We know if you’re stressed you’re not as productive as you can be.  And we know that if you have a productive day, stress levels drop away as you feel more in control of your life.

Here are our top tips for a stress-free day, week or month:

Plan your day. Think in advance either the night before or very first thing in the morning of your day and think what you want to achieve.

Set yourself some goals.  It might be one or it could be a handful but write down what you will achieve before the day is finished.  The aim is to focus and motivate yourself so be realistic.  Remember that your inbox will never be empty so your goal is always to be working on the top priorities of the moment that will have the most business impact. An action plan and several simple goals is a great place to start.

Create the right environment. If you’ve got a tough piece of work to do, think about if there’s a better place to work while you achieve it. Perhaps a day working from home will give the peace and quiet you need for detail.  Perhaps a corner of a coffee shop will give you the energy and motivation for a hard to start task.

Make sure you have the right technology or tools. Whatever your goals are, make sure you have the right equipment to achieve them.  If you don’t, make time to get them so you have a good shot at achieving what you want.

Get some fresh air. Whatever you’re doing, fresh air will help.  If you can only grab 10 minutes on the way to the coffee shop, it will still help.  Take some deep breaths, look at the sky, notice the trees and think about how wonderful the natural world is.  It will give you perspective.

Review your achievements and pat yourself on the back. Check how you’ve done against your goals.  If you’re a little disappointed you didn’t get more done, think honestly about why.  Maybe you were too optimistic? Maybe you got dragged into something more important.  Congratulate yourself on what you have achieved and make allowances the next time you set your goals.

Reward yourself.  However your day is going; take a few minutes to treat yourself in some small way.  It doesn’t have to be planned and could be something as simple as taking five minutes to chat to a colleague, having an extra special coffee or getting the earlier train.  It’s a moment to appreciate you.

Create boundaries.  Make sure that you have boundaries between work and home.  Create a gap of some kind such as reading on your journey home or listening to the radio.  Avoid checking your emails after working hours (the French have banned this practice!) and particularly just before bedtime.  The blue light plays havoc with sleeping patterns and anything you see, even a glimpse, could play on your mind and affect your sleep.

Get enough sleep.  The most powerful thing for productivity and motivation is getting enough sleep.  Aim to go to bed and rise at similar times daily, create a relaxing bedtime routine and think of sleeping as the ultimate treat.

Reflect and review. Keep an eye on what you could do differently.  Monitor what helped you be more productive and what hindered it.  Keep reviewing your practices until you feel they’re the best they can be.  We are all learning and developing all the time.

If you’re still feeling frazzled, you might want to re-consider your working hours and get in touch with our flexible recruitment agency to see if you can free up time around your career. Register with Ten2Two via our website today. Good luck and don’t let tricky times get you down.

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