Having the best of both worlds: 4 Easy Stress-Relieving Ways to Increase Your Productivity

Having the best of both worlds: 4 Easy Stress-Relieving Ways to Increase Your Productivity


24 hours simply isn’t enough.

At least, that’s how most people feel under the constant pressure of work, school and maintaining an active social life. In a desperate effort to stretch our working hours, we bring work back home; we get up early and sleep late; we often become anxious, impatient and depressed. This is a vicious cycle that consumes us, giving us unnecessary stress and plenty of unwelcome wrinkles. And most of the time, it’s not even a problem of having too little time.

In fact, it’s a problem of having too much time but not knowing how to spread the workload. But with a few handy tips, you’ll soon be on your way to having a stress-free and highly productive life.

Make a weekly checklist

Making checklists can often be overwhelming. You stare at a long list of tasks that need to be accomplished and suddenly, you go into panic mode. That’s why the time frame for your checklist is important. Some people jot down their daily tasks while others set monthly goals for themselves. I’ve tried both methods before settling on the weekly time frame. The reason is simple. It’s easy to set aside assignments and tasks when the time frame is long because we don’t have to complete it immediately, but this often results in things being done last-minute, when the urgency of the situation finally strikes us. If the time frame is short, we end up stressing ourselves out, trying to complete things as quickly as possible and missing out on the chance to produce something better, albeit with a little more time. A weekly checklist is an overview of what you need to do throughout the week, and you can be more realistic about what you can accomplish since you’re not looking too far ahead. Of course, you can still plan your daily tasks and set monthly goals, but you should base them upon your weekly checklist so as not to burn yourself out.

Fill in the gaps (Wisely)

Believe it or not, the average person spends about 3 years of their lives sitting on the toilet. And though it’s not quite a waste of our time, there is certainly a lot more that we could accomplish in those 3 years. And that’s not all. We spend years of our lives getting stuck in traffic, gossiping, refreshing social media and doing menial tasks that are counter-productive. A mere five minutes spent on refreshing social media may not seem much, but do it every day for a year and we’ve spent 30 hours of the year doing nothing but refreshing our Facebook page. What if we had spent those five minutes reading a work proposal instead? We lament that 24 hours is not enough, but we allow time to slip away from our fingers every day in some form or another. Fill in those time gaps by doing something meaningful. Reading the newspaper or something inspirational can help take some stress of your day, in addition to making you feel better. If you need to take the time to de-stress, use the time gaps in your day to listen to some music or do breathing exercises. Five minutes can be as precious as five hours, provided we use it properly.

Know your best hours – and use it well!

You can spend hours trying to complete a project and feel exhausted without having done much. On the other hand, sometimes you feel so pumped up that you can breeze through work without a single ounce of stress. It all comes down to your ‘best’ hour – when you feel most alert and at the top. It could be midnight or early morning, but it doesn’t matter. You will accomplish much more in that time frame than you ever will when you’re pumped with caffeine for hours just to stay awake. If you have something important on hand, drop everything else during your ‘best’ hour and focus on it. Letting your mind wander during your ‘best’ hour is a waste of your energy and time, and in the long run, does not do much to decrease stress levels. The numerous benefits that Google has reaped from introducing flexible working hours arguably include increased employee productivity. On a side note, taking a shower just before your ‘best’ hour can make you more refreshed and boost your productivity.

Practise healthy habits

The importance of practising healthy habits is often overlooked due to the stress coming from our jobs and social lives. Unhealthy habits and stress, however, is the worst combination you can ever have. It is literally a recipe for disaster. Sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems, including cancer, obesity and heart disease. Stretching the hours to increase our productivity will actually cause more problems in the long run, and waking up after sleeping for only 4 to 5 hours doesn’t exactly put you in the best mood or condition for a productive day at work. If you want to be stress-free and productive, it’s absolutely necessary to keep your body and mind in the best condition. It’s time to ditch the caffeine and get a good night’s sleep (trust me, your body will thank you for this). Eating healthy foods for breakfast also helps immensely. If your pantry doesn’t have much to offer on that front, check out this link to see what you should be stocking up on: . Spend some more time on exercising instead of surfing the Internet after work as keeping fit helps you stay energized through the day.

Say goodbye to stress and start having the best of both worlds!

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