Work is an essential part of our lives. Most people spend many hours a day at their workplace and wish to perform well, no matter what kind of job they are doing.
Being successful at work requires:
The key to performing well at work is a healthy lifestyle. By adding some healthy habits to our busy work life we can boost our mood and reduce stress.
Here are 3 ways to improve your work performance:
1. Having quality sleep and proper breaks
No improved work performance will come without regular rest! Poor sleep habits can affect your work performance, your productivity, as well as the work quality and working relationships in a negative way. Sleep deprivation results in concentration, learning and communication difficulties. Without enough sleep you might be moody and less tolerant of your co-workers’ opinions, which can lead to misunderstandings and disagreements.
Most people require 7-8 hours of sleep to be their best selves throughout the day. On top of that, there needs to be proper breaks. It is best to schedule them at regular times throughout the day or to take them whenever you feel unfocused. If you are working in an office, make sure to walk around for 5-10 minutes – a small change of scenery and some movements can help to regain focus. Your lunch break should not be shorter than 15 minutes so you have enough time to refuel and refresh for a productive afternoon.
2. Developing a daily routine
In general, apart from a sleep and break routine, your workdays should be as structured as possible to ensure an improved performance. Your daily routine for a great performance at work needs to include healthy eating, exercising your body and, possibly, stable working hours.
When it comes to eating, make sure to start with a good breakfast to kickstart your energy levels and mental attitude before starting the day. At work, make sure to have some fruit or vegetables around to snack on – cherry tomatoes, celery sticks or carrots are always good options. Proteins can be added in the form of Greek yoghurt, string cheese and nuts for quick boosts. It is important to keep your snacks low in sugar and sodium. Your body will appreciate the extra effort put into preparing healthy snacks, and your productivity and focus will improve.
To help with stress management and promote proper brain function, regular exercise is suggested – ideally a few hours before bedtime. You might find it difficult to fit in a workout in your busy daily routine. It does not have to be complicated though and you do not necessarily have to spend an hour at the gym! Walking around in your breaks while breathing some fresh air – just moving your body – can make a big difference in terms of productivity and work performance.
3. Living a mindful life
Mindfulness – focusing on the present moment. Practising mindfulness on a regular basis has a positive impact on your work performance. Studies show that it improves your mental health, stress levels, sleep and productivity.
Practising mindfulness and/or prayer takes 5 minutes a day; find a quiet space and focus on your breathing – nice and deep breaths in and out will give your body a mental break. This can be part of your morning routine and leads to starting the day in a more peaceful way.
When your day comes to an end, take some time to review it – this will make you feel in control of your schedule. Become aware of how much importance you give to certain tasks in your (work) life and set priorities. You can only function properly when being realistic and not overwhelming yourself with tasks and expectations!
When you have achieved your goal(s) for the day, you can spend your evening much calmer and have better sleep – the cycle closes and this leads us back to our first strategy of improving your work performance.
Your counsellor can give you tips on living a more mindful life and developing a routine that suits your life.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Franziska Richter is a transcultural counsellor with Willingness Team, offering counselling sessions to individuals and couples. She is particularly interested in trauma, addictions, migration, sexuality, and eating disorders.
Reisdorf, A. (2018). Can a healthy lifestyle make you better at your job? Retrieved 12 October 2021, from https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/external/2018/01/healthy-lifestyle-better-job/.
Clarke, J. (2020). Benefits of a morning routine. Retrieved 12 October 2021, from https://www.verywellmind.com/morning-routine-4174576.
Fort HealthCare Corporate Health Services (n.d.). Forthealthcare.com. Sleep deprivation and work performance. Retrieved 12 October 2021, from https://www.forthealthcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/sleep-deprivation-and-work-performance.pdf.