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How to stay sharp on the job

27th June 2017 Print
Remote working

Many people dream of the perfect job that enables them to achieve financial stability that will allow them to support their families as well as give them the time and funds to fulfill their passions. Unfortunately however, many of our work lives are taking over how we live. To achieve set goals, we tend to work long, extra hours and put in even more effort to continue to achieve more. While this might seem to improve output in the short run, stress and burnout are a serious risk and can lead to a vicious and unhealthy cycle. There’s tons of evidence that the more you overwork yourself mentally and physically, the less productive you’ll end up.

In the US, more than a third of employees lose 6 hours per day due to stress. More than 13% of workers are unable to catch some rest in the evenings or weekends. Only 23% of workers report availability of burn out prevention programs at their workplace. This paints a dire picture of workers who are continually prone to stress and burnout, with little or no facilities for detection and/or prevention.

As long as the goal is to increase productivity at the workplace, effort has to be put into ensuring we stay sharp on the job at all times.

Identifying The Signs Of Stress And Burnout:

It’s important to watch out for early signs and symptoms of burnout and stress. 

1. Lack of energy. You start feeling a perpetual lack of energy to carry out everyday tasks. You feel sluggish and have constant foggy brain.

2. Sleeping difficulties. You get just few hours of sleep due to work stress, but even during those hours you are unable to initiate sleep. This increases your level of exhaustion and lack of energy.

3. Poor attention span. When you’re stressed, you become unable to concentrate on a single activity over a long period of time. This adversely affects your productivity in all things that you are trying to accomplish.

4. Anger and frustration. You become hostile to your coworkers and family and can flare up at the slightest provocation.

5. Recurrence of illnesses. Colds, coughs, and headaches just doesn’t seem to go away. Stress reduces your immunity and keeps you prone to recurring illnesses.

How To Combat Stress And Burnout:

Having identified the early symptoms of stress, it’s important to combat it even before the symptoms begin to show.

1. Exercise. Exercise is one of the most important preventative measures to combat stress. Set aside 30-40 minutes at least 5 days a week for aerobic exercise. This improves blood flow, excretion of wastes, and generally increases your energy level. It also improves mental stress and reduces your propensity to illnesses.

2. Diet. A healthy diet is an effective anti-stress measure. Fruits such as bananas, oranges, watermelon, apples, and fresh leafy green vegetables contain a lot of vitamins, micronutrients, and antioxidants that are known to reduce stress. Diets low in fat and carbs but high in plant proteins are the best for major meals. Avoid skipping breakfast and always make sure to eat good lunch.

3. Take supplements. Sometimes a little extra boost can help you during those extra long days. Nootropics, for example, are a well-known “smart drug” that improve mental function and productivity while reducing stress levels. Other supplements like fish oil and vitamin D will help your general health and reduce your risks of getting sick.

4. Reduce your workload. You can reduce your workload by working only while in the office. Stick to working during office hours only and avoid taking work home. Reduce your overtime and make sure to spend your off-hours with your email and work chat turned off.

5. Take vacations. You should never ignore an opportunity for a vacation. Plan them out in advance to have something to look forward to. Allow yourself enough rest and relaxation so that you’ll feel revitalized at the end of your trip.

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Remote working