As many of us spend a lot of our time at work, it’s good to check in every now and again about whether we’re doing everything we can to minimise stress and increase productivity.

Sometimes, just a few small changes could be all you need to help you feel that little bit happier at work.

  1. Set achievable goals. Seeing a whole list of unticked boxes isn’t a great way to the end your work day. Try making a list at the start of every day that you think you can achieve on that day. Divide bigger tasks into sections and tick things off as you go.

  2. Talk about your day. Talking can be a great way to process the days events and receive support. Make yourself accountable to a friend or family member by booking in a regular coffee date or phone call.

  3. Set boundaries for ‘me time’. Put some time in your diary to recharge and not think about work. Turn your phone or emails off during that time to allow yourself to have a proper break and pursue something that will help you unwind. This should be a daily thing – whether it’s time for family, friends, exercise or watching TV.

  4. Cut out time-wasters. If you’re in a busy work environment, you may find that there are certain tasks (or people) that you don’t enjoy spending time on. While it can be hard to avoid necessary activities that need to be done, try to limit your involvement and make more time for things you do enjoy.

  5. Get your steps up. This may appear on every to do list ever, but exercise can be great way to clear your head when office politics start to take over. Start small by working in 10 minutes here and there – walking an extra bus stop on your way to and from work, or to a café further down the street.

  6. Be flexible. Full-time, five days-a-week isn’t for everyone. If you’re finding that your current arrangements aren’t suiting your day-to-day life, consider asking for flexible working arrangements. This could be anything from leaving early on Wednesdays to pick up the kids, or extra (purchased) leave.

  7. Take your breaks. It’s easy to get caught up in meetings or eat lunch at your desk, but if this is becoming a regular thing it may be time to break the habit. Giving yourself a chance to rest and reset will help boost productivity when you return. This might be a quick walk around the block or eating lunch in the break room.

  8. Stay focused. If you’re constantly getting distracted by background noise at work why not put your headphones on and pump up the beats. Listening to music can be both relaxing and a great way to block out chatterboxes. If music isn’t your thing, different websites have selections of soundscapes you can listen to like rainforests, the beach or even just white noise.

Related reading: How to support a colleague with depression

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