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Five ways to de-stress at work

While stress feels like a normal part of everyday life, many of us would prefer it wasn’t, and we find ourselves looking to combat its negative effects.

In the workplace, stress has been found to impact performance in ways that result in higher rates of workplace disengagement, absenteeism, and decreased productivity.

In fact, research has found that 79% of Brits frequently experience workplace stress, showing the scale of the problem and perhaps acting as a warning.

Here are five ways you can de-stress in the workplace.


Focus on one task at a time

We’ve been led to believe that multitasking is an enviable skill that allows us to be more economic with their productivity. At times when you feel overwhelmed and stressed, multitasking can seem like an obvious solution to cracking through a long to-do list. 

However, it’s been well documented that multitasking is counteractive, as your mind can only focus on one thing at a time and switching between two tasks simultaneously burns mental energy. It’s more efficient to stick to one task at a time and get it done right. 

More stress-busting tips:

A stress risk assessment could transform the workplace

Work stress: balancing the bad with the good

How to break the cycle of stress and conflict in times of crisis


Plan your day in 45-minute blocks 

Creating a to-do list sounds so incredibly basic, yet it is one of the most effective ways to manage your time and reduce stress. Set aside time at the end of each day to plan the tasks to be done tomorrow and assign time in your diary to each.

Be realistic with the time you give each task. Research shows that we can intently focus for a limited time before we get distracted, so let a productivity app  help keep you on track. 


Take 15-minute breaks 

Mental downtime has been found to heighten credibility of decision making and improve memory. Plan for breaks in your day and use the time to let your mind wander and recharge so you’re ready for the next task.

Taking your breaks outside, with a brisk walk and fresh air can be especially useful to keeping stress under control.


Pick the right productivity method

We all have different ways of working based on how we process and organise information. Some people prefer to focus on one project at a time while others would rather tackle tasks by order of priority.

By taking the time to find the right productivity method and working the way that works best for you, you can get ahead of your tasks and breathe easy. 


Fuel your body 

Diet can have a profound impact on our productivity. Low blood sugar can mean poor concentration, while too much sugar leads to an energy crash. 

Plan your food for the day to ensure you’re fuelling the body with the right balance. 

Additionally, make sure exercise forms a part of your day too, as it’s a great tool to release pent-up tension.

Whether a run or walk at lunchtime, yoga or lifting weights after a busy day, try to make time to get your body moving. 

There is no doubt stress is part and parcel of life - but it’s important to manage your stress. When you start to feel overwhelmed, or there is too much pressure, why not see if these small tweaks in your day can lead to huge gains. 


Susan Stick is VP people and general counsel at Evernote