For many of us, work can mean long hours behind a desk, whether at the office or at home. We often have a long list of important tasks or projects that need to be accomplished by day’s end. There will be days when you feel there is just not enough time to get everything done. You may feel like you don’t get a lot completed or that time seems to pass you by so quickly without getting much done. This may be due to a lack of focus or energy or feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
Being focussed and feeling healthy are the keys to becoming a highly effective manager, leader, employee, or entrepreneur. Here are some tips to improve your focus in your workplace:
- Clear your desk
Remove clutter and objects of distraction. Your desk should only contain tools and things that you need for work. Keep pens, pencils, writing paper, paper clips, stapler and other office supplies nearby if you regularly use them for your work. Store other items that you rarely use so the result is a neat and orderly desk space. While some people maintain that they work well amongst "organized clutter", their concentration may improve further without the distractions of a messy desk.
- Have a daily list of things to do
Making a list at the start of the day mentally prepares you for the work to be done. The same list will also serve as a handy reminder of outstanding tasks throughout the day. When you feel yourself waning simply refer to your list of things to do, reprioritise, and get back on track.
- Clear your first 90 minutes to GET STUFF DONE
Plan for no distractions. Don’t check emails, answer your phone or scroll through social media feeds. Head down, bum up and get those important tasks done. The pre-frontal cortex in your brain is firing on all cylinders in the morning so you need to take advantage of this and achieve things that require concentration, thought and creativity. You will be more productive in these 90 minutes than you will be for the rest of the day.
- Use a good chair for neck and back support
A chair that provides stable but comfortable support for your back and neck enables you to work well without feeling any tension or stress around your shoulders, neck or back. Consider the benefits of a standing desk in your work space.
- Keep a notebook for those creative ideas
Creative spurts come when you least expect it. The best way to capture those ideas as they enter your head is to jot them down straight away in a small notebook; refer to them later when the time is right. After jotting notes down, make sure that you immediately return to the task that was interrupted by your random thoughts.
- Sip water regularly
Have a bottle of water on your desk and sip regularly. Our brains can switch off under stress, fluorescent lights and from caffeine, which are all common to a workplace. By sipping water regularly, you will reactivate your brain cells and neurotransmitters, which will improve your focus, memory and concentration. Water is an essential fluid that your body and brain needs to function well.
- Take a few deep breaths
Are you experiencing blocks or mental blanks? Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Take several slow, deep breaths… This will relax the nervous system, aid in restoring calm, and enhance your overall alertness.
- Move and stretch regularly
Sitting is the new smoking. Research has shown that sitting for long periods of time can amplify many ailments and diseases, so get up and move around the office, go for a walk in your breaks, get some fresh air, climb the stairs, do some stretches. Great examples include stretching your arms above the head and behind your back, gently rotate your neck side to side, shrug and release your shoulders, do squats or some calf and hamstring stretches. Just make sure you MOVE regularly.
- Work near bright natural daylight or bright artificial light
Natural daylight regulates your circadian rhythm or internal body clock so that you stay awake during the day and sleep at night. To increase focus and alertness at work, let natural daylight in as much as you can, or if you don’t have natural daylight at your desk, use a bright lamp while working and go outside several times a day.
- Have healthy snacks on hand
Take healthy snacks to work. A smoothie or nuts and fruits give you enough energy to work on a task while keeping you healthy. As mentioned above (#6), drink water regularly. Avoid sugary or 'energy' drinks or caffeine that provide you with temporary bursts of high energy as these may leave you feeling more tired and in a slump after the sugar and caffeine have worn off.
BONUS TIPBring fun and humour into your workplace. Laughing releases endorphins (the feel-good hormones) which have so many positive benefits. Laughter reduces stress, anxiety and depression, it increases a person’s resilience, boosts your immunity and reduces pain. All positives to feel great at work.
Wedding day fast approaching? And your head’s chock full of seating charts, colour schemes and menus, right? We’ve all been there. Every bride feels the pressure in the run-up to her big day. Don’t let stress ruin your wedding, follow these top tips for transforming even the most frazzled bridezilla into a zen princess.
Just because your wedding day isn’t a military campaign, doesn’t mean it can’t run like one. Diary apps, post-it notes, calendars or a good old fashioned schedule. Whatever your style; keeping track of what’s left to do, when the deposits are due, and the final deadline for payments, means you won’t be losing beauty sleep in the run-up to your big day.
Your nearest and dearest are just as good at ferreting out bargains, checking out bands and whittling down photographers as you are. So don’t treat the bridal party as set dressing, make them earn their keep!
- Shop smart
Yes, you can spend months running around bridal shows, reception venues, caterers and heaven knows what else, but we live in the digital age — let the internet do the work for you. Sites like Ivory Tribe and Pinterest are great for picking up ideas and seeing what works well. And once you know what you want, you can narrow down your search area.
