Office Hacks: Tips For Stress-Free Work

October 14th, 2015

Written by Vicki Ward

Tidy desk, tidy mind

It may sound like a cliché but if your surroundings are tidy and neat at work it's likely that your mind and outlook will mimic this clear and ordered manner. Spend a few minutes every morning having a quick tidy, have some sanitising wipes to hand to give your desk a quick once-over.

Organise your calendar

Your email calendar isn't there just for meetings but you can also use it effectively to block time out for your job list and give yourself set timescales for certain jobs. It will also allow to prioritise your workload in a clear and precise manner especially if you have a few niggly jobs here and there. This is a good exercise to do when you need a mental break from something you are currently working on.

Adhere to the 20-20-20 rule

Staring at the computer all day is horrible on your eyes. All those brightly coloured pixels clashing with the lighting around you is a recipe for eye fatigue and strain. Adhering to the 20-20-20 rule — looking away from your screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds and focusing on a fixed point 20 feet away — and blinking more are good places to start.

Take real breaks

Less than a third of us take advantage of their full lunch hour. You may think you'll get more work by sticking to your desk, when in reality this is a misconception. Your brain can only absorb so much new information and sitting at your desk too long you will be putting an increase strain on your eyes and muscles.

Try leaving your desk at lunch every day, even if it's only to grab a drink. If you can't peel yourself away from your technology why not catch up on e-mails and texts outside in the fresh air for 15 minutes on your mobile - at least you'll still be getting some fresh air. A change of scenery and the ability to stretch your legs and get some fresh air will reap rewards.

Cut caffeine

Coffee may seem like the ultimate pick-me-up, but it's also raising your blood pressure and stress levels. It's all good and well to say wean yourself off completely but we all know that's easier said than done, so try swapping one cup a day to something less decaffeinated such as a herbal tea or even better a glass of water which will help wean yourself off the high doses of caffeine and also keep your body hydrated.

Particularly beneficial herbal teas include chamomile, green, peppermint, and pomegranate. With so many options, you'll easily find a flavour you like. Peppermint tea, for instance, contains the natural stress reliever menthol.

Listen to calming music

In a busy office surrounded by keyboards, chatter and the constant hum of phone calls sometimes it can be hard to knuckle down and concentrate entirely on a piece of work especially it involves a great deal of concentration. Did you know that your heart beat has been found to mimic the beats-per-minute of a song, so a song playing at 60bpm is an optimum tempo for a happy and calm working environment? Here are some ideal songs to add your office playlist:

1: Coldplay - Strawberry Swing

2: All Saints - Pure Shores

3: Cafe Del Mar - We Can Fly

Or alternatively there are many compilation's out there with calming music such as Spotify's "Music For Concentration"