Struggling to focus on your tasks in the office?
Work-induced stress is fast becoming a common occurrence with many employees across the globe. In fact, the 2019 Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey reported that more than 92 per cent of Singapore’s workforce reported feeling stressed or burned out at work. If not dealt with effectively, stress can affect your physical health and cause mental distress, affect your concentration and lower your morale. So the next time you’re feeling the pressure, try one of these easy techniques to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed.
According to studies conducted by the University of Maryland, acupuncture is believed to help relieve stress. But instead of booking an appointment with the acupuncturist, take a few minutes to massage the fleshy spot between your thumb and index finger or the hollow spot right below your sternum. Alternatively, stash a mini reflexology stress-relief ball in your drawer and use it to massage your palms, neck, arms and feet throughout the day.
It’s a common habit to spill the tea on what’s happening in the office when you’re out for lunch with your colleagues, but more often than not, this can add on to any stress or worries you may have about work. Instead, optimise your hour-long break with light-hearted topics for your lunch conversations instead of focusing on work.
There’s no simpler way to beat stress than to focus on your breathing. In fact, studies show that taking slow, deep breaths can help lower your blood pressure and heart rate while calming your mind. Give alternate nostril breathing a go when you’re feeling overwhelmed in the office. Inhale and exhale deeply and slowly through one nostril, while blocking the other nostril with your finger. Alternate your nostrils and practice this breathing technique for five minutes to feel the difference.
Instead of losing your temper when facing an obstacle, train your mind to flip the script by replacing a negative thought with three simple, positive ones. The technique helps rewire the way your mind approaches a situation and veer away from negativity. You can also employ a little creative visualisation. The next time you’re reaching breaking point, take a deep breath, close your eyes and think of a scenario that makes you happy – yes, thinking of Jason Momoa does help. It’s an instant mood boost each time you feel tense.
A little alone time when you’re unable to focus or feeling out of sorts can help organise your thoughts. Seek out a little nook within your office that’s quiet and soothing and head there the next time you find yourself looking for a little clarity. Take 10 minutes to clear your head before heading back to your desk. Or just head outdoors for a quick breather, as studies have shown that exposure to sunlight can help boost your spirits.
A cluttered desk can create emotional distress, as it may cause you to feel like you have no space to yourself. As such, take a few minutes each morning to organise your desk before you begin the day’s work for a stress-free start to your day.
Aromatherapy is thought to help minimise pain, headaches, anxiety and agitation. So the next time you’re out shopping, treat yourself to a diffuser and soothing essential oils, which you can use while you’re at your desk. But if you’d rather not add more clutter to your desk, simply splash a few drops of your favourite essential oil into your palms and inhale.
It can be hard to say no when your employer entrusts you with a large stack of projects, but the easiest way to cope with this is to identify the most important tasks on your list and focus on those first. Mastering this technique will be easier if you minimise distractions along the way, too. For example, allocate certain times of the day to check and respond to emails instead of attending to it every time a notification pops up. This will keep you focused on the tasks at hand, allowing you to clear your daily to-do list more efficiently.
By Hazel Joanne Vincent De Paul, August 2019 / Images: Shutterstock
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