There is plenty of data out there that shows how stress in the workplace can affect productivity. According to some research, three out of every four American workers would define their work as being stressful. Some stress is good as it can help drive us to new ideas, innovation and a sense of urgency to get things done. When the stress becomes too much, it will hurt productivity and if left unchecked, it can have some horrible affects on health. Both stress and workplace productivity are intertwined, so it is important to find ways to boost productivity by using various productivity tools that exist to ensure you get things done while keeping stress down. Let’s take a look at how stress can affect health and then look at some of the productivity tools that you can take advantage of.
Stress And Its Negative Health Effects
In the long term, stress can lead to several health related problems, including heart disease, ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems, cancer and a weakened immune system. Stress induced overeating of the wrong kinds of food are at the root of these problems which can lead to a steep increase in the levels of fat on your body. One way that stress can make you fat is through cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol is released in response to stress and its primary function is to increase blood sugar. An increased blood sugar puts the body in a state to more readily store fat. Also, too much cortisol can slow your metabolism down, causing even more weight gain.
I don’t know about you but when I feel stressed, I crave junk food. Another effect of too much stress is cravings for unhealthy foods such as sweets, processed foods and other low nutrition, high calorie foods. This leads to increased fat levels and the viscious cycle continues with more stress and more bad eating habits.
Now that we know that stress can be linked to weight gain, let’s look at some productivity tools that can help reduce the stress and help us stay healthy and fit.
One of the best ways to reduce stress in the workplace is to get tasks off your plate. Especially the ones that are boring, tedious and repetitive. One way of doing this is by hiring a virtual personal assistant. By delegating these types of tasks to a virtual assistant, you can focus on tackling the really important tasks on your to-do list. You might also free up time in your schedule for more relaxing endeavors. If you didn’t have the time before, you’d now have the time to exercise.
A virtual assistant can perform several tasks including:
- Word Processing
- Desktop publishing
- Proofreading and copy editing
- Putting together presentations
- Booking travel arrangements
- Transcription and Dictation
- Fax and Mail related services
- Various Web 2.0 services
With a virtual assistant, busy professionals can knock a several tasks off of their “to-do” list and get more of what they want to done. Some might even help you with scheduling exercise, tracking your fitness goals and helping you eat healthier. All this leads to less stress and a greater chance of staying fit and keeping excess weight off.
Have A Schedule
Failure to maintain a schedule of tasks, meetings and other things you need to accomplish throughout the day is a surefire way to add unnecessary stress to your life. Having a schedule will help you use your time effectively. By having a schedule, you can prioritize tasks, look for tasks that can be delegated to someone else and identify other tasks where you might need a hand. With a schedule it will be easier to take tasks to completion and you’ll gain a sense of accomplishment which will reduce stress levels. If you want to avoid stress at work, keeping a schedule is crucial.
Follow A Methodology
There several productivity methodologies that exist to help professionals transform their busy and overwhelmed lives into a system that is productive while keeping stress at bay. One that comes to mind is “Getting Things Done”, or GTD for short. GTD rests on the principle that a person needs to move tasks out of the mind by getting them recorded externally. By doing this, the mind can be freed from the job and hassle of having to remember everything that needs to get done. This allows one to concentrate on actually “getting those tasks” done. The GTD system helps to ensure that you’ll keep track of what you have to do and that you get the right reminders at the right time. This increased focus and control over tasks will lead to decreased stress. Other methodologies work in a similar manner with the goal of keeping productivity up and stress down.
Use An iPhone Productivity App
There are a number of iPhone apps that are geared towards making you more productive with less effort. These apps can help manage your to-dos, crunch numbers, transfer files, track your time and more. Some of these apps include:
* Things -> A to-do list manager
* TimeLogger -> A time tracker
* FileMagnet -> A file transfer tool where you can view files on the go
* Zenbe Lists ->An app for keeping multiple to-do lists. The lists can also be shared with other Zenbe users.
* P Calc -> More than just your basic calculator.
* iTalk Recorder -> A voice recording app with many useful features
By using productivity tools, you’ll find it much easier to stay in control of what you need to accomplish and avoid stress. By keeping stress to a minimum, you’ll be more focused on staying fit and healthy, keep your body in a mode where fat levels are more easily maintained and you’ll feel great and be happier.
This article has been given by Nick from Offshore Ally. You can read more on his outsourcing blog.