WORK-LIFE BALANCE / JUN. 13, 2015
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The Secret to Reducing Stress and Increasing Productivity

Stressed vs. desserts

Stress is harmless unless you give too much attention to it. In a way, it can be a good thing as long as you choose to make it so. However, once your brain senses danger or threat, it gives orders to release the hormone adrenaline that increases the amount of sugar in your blood. This quickens your heart rate and causes your blood pressure to rise. So, in order to be able to manage stress effectively, you need to start convincing your mind that you are safe and in control of every situation.

When anxiety kicks in as a positive force, it motivates your mind to stay alert, thus focusing on the task that you are given and perform well. However, the majority of times stress has negative effects on your performance and wellbeing. Since it’s inevitable, the only thing you can do is try and control it. If you manage to do that, it’s guaranteed that you are going to be more carefree, you will improve your productivity and quality of life.

See Also: Become Less Stressed in Just 60 Seconds

However, there are ways in which you can minimise stress so that it doesn’t kill your creativity and productivity. Let’s find out how you can do that:

1. Get more sleep

Did you know that the more sleep you get, the healthier you are? A study has shown that sleep naturally repairs your body and brain, and it’s vital for reducing stress. This happens due to REM sleep that occurs in the last half of the night when non-adrenalin, a stress-related chemical in your brain is switched off. This allows your body to relax and your brain to stay calm while going through all the experiences of the day.   

2. Control your thoughts

Most of what you experience as stressful is self-created. This means that you tend to perceive things that aren’t meant to cause you any harm as dangerous or life-threating while other people regard them as meaningless. Managing stress through the ability to control your thoughts is extremely powerful as it can help you change the way you emotionally react to a situation. In essence your thinking, behaviour and perceptions are the three elements that trigger anxiety in the first place.

3. Take a break

Taking a break from work or anything else that stresses you out can boost your productivity. Experts suggest that 90 minutes of work and 20 minutes of rest is the ideal schedule that ensures you are efficient at work and that you are giving your best. This, however, depends on what you make out of your break time. During that 20-minute period, you need to do something that forces you to get away from your desk e.g. going for a walk.

Here are some benefits of taking an actual break:

  • It gives you access to your daydreaming brain mode that sparks problem solving and creativity.
  • It increases your alertness.
  • It increases your oxygen and glucose levels which improves your focus.

4. Create a routine

While you wouldn’t think a routine could allow much space for creativity, it’s actually a surefire way of encouraging productive creativity. In a way, having a schedule that you stick to reduces anxiety and allows you to stay focused on your work when need be. Within that allocated time of working, your energy levels are high, and your performance is at its peak.

Here are some tips to help you work productively:

  • Work on small chunks of work and allow yourself time to see what’ve accomplished.
  • Start with the hardest project first to avoid procrastination.
  • Get up early every day.
  • Make use of to-do lists or apps to help you stay on track.

5. Let exercise be your stress-reliever

Exercise can help you reduce stress and at the same time make you more productive. While it’s not exactly a secret, working out can indeed leave you feeling much more energised and satisfied. It boosts your feel-good endorphins that are responsible for making you happier and worry-free. So all you have to do is get moving!

Make exercise part of your stress management plan and invest some of your time into running, yoga or aerobics that are great stress-relievers. It improves your mood and distracts you from everything that causes you negative emotions. Check out the video above to learn some cool exercises that can help you relax and relieve stress!

In order to stay on top of your game, you need to be able to use stress productively. Follow these 5 suggestions to help reduce stress and you will notice a major positive change in your job performance, endurance and productivity. Don’t let it get to you; instead get to it first! 

See Also: How to Organise Your Thoughts So That You Become Less Stressed

So what’s your secret to managing stress and enhancing productivity? Let us know in the comments section below…

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