“But, you need a vacation!” This is the phrase my friends would tell me whenever I turn down their invitations to travel to a different place or hit the beach. I know I need a vacation, but the problem is: It’s not that simple.
Many will agree with me when I say, taking a leave from work is easier said than done. You can’t just pack and go when you have so many work tasks on your plate–especially when your company’s big project is due in a few weeks.
So what can you do for the meantime? Do you just suck it up despite your increasing stress? Not exactly. There are a few things you can do to press your reset button that doesn’t involve hopping on a plane and relaxing by the beach.
Change Your Scenery
It may not be as good as watching the sunset by the ocean, but changing your surrounding in different ways can still have some positive effects on your productivity and mood at work.
Various psychological experiments and studies have shown that we, humans, are incredibly context-dependent. This means that the environment that surrounds us give us a cue on the different habits and behaviors we associate with the surroundings.
Switch things up a bit, like changing your computer background into something that will help your workplace be more conducive for working. You can also add a plant, a photo or a new desktoy. You can even do more extreme measures like rearranging your office setup.
Even small changes can make a big difference.
Interchange Your Routine
It is good to tweak your routine once in a while. By doing so, you will find a renewed sense of focus. Neuroscientists have proven that our brains are always looking for something new. By switching some changes to your routine, you are giving your brain it is looking for. This way you’ll enjoy increased focus on whatever you are working on.
On another note, this will also improve your creative thinking.Straying away from your routines and predictable workflows will increase your brain’s neuroplasticity–the ability of the brain to form new connections between thoughts. So go ahead, switch things up a bit.
Unplug Whenever Possible
This is easier said than done, you have a lot of work to do after all. However, stepping out of your gadgets like your smartphone, or emails once in a while will give your brain that much needed break it’s been looking for.
In this digital age, you can’t disconnect completely. But give yourself permission to take a step back and unplug once in a while–at least when you’re not actively working.
These are just some small changes to hit that reset button and help you get through the next few days or weeks so you can renew your focus and outlook in the workplace.