Fall is here which means the end of the year is near. For many of us, this means additional stress in our professional and personal lives as we scramble to achieve the goals we set at the beginning of 2016.
If you find that as you get busier, you also get less productive and more stressed out, achieving goals under pressure can be incredibly frustrating. Fortunately, there are several simple ways you can facilitate the process of completing your goals by reducing your stress and boosting your ability to be productive.
Here are five tips to try out as you work to achieve your goals before 2017.
1. Clear out the clutter
Studies show that the amount of clutter in your life can significantly impact the amount of stress you feel each day. This is why getting organized and decluttering your home and your workspace is a fantastic way to reduce stress. Although the process of cleaning up and getting organized can seem a bit daunting, there are plenty of online resources that provide helpful tips and hacks to help you simplify the process.
2. Take regular breaks
Experts have long touted the positive effects of taking breaks. Taking a simple five-to 10-minute break each hour throughout your workday can help you boost productivity and reduce the stress you feel from working on your current projects. Not to mention, getting up and stretching out your legs also helps you get out of the hunched position most of us tend to assume as we sit at our desks, which can help you relieve some stress-inducing neck and upper back pain.
3. Quit multitasking
Most of us are guilty of multitasking as we work to complete multiple projects each day. Although it might seem like you’re able to get more done this way at the moment, the truth is that multitasking seriously decreases your productivity levels while increasing your stress levels.
To avoid multitasking, make a to-do list for each day. Allot a certain amount of time for each project based on how much time you think each will take to reach completion then set a timer as you work on each project. While the timer is running, keep your attention focused on the single task at hand. It might take a bit of practice to get to a point where you can focus on your project for the full time, but the more you attempt this strategy, the easier it will get to implement it.
4. Delegate tasks
For those of us who err on the side of perfectionism, it can be a bit difficult to trust others with the work we need to get done. Although you might be the type who prefers to complete everything on your own to ensure quality, the unfortunate truth is that this approach to project completion often leads to you taking on too many projects which only hinders your ability to perform at your fullest potential.
Identify the areas at home and at the office where you could (and probably should) delegate responsibilities to others. Is there a specialist in mind who could potentially pull your weekly reports? Could you split your chore list with you wife, husband, or children to alleviate some of your responsibilities at home?
5. Rest up
Research shows that those who wake early and rise early are more productive and less tired throughout the day. Set a goal to get to bed a little earlier than usual so that you can wake up refreshed and ready-to-go at an earlier hour. If you find that you have trouble getting to bed earlier, I recommend trying out a few simple hacks to encourage healthy sleep habits. If you have trouble rising early, there are a variety of cool alarm clock apps that provide innovative ways to help you wake up if you’re not a morning person.
Photo credit: dolphfyn/Shutterstock