How to Keep Productivity Up Amidst Stress
The best way to address the negative effects of stress is to identify its most common triggers, and take steps to either alleviate or outright prevent them from activating. We went through several scientific and anecdotal sources to pinpoint these triggers, and we've detected three stress activators and their respective remedies.
Befriending the Bosses
This is a no-brainer. If there's one person that has the ability to cause us more stress than anybody else, it's the person that's directly supervising us. Whether it's watching our every move, correcting every decision we make, or just chewing us out on every possible issue - bosses can break us down quickly and efficiently.
The negative influence of superior powers is so prevalent in our culture that a 2011 comedy about three friends conspiring to murder their bosses earned ten nominations and won three awards. Just never talk about the sequel - ever.
The sad reality is, however, that bosses will always exist and everyone inevitably answers to someone. Fortunately, this dynamic doesn't have to be negative as there is a chance of avoiding this powerful stress trigger - by befriending the boss.
We're not saying brown nose and suck up at every opportunity. We're saying treat your bosses like human beings. Don't get intimidated by the possibility of power-tripping, because chances are, your boss is far different from the stereotypical boss you see in caricatures or in TV.
This strategy is a long-term solution with little chance for failure, just as long you remember to maintain the separation between professional and personal.
Let It Out
Many researchers were able to observe that people under great stress find it difficult to escape because of the existence of a vicious cycle. Stress makes us tired and want to go to bed; however, resting during this time won't allow us to relieve the knots we built up during the day.
Our blood isn't flowing right, our muscles feel worn, and our bodies just feel heavy. This is the reason why most of us don't feel rested even after a full eight hours of slumber. The solution is to iron out these bumps and bruises before bedtime so that we can recover the right way through the night.
Exercise, either first thing in the morning or before a hot bath at night, is the most common recommended remedy. Stretches, jogging, or even a bit of dancing can sharpen focus, increase energy, and most importantly, lift the mood. This is just what you need before heading off to work, or turning in for bed.
Start and End the Day Right
Feeling good because of exercise isn't enough, however, as that peace of mind can quickly crumble with one wrong thing. This is where a good morning and nighttime routine can come in handy.
Every day begins and ends differently, leaving us with the feeling that we don't have control over anything. Setting up a predictable routine allows us to put ourselves in a mental state where we are in control, and by extension become better able to handle the challenges of a new day. But, just any other routine won't do - it needs to be something that makes you feel fulfilled or in control.
Some guys like talking to friends online to calm their nerves, others prefer catching up on their favorite series until a pre-determined hour. Whatever it is, it should be able to be relaxing and give you the sense that the day is complete. Of course, you should also always keep hygiene in mind. Make it a point to maintain a daily personal care regimen that involves washing your face in the morning and then again before you turn in for the night.
Avoiding stress is all about recognizing problems throughout the day, and preparing the pieces necessary to counter their effects beforehand.