Don’t be afraid to ask those around you for recommendations as well. We all want our day to be unique and special, but that doesn’t mean you can’t borrow a few good ideas or use the same florist as your cousin. Tradespeople who come highly recommended are worth their weight in gold, and are a stress-free alternative to gambling on unknowns.
- Ask for samples
Go and see the band live, taste test a gazillion types of cake and don’t be afraid to ask multiple caterers for sample menus. Take the guesswork out of the selection process and you can relax, secure in the knowledge that the band sings on pitch and the food will hit the mark.
- Take ‘me-time’
It’s lovely that everyone wants to help (and impose their own set of ‘great’ ideas and family traditions on your big day), but don’t lose sight of yourself. Book an hour out for a massage, schedule a pedicure or hit the yoga studio and give yourself a break from it all.
If you’re preparing for the biggest day of your life, then chances are you’re no stranger to the cross trainer. But exercise isn’t just about fitting into that dress. Even if red-faced and sweaty isn’t a look you covet, it can make you feel better. A gentle walk, short swim or full-on gym sesh will all do wonders for your psychological and physical health and help you stay stress-free.
- Use your head
So wedding stuff’s getting on top of you and you don’t have time for a pedicure or a quick run? We’ve got a tip for that! Balance your brain with some cross crawl exercises or down some water, both will activate brain function and help you to concentrate on the task at hand.
Meditation is an excellent tool for helping you to focus, and it doesn’t need to take that long. A couple of minutes of deep breathing exercises will calm your mind, slow your heart rate and enhance your health. What’s not to love?
- Be positive
It is important to remember what your wedding is really about — even when Great Aunt Aggie is refusing to sit next to Uncle Leicester and the whole seating plan is going up in flames. Repeating positive affirmations like ‘our wedding will be fun, memorable and everyone will enjoy it’ will help you to refocus on what is important (and why you are putting yourself through all this in the first place).
There will be days when, even with the best will in the world, the wedding gets on top of you and eloping to Vegas starts to look like the favourable option. It’s OK to feel like this, as long as you let those around you know how you are feeling. Talking through your concerns and articulating how you feel will preserve your relationships…and your sanity!
- Be a couple
Don’t lose sight of who you are as a couple as the wedding gets close. Establish a weekly date night, go away for the weekend or just walk the dog together. Take the time to listen to each other.
Remember, this is your first real test as a couple, establishing good practices now will help you stay strong in the future when work gets busy or the patter of tiny feet overwhelms you.
- Acknowledge your feelings
Feeling nervous in the run up to a lifelong commitment is perfectly natural. Don’t beat yourself up about nerves or imagine that you’re getting cold feet. Instead, take the time to acknowledge how you are feeling. Discuss your thoughts with those closest to you, invest in some Rescue Remedy (nature’s answer to wedding jitters) and spend time as a couple.
- Sleep well
Struggling to sleep? Perfectly normal. Take a relaxing bath with Epsom salts right before bed, dab lavender oil on your pillow or try a restful meditation to help you drift off.
- Look after yourself
The cabbage soup diet might work for Beyonce, but let’s not pretend it’s a good look for anyone else. Look after yourself in the run up to the wedding. Eat real, nourishing food, drink lots of water and engage in regular exercise and you’ll be able to handle any last minute niggles without a melt-down.
Written by Jo Surkitt from Revitalize Lifestyle
Presented in Ivory Tribe
TURMERIC GEMS for Spring and Winter Spring Delight Smoothie and Immune Boost Elixir - Yummy, Easy and Healthy Turmeric Warming Drink to keep you healthy
The ancient spice Turmeric (Cucuma Longa) is the 'in thing' at the moment for all of it's positive healing powers. I remember when I studied Naturopathy we were told it was one of the most powerful foods you could eat and we used to trial all sorts of recipes. It is grown in the Sub Continent and Asia. Turmeric is an awesome anti inflammatory and since many people have some sort of inflammation in their body at some time it's a great ingredient to add regularly to your food or drinks. It's a natural antiseptic, anti bacterial, detoxifier, pain killer, improves metabolism, assists in wound healing and is used in treatment for many types of cancer. The list is endless.
Here is a Spring Smoothie Sensation
1 cup of coconut milk (or almond,rice,oat)
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1 fresh banana
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tbs chia seeds
Mix and enjoy!
Here is a yummy warm Turmeric drink you may like to make.
Immune Boost Elixir
1 cup of Organic Almond, Rice, Oat or Cows Milk
1 Teaspoon Raw Organic Coconut Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Paste
Local Organic Honey or Rice Syrup to taste
Pinch of Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan or Thermomix (except honey)
Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly. The drink should be warm but not too hot.
Add honey/rice syrup and ENJOY!