Take care of your mental health in the workplace.
“Productivity” is the boardroom buzzword on the lips of business owners and managers across the globe. All too often however, this results in employees being pushed to demonstrate productivity at the expense of their job satisfaction and even, in some cases, their general mental health.
Encouraging and supportive employers are crucial to a truly productive team, but any mutually beneficial relationship requires both give and take. With that in mind, here is a series of simple and effective productivity tips you can use to achieve wellness in the workplace and find a balance between mental well-being and professional performance.
Take a break
Downtime is non-negotiable when it comes to productivity. Various studies even highlight the importance of taking regular breaks, like “movement breaks,” which are designed to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Spending long stretches of time at your desk can negatively affect your reasoning ability, your motivation, and your creativity, so don’t feel the need to remain glued there throughout the working day. In the long run, your mind and body will thank you for it.
Whether you go for a short walk to breathe some fresh air, kick back with a book in the break room, or simply indulge in some “waking rest,” every little bit helps. The key is to recognize that working longer does not necessarily mean working better, and you’ll actually be doing yourself a big favor by taking a little break every hour or two to recharge your mental batteries.
Open and honest communication is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to protecting your mental well-being in the workplace. Naturally, this goes two ways, as employers who are upfront and understanding take the stress out of office dialogues. But you can also decide to be the catalyst for direct communication and stand by this approach when it matters most.
In the face of mountainous workloads, unrealistic deadlines, or other genuine grievances surrounding your role, the best thing you can do is find a respectful and sincere way to voice your concerns and carve a path towards a more manageable and productive working day.
Clock in and out on time
Just like it’s important to take regular breaks, it’s also crucial to take your start and finish times seriously. Overworked staff are notoriously unproductive, with so-called “work martyrs” sacrificing hours of personal time in the name of reducing their workloads. Productive output drops dramatically after the 50-hour/week mark and plummets completely beyond 55 hours. Making this personal sacrifice is a serious physical and mental drain on those who make it, and, ultimately, a waste of valuable time.
Instead, clock in on time and leave on time — make the most of your contracted hours and know when to call it a day. Drawing clear dividing lines between your personal and professional lives is an essential basis for an effective work-life balance. By respecting these important boundaries, you can reap the benefits in and out of work.
Never, ever multi-task
Word is spreading throughout the working world about the dangers of multitasking, and it’s time to bust this widespread myth once and for all. Truth is, we only think we’re multitasking. It’s far more likely that we’re actually just shifting focus repeatedly between one task and another, ultimately without making much progress on either of the two outstanding jobs.
Last but certainly not least, no matter what line of work you’re in, everyone deserves the gratification that comes with the occasional reward, and sometimes, it pays to be your own benefactor. Treats come in all shapes and sizes — some tangible, others abstract — but the important thing to remember is that everyone is different, and it’s about finding what gives you the emotional spring in your step that helps you get the job done.
Whether it’s indulging in a luxurious out-of-office lunch, embarking on an after-work shopping spree, or stocking up on gourmet coffee products to see you through the working day, don’t stop treating yourself. A personal reward for working at your best is the least you deserve, and these little pick-me-ups could be the secret to seeing the productivity boost you’re looking for.