This article is inspired from what I observe during my interactions with young professionals and students….and the observation relates to work or office related stress.
These days everybody is going through tremendous amount mental and physical stress and with the increase sedentary lifestyles it is becoming an area of concern for everybody’s health. Infact, stress has become such an inevitable part of everbody’s lives that it has become an excuse for lots of stuff which we would generally not do, such as:
i. Late night working
ii. Consumption of fast food / unhealthy items
iii. After work drinks with colleagues / friends on weekdays
iv. Go on for days without any fitness activity
v. Smoking etc etc…
Let me try and share some of things that I adopted in my life to overcome stress while dealing with sales targets, doctors, team issues, colleagues / peer concerns and the list goes on and on. These are simple techniques which contribute immensely on reducing the actual as well as perceived stress that we all believe we are struggling with
Have a good sleep – it is extremely important to have an 8 hour sleep such that mind and body gets suitable rest. While many believe that they can work late in the night and be as productive the next day as anybody else, it is only a myth.
10 minute plan – keep 10 minutes at the start of the day to plan your work such that you create a to-do list of all items that are priority as well as important to complete. This would help you in organizing your work based on critical to complete; good to complete; can wait till tomorrow principle. You can use note pads, stick on;s or outlook / mail calendars to write down items and track them to closure.
Physical activity – if you are unable to take out time for a sport or fitness activity, try things like using the stairs atleast once or twice a day, walk around while taking on the phone rather than just sitting or walk to the pantry to get your tea/ coffee. Basically look for opportunities to move as and when possible. It is also helpful to try and do some stretches for arms and legs, if seated for long meetings.
The famous 20:20:20 rule – every 20 minutes take a break from looking at the monitor or laptop and focus on an object which is 20 meters away for 20 seconds. This reduces the strain on your eyes and also gives a stimulus to the brain.
Be organized – one goes through stress in finding where items / files are kept (be it hard copy or soft copy). So try and have a clear desk, clear computer desktop screen and organize your hard / soft copy files on your workstation or in the laptop so that you are able to locate what you need with limited time and effort.
Eat and drink at short intervals – it is a well known fact that having short meals every 2 hours and drinking 2 – 3 liters of waters keeps the mind and body active & productive. Regular short meals help in maintaining the appropriate blood sugar levels and prevent increased caffeine (tea/coffee) and nicotine (cigarettes) intake.
About the author: Surinder Narain Ahuja is as experienced trainer, faculty member and visiting professor, teaching interpersonal skills and management concepts. To know more about Surinder visit “About Surinder” webpage on his website www.surindernarainahuja.in