Written | 23 Feb 2017

It’s easy for everyday work tasks to slowly get the better of us and for the feeling of overwhelm to creep in. But rest assured, there are some simple and effective tips and practices to ensure smooth sailing and avoid the onset of overwhelm and stress.

In today’s technological age, the idea of work staying at work is a thing of the past. We’re constantly connected via our smartphones and the temptation to quickly deal with a specific task is ever present. Here are 5 tips to staying productive and effective on a daily basis:

1. Making your bed first thing in the morning

As absurd and simplistic as this may sound, it really works. It provides a sense of achievement first thing in the morning that a task has been completed and completed well. Whatever may happen during the day; whether deals fall through or deadlines are not met, coming home to a bed made creates a sense of achievement and gives us subtle encouragement that we have achieved something in our day, and tomorrow is a new day with a new state of affairs and possibilities.

2. Journaling

The amount of tasks to complete and never-ending to-do lists can cause the onset of anxiety and overwhelm. Couple this with self-talk on the things we’d like to be doing or unfulfilled goals is a sure recipe for things to grind to a halt. Journaling is a great way of getting things off our chest or out of the confines of our minds and onto the page. Julia Cameron in her book The Artists Way recommends Morning Pages as a way of writing down all things that come to mind which may hinder our productivity and often give way to mental blocks. Its a way of trapping unhelpful thoughts onto the page so we can get on with our day in a more calm and concise way. Setting aside 15-20 minutes at the start of our working day for journaling is a great way to ensure productivity and a sense of well being for the rest of the day.

3. Dealing with emails at set times of the day

It’s all too common to stop what we’re doing mid-task in order to deal with a new email notification. This, however, disrupts our concentration and puts us in a reactive state, dealing with other people’s agendas instead of being productive and focusing on our own tasks at hand. Studies show that checking emails less often at prescribed times of the day allows us to focus more clearly on tasks and get the job done in a more efficient manner. Keep email checks to 3-4 times a day dealing with specific tasks one at a time.

4. Healthy diet choices throughout the day

Having that secret stash of treats in our bag or on our desk is all too tempting and very comforting to tuck into at various times of the day. Keeping candy and crisps to a minimum is a great way to keep our waist lines in check but also to help keep energy levels optimised throughout the day. Instead, dry fruits and nuts provide a better, more nutritious alternative. Lunch choices also make a huge difference to our energy levels and productivity. The all too easy fast food choice or a visit to the roti or dholl puri kiosk may seem like a good idea. But having something light, easily digestible with less saturated fats is always the better option to keep energy levels at a steady high.

5. Conscious breathing

Spending a few moments at various points in the day to stop what we’re doing and turn our attention to our breath can be a super helpful method of remaining focussed, calm and centered. All that is needed is to preferably close the eyes and focus on the inward and outward breath for a count of 4 in and 4 out. Then to watch and accept any thoughts that may arise. A feeling of calm and relaxation is often achieved, with the mind being focused and centered. It’s a technique that allows for a little recharge in a matter of seconds.

The Hive offers coworking and private office spaces all around Mauritius in St. Pierre, Curepipe and Pierrefonds. A place to pop in, plug in and work at our coworking desks. We have a vibrant community and often host networking events bringing together like-minded professionals and entrepreneurs.