilitate the exchange of oxygen, which reduces our blood pressure, slows down the heart rate, and releases any tension which may be building up in our body.
Mudita Moment features the mindful addition of 15 dots and the seconds hand which enable you to practice breathing exercises anytime and anywhere. It’s the simplest and best tool for personal wellness because it’s always with you and acts not only as a guiding mechanism, but also a reminder to pause, slow down, and take a deep breath.
10. Prioritize Your Well-being
Making sure your mind and body are ready to tackle the day's challenges is just as important as the other items on our list. There is a scientifically documented link between your well-being and productivity.
If you’re not sleeping well at night and waking up tired and irritable, you will not be able to function properly on the job. Same goes for proper nutrition and exercise.
That’s why getting a good night’s rest, proper exercise, and eating healthy are all essential to performing at your best and keeping your stress levels to a minimum.
If you are looking to enhance the way your mind works in order to be more productive, effective and happy, you’re in the right place. Please check out similar articles featured on our blog and learn more about how to increase your concentration and boost productivity.
You might also consider joining our FORUM Community where we discuss ideas and exchange information about all things connected to wellness and digital well-being.
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