Career Stress? 6 Ways to Simplify Your 9 to 5

It’s rare that a workplace doesn’t generate a little bit of stress every now and again. And, unfortunately, it’s more common that our jobs cause more stress than they relieve.

Career stress doesn’t have to be an unavoidable part of your life, though. Here are a few ways you can simplify your day and—hopefully—reduce your stress levels as well. It’s a lot to take in at once, so choose one or two to focus on to start. If one doesn’t fit your work environment or isn’t working for you, just move on and try out the next.

  1. Start Your Day a Little Earlier
    I know, it’s not exactly an easy thing to switch on (becoming a morning person). But even just finding thirty minutes to an hour or so more in the morning can help aid your sense of peace. Mornings are quieter, less hectic, and chances are you’ll get more done before more people arrive.

  2. Limit Your Hours
    We’ve written quite a few posts on the culture of *busy* and how it’s actually detrimental to mental health, as well as not great for productivity (tired people don’t get as much done as well-rested people). So set a limit every day for the number of hours you plan to work, and stay within that limit. It forces you to be more effective.

  3. Make Some Lists
    Make one long list of everything you want to do in a week. Then divide it up to the top 3 things you want to get done every day. Make it a point to get these things done every day before you start on less important things…like reading Buzzfeed or watching TV.

  4. Combine Distractions
    Piggybacking off the previous suggestion, take stock of your most common distractions. Limit yourself to your usage of these. Maybe set aside an hour at the end of the day, or five minutes at the end of every hour. Whatever it takes to start curbing your distractive tendencies, and helps you to focus on your work.

  5. Limit Email Length
    Email is a necessity in the workplace; unfortunately, it’s also a serious timewaster.  However, by making sure that your emails are short (like four sentences or less), they’ll take less time to write. Hopefully your coworkers will follow suit so you’ll be spending less time reading emails as well.

  6. Clean Your Space
    Keep your desk clear of everything except the essentials you need to work. Yes, you may love the free bobblehead you got at a baseball game three years ago, but these are distractions. Everything should be filed away, given to the appropriate person, have a spot in your cabinets, or tossed. A clean space helps you make quick decisions and focus on work.

We all have variations in how flexible our schedules and workplaces can be. Just remember that, ultimately, you are in charge of your stress levels. It’s up to you to figure out what works best for you!

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