The digital age has brought stress, overwhelm, and mind-clutter to extravagant heights with 70% of employees — and 96% of senior leaders — saying they feel burned out. This is not something to be proud of, and while those figures are pulled from a U.S study—it's safe to say the rest of us aren't doing a whole lot better.
Paradoxically, the pressure most put on themselves to perform consistently at higher than high levels creates more chaos in an already chaotic mind which ultimately limits one's ability to perform at a high level. Our desire to be perfect destroys us.
By implementing a few proven strategies to better organize your workday—you can boost productivity, creativity, and efficiency, and drum roll please... experience a massive reduction in associated stress as a result. And that, Ladies & Gentlemen, is some super-sonic shit worth celebrating.
HERE ARE 5 SIMPLE TIPS TO HELP YOU GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR WORKDAY:
Take 5–10 minutes at the end of the workday to write in a journal and evaluate your day. There is so much going on in our heads that it’s almost impossible to process and gather thoughts without some form of outlet—and smashing the place up with a baseball bat is rarely the answer.
At the end of the workday, most of us want to dart, and by doing so, bring our work and associated stresses home. A study by UCLA psychologists revealed that verbalizing your feelings — whether you speak to someone or write them down — will help ensure any associated negative emotions are less severe.
So, instead of bringing the rage, anger or stress home with you—leave that shit behind on your notepad. On top of that, by writing down specific challenges, your subconscious will get to work on coming up with solutions while you get the zzzzz's in, so you wake up feeling fresh and motivated to take on the day.
2. PLAN AHEAD
Now that you’ve released any anger and frustration, you can plan the day ahead for smooth sailing. Take out another notepad and write down your tasks for tomorrow in order of importance, and leave the office knowing your subconscious will take care of the rest and ensure you’re way ahead of yourself when you arrive for work tomorrow. Challenges and distractions will always arise so be realistic in your goals, and if you fall short, fuck it—don’t beat yourself up. What good has that ever done? Just make sure to bump it to the top of tomorrow’s list. That to-do list is never ending and not worthy of you being an asshole to yourself unless you're up against a tight deadline.
3. DECLUTTER YOUR WORKSPACE
A cluttered workspace = a cluttered mind. If your desk is a mess, how can you expect your workday to flow without unwelcome distractions? Organize your desk, desktop, and computer similar to how you'd like to organize your mind: free from clutter and distractions.
4. DON’T MULTI-TASK
According to a study by the University of California Irvine, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to a task once you’ve taken your concentration away from it. My God, that's a long time! So, when you set out to complete a task, be sure to free yourself from all distractions. That means no social media, email, internet, porn, whatever it is you like to distract yourself with until the task is complete or the allotted time to work on it has passed. Use a timer, and start off with one hour of uninterrupted work. If the ambient noise is too much, play some music to wash away distractions and help you focus. Tell your colleagues what you’re doing and to piss off until you've finished, or waved the white flag for them to approach.
5. OBEY THE 80-20 RULE
Most of what we do is not that important, but because it’s easier, and can provide us with that instant hit of dopamine, we have a tendency to spend too much time on simple tasks while procrastinating on the more demanding, important ones. This creates unnecessary struggle. By tackling the more important stuff first, when it comes to completing the other less meaningful tasks, you will be able to do so with a greater sense of accomplishment and contentment. I like to reverse this rule on a Monday!
By applying these simple tips to better organize your workday, you will experience a range of benefits to help ensure you leave your work at work, and get out on time. Unless tasks are of the utmost importance, don’t take your work home with you. That shit ain't going anywhere and nobody's ever died with the regret of not having brought more work home with them. That time to decompress, have fun, and do what you love is just as important — if not more important — as the time required to pay the bills. You will most likely meet resistance from yourself starting out, but if you stick to this, in time, you will see your productivity and quality of work go up as well as your quality of life. And who doesn't want that?