We all want to do more, be more and show up to the game, fresh and prepared. However, getting to a level of efficient productivity that is consistent and proactive, without increasing those pesky stress nerves, can be challenging.

One of the major ways that stress affects your productivity is by causing you to lose focus. When you’re not focused, you can’t be productive. You may start to forget things or fail to process new information and get trapped in a one-step-forward, two-steps-back tango.

It’s important to find a balance between working hard and managing stress, because the impact of the latter can effect your mental and physical wellbeing.

Fortunately, there are various tips and tricks to help you and your staff stay productive, while keeping stress levels low. Here are five effective practices that you can implement today.

Share this with your colleagues or make a short training session with your employees to run through these points.

  1. Keep it simple

During February 2022, we celebrated ‘Single Task Day’ and took a long hard look at why <multi-tasking was less productive>. https://bit.ly/3h6GOP2  The main insight from this blogpost was the power and benefits of doing one thing at a time.

By creating a priority to-do list with more than enough time dedicated to each task, you’re easing pressure to complete the work, while managing expectations with yourself and those around you.

It’s also very good to remember that you don’t always have to go over and above of what is expected of you. By just completing the task at hand, at the best of your ability, is sometimes more than enough. When time grants you the opportunity to explore a project a bit further, then go for it. But choose your opportunities carefully.

  1. Avoid distractions

The only solve for distraction is discipline. Our modern life is fully connected at all times, whether we’re distracted by each other in person, or our focus is diverted with the pinging of social media updates; we need to carve out different times in the workday that is purely dedicated to work. Turning off notifications and even letting people know you’re zoning in can help you focus on the task at hand and complete it in the time needed.

In addition, also be on the lookout for moments when you’re stuck in a project and stagnate the process by getting too caught up in the challenge. Often a new perspective is required to move forward, and that can only happen if you step away from the task, ask for help and revaluate your approach.

If you struggle with procrastination (even though it can be very beneficial for creatives), just make sure to add in an extra hour or two, if possible, to avoid any delays that may come from it.

  1. Work smarter not harder

Using technology tools that simplify your workday can increase your productivity, while reducing unnecessary stress. From meeting schedulers to task planning programmes, even setting up automated email filters, can help you keep organised and working faster.

Make it a priority in your workplace to evaluate tasks that can be automated for the sake of saving time and allow you and your team to recognise optimal working times that suits everyone.

  1. Prioritise, delegate and focus

Last year, Forbes asked their Coaches Council to discuss and share practical methods of boosting productivity while minimising stress. One of the key points everyone agreed on was to prioritise work, delegate where possible, and free up time to focus on what’s important. These were the three skills needed for increasing productivity without stress.

Leaders and managers must ensure the work environment allows for employees to feel safe and confident to ask for help or delegate tasks someone else can help with.

  1. Think of yourself as a top athlete

Preparing your mind and body for a good day’s work, requires the same approach athletes have towards their preparations before and during a game. One needs to create balance by recharging your batteries throughout the day with appropriate breaks and nutritious food and hydration.

When an athlete is on the field, they’re not thinking of their weekend plans, no, they are keeping their eye on the ball and being intentionally in the moment. Be present with your thinking and actions, to ensure you’re not distracted by irrelevant things.

Prioritise sleep and if possible, try to meditate for at least 15-minutes every day to ease the mind and realign your thinking.

It’s very important to know that whenever you feel overwhelmed and unfocused due to stress, remember to breath in slowly for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, then breath out again for four seconds. The increased oxygen to your brain will immediately lower the stress dial and help you to do a proper stop, start, and continue in your mind and body.

Need help to organise your work environment to increase productivity? We are here to assist and would love to help with your business’ productivity and progress. Learn more about Productivity SA’s services or get in contact if you have any questions or requests.