Life has challenges that can slow us down. But even in times of frustration and stress, a few steps make life happier and hopefully more productive.

Happy businesswoman working from home

There are certain constants in life. You can be sure that there will be ups and downs. Sometimes the going can be really rough and you can suffer anxiety, depression and stress. For some, it’s just a matter of a few days to snap back into action. For a few others, and this can be for several very valid reasons, it may take some help to get them back to their happy and productive self.

Pressure and worry often go hand in hand. It is important is to recognise the need to address the issue, confront it, make peace and move forward. In some cases, pressure and worry form a part of a particular phase in life, and rather than bury it deep inside, it is best to work on creating inner happiness to overcome the stress. This in turn will help improve productivity in all that you do.

Everyone needs a bit of a guiding hand when they are trying to find their inner happiness.

Allow your inner peace to emerge

Inner peace would be so easy to achieve if we had million dollars and a perfect life. But, since things don’t work that way, we need to take charge of our own lives. The first is to acknowledge that everyone is different. Be kind to yourself, you may need to slow down a bit, assess what is getting you down and work from there.

It is important to acknowledge that you are feeling depressed or low, and that you would like to work your way out of it. Sometimes all you need is a trusted friend to lend you a non-judgemental ear and you could be sorted. At other times, you may need professional help (if this is you, please contact your doctor or other trusted medical professional). It is important that you give yourself some time to wallow. A day to feel all that you are, perhaps cry it out or even sleep it off. Once you are ready to make a change, then you can work on some simple aspects of your life to attain peace from within.

Discontent

Find the source of discontent

It is important to find the source of what is getting you down and work on it. Often, looking at a problem from a calm perspective may give you a way to solve it. Discussing it with someone you trust may help you see things from another point of view and a solution may present itself. Weigh the pros and cons of the action you are going to take to solve the problem and see how best you can make things work for you in your circumstances. It is understandable that things may not always be black and white. Look for ways to work around the problem, or a way up to a solution for it.

Ensure all personal matters of health, financial and personal security are well addressed. Making sure you have your life organised helps so much to get your head into a place where you can start thinking beyond that.

  • Insurance is an important back up you need to have in place in the case of an emergency. It gives you peace of mind in case the unthinkable happens.
  • Visit a doctor to get a check up and make sure medical problems aren’t causing your distress.

De-clutter your life

Start by looking at your to-do list. Often you will find that you have bitten off more than you can chew. Both, in the workspace and at home, there are tasks that can be outsourced to others. Its teamwork all the way. Look through your to-do list and figure out what is truly yours to do and what others can take off your hands. Delegate. Pay someone if you can (especially cleaning the oven, no-one wants to do that).

Move on to your workspace – clear everything unnecessary. Not only does it visually lighten the load, it gives you a neat space to work. Untidiness and clutter have a way of adding urgency and stress to anything you do.

Work on time management

Evaluate how you spend your time. Social media has become a huge source of discontent. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is real and it’s easy to be constantly seeking validation from an invisible online world. Limit the time you spend on social media and reconnect with people IRL. Do not set your standards of achievement and self-worth according to what you see on social profiles. A lot of it is staged positivity.

Work out a schedule for yourself – for work, socialisation, entertainment and most importantly me-time. Do whatever you need find relaxes you – a tea by yourself in the garden, a jigsaw puzzle or a walk down to the local shop for milk. Anything, but let that time be yours.

Productive businesswoman working from home

Get more productive

Once you are at peace with yourself, you will find that productivity at work naturally will be on the uptick. But, there are always a few more ways in which you can increase your output, without placing an unnecessary strain on yourself.

Pace yourself

This comes from being disciplined about work. Assess tasks by priority and assign personal deadlines to them. Ideally, a little ahead of what the actual deadline is so you have some breathing room. Be practical and factor in the unavoidable distractions and unexpected situations that may take you away from what you are doing. This is where smart pacing of tasks ensures that you do not end up scrambling with multiple things to do and no time to do it. It also ensures quality in all that you do.

Work smart

Do the tasks that you don’t enjoy when you are at your brightest during the day. It is so nice to do tasks that you like when you are a bit more relaxed with the pressure off. Finish similar tasks in one go, even if they are for two different things altogether. Set mini-goals. Once you achieve them, treat yourself. Go on a tea break when you are done with that one dreaded task; read that article online just before you sign out for the day. It gives you something to work towards.

Takeaway

At the end of a work day, make time for something that you like to do that will help you unwind. Allow yourself a pat on the back for things achieved. Remember there will be good days and low days. The key is to recognise the lows and work on stepping out of them.