Sometimes the idea of staying sane at work seems completely impossible. This is especially true if you have a desk job, where you may spend hours and hours simply sitting in the same place without reprieve. There are plenty of ways to keep yourself busy and stay sane during work hours; you simply have to know what to do.
Here are ten strategies that will provide the relief you seek:
1. Plan your day. Write out a daily list of tasks and plan out your day before it begins. This will help to keep you focused and on task throughout the day because you’ll always know where you stand with all of your projects and tasks.
2. Allocate times for distraction. Allocating specific time periods when it’s okay to become distracted can help make the rest of your day more productive. Let your colleagues know when your “office hours” are and try to make the rest of your time more productive.
3. Box your time. Rather than working on a project until it’s completed, resolve to work on a project for a set period of time; then change your focus. This will keep you productive and eliminate some of the tedium associated with working on the same project for long periods of time.
4. Organize your email. You can increase sanity by keeping your inbox organized, especially if you get a lot of correspondence on a daily basis. Use folders and filters to keep your email inbox organized and it will be as beneficial as having a tidy desk or cubicle.
5. Have a power hour. Resolve to dedicate the first hour of your workday to getting as much done as you can. Avoid your email inbox, favorite blogs, and voicemails, and get right to work. No matter what else happens during your day, you can at least have peace of mind about your productive hour where you got a lot of work done.
6. Listen to music. Music can help you settle into your work routine. Low-volume music can drown out noises in the office without interrupting other people around you. Choose music that helps you focus without distracting you.
7. Keep yourself hydrated. Hydration is important for a variety of health reasons. Fill up a personal water bottle and keep it with you all day. Keeping a water bottle will prevent you from having to get up over and over to get more water and ensures that you stay hydrated throughout the day.
8. Alternate between boring and active tasks. By shifting your focus between tedious and repetitive tasks and those that are more engaging, you can keep yourself more happily involved in your work throughout the day. Give each task category a time frame and alternate back and forth between them for best results.
9. Eat lunch away from your desk. Having a lunch break away from your desk can disrupt your productivity routine, but provide some much-needed relaxation and respite from your work. Enjoy your lunch break and return to your work with renewed energy and focus.
10. Avoid personal activities at work. Respond to personal emails and deal with personal phone calls on your own time. By clearly separating work and home, you can focus yourself better during the day to get more done.
You can stay productive, alert, and sane during work hours if you plan out your day and really think about what you’re doing at work. It doesn’t take much forethought to have a good workday, but the time you put into planning can pay off big time!