One of the most important aspects of life is work, hence the importance of striving for work-life balance. In our current always-on work culture, we probably spend around a third of our lives at work. Although most of us work well under pressure it’s important that stress doesn’t become a problem and that these are finite occasions when we rise to the challenge, not a relentless and constant feeling of feeling overwhelmed.
With your wellbeing in focus, you want to make sure that your body and brain are primed to make the most of each workday whilst keeping a healthy balance between work and life.
Today, we’ll be looking at a few changes you can make in your own home to help improve your performance in the workplace so that you can work smarter, not longer and free yourself from stress.
Get Better Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important parts of performing at your peak, in the UK the average time spent asleep a day is only 6.8 hours, almost an hour less than the recommended 7.7 hours a night and 54% of people have said they have felt stressed a s a result of their lack of sleep. Furthermore poor sleep is linked heavily to impaired brain function, so having a bad nights sleep can cut down your performance at work.
So what can you do? There are a few things, such as making sure you wake up and go to sleep on a regular schedule, but one of the biggest and best changes is to invest in some new blackout blinds (such as the ones from DotcomBlinds). Blackout blinds will cut out any light pollution which can keep you awake and create a dark environment more suited to help you fall asleep quickly and sleep without being disturbed in the night.
Get A Good Breakfast
Now moving on from sleep, we’re talking about the first meal after waking up, breakfast, the most important meal of the day! It’s found despite 93% of people agreeing that breakfast is the most important meal for the day, only 44% of people have breakfast every day. A study by the University of Leeds, found that students who eat breakfast everyday have significantly better grades than those who don’t, so it’s safe to assume having a quick meal in the morning can help your brain function to it’s potential.
So we agree that breakfast will make you perform better at your work duties, but what breakfast is best? Needless to say, we’d recommend staying away from eating unhealthy breakfasts like a fry up, pancakes or sugary cereal everyday as they can have adverse effects on your physical health, so a healthy cereal, toast, muesli, porridge or fruit will set up great for the day ahead without being unhealthy.
Keep A Good Routine
A routine is so important to your work life, at work we know we work better with a planned out day, knowing we do things at certain times to perform optimally, but having your whole day on a balanced routine is so important for maximising your potential, the human body loves a steady rhythm, so things that seem insignificant like eating your meals at the same time every day or following a skincare routine every morning can vastly improve your productivity.
Having a schedule reduces decision fatigue, which is where the more choices you make the less motivated you are, so by having a rigid schedule helps take choices away from you, allowing you to devote more brain power to work and life. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg does this, you’ll only ever see him in 1 outfit, all the clothes in his wardrobe are the same, taking away the need to make inconsequential choices like what to wear everyday to keep brainpower for more important tasks.
Plan To Relax
That doesn’t include scrolling through Instagram, obsessively checking the news or playing Angry Birds in the sofa, but really switching off. Think of relaxation as input versus output so step away from the screen! Relaxation is a form of fuel for the body and the more we feed our bodies with all of the things that it needs, the more likely it is to keep up with the pace. To really let your body and mind go, you can take a relaxing bath, read a book or listen to a podcast. To release tension, go for a nice walk and really notice everything you see on your journey, book yourself in for a massage or spend some time each day meditating.
Live In The Present, Using All Your Senses
Try to live in the moment, rather than obsessively planning what you’re doing next. When you make an effort to be fully aware of your body and all your senses, you are better able to relax.
For example, when sitting down to enjoy your dinner, fully and completely engage with the experience of having it. Pay attention to every bite that you take, the textures and taste. This is essentially practising mindfulness.