For most of us, 21st century life includes spending at least some of it at a desk plugged in to technology. That’s unlikely to change anytime soon, so we think the trick is to find ways to make that experience a pleasant one rather than a headache. Here are four tips to make being desk-bound less stressful.
Clear the decks
Before 2017 gets any further, have a good tidy out. Put on some good music and take an hour or two to sort through all your drawers, remove everything piled up collecting dust and then clean all those dusty corners. The good news is you also get to do a bit of shopping if you need to. Get rid of anything tatty and replace with new files, storage boxes and smart stationery that deserves to be treated with love. If you need a nudge to get you started, have a look at these tips from declutter queen, Vicky Silverthorn on how to make your work space work harder.
Apply the ‘Do it, File it, Bin it’ rule
Feeling bombarded? One touch time management techniques can help. Allocate a few set times during each day to deal with things coming in and demanding your attention (be that a verbal request, a piece of paperwork or another thing pinging in to your inbox). Be ruthless in how you tackle things – dealing with each one in turn. Either do it there and then, file it (for later or to have on record) or bin it. Done and dusted. That leaves you time to stay tuned in to bigger tasks without distraction.
Scientists have shown that being surrounded by nature has a positive effect on our mood. In fact, even a picture of a natural setting containing trees can change the way we feel (check out this research conducted by the University of Illinois & the University of Hong Kong for more details). So when you can, take breaks from your desk and spend time outdoors in a natural setting. Even a walk through a tree-lined street in the middle of a city can help to reduce stress and change the way we feel for the better. Think about that when you decide which route to walk to work and where to eat your lunch. Back indoors, keep a small vase close by and pop a flower in on a Monday morning. And invest in a few of these air-purifying houseplants – they’ll not only help you space look green and gorgeous, they’ll also kick out oxygen and help clean the air of toxins.
Have a giggle
Laughter is good for you. Make sure you do it every day. It decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, so improves your resistance to disease. When we laugh our body releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. This promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Surround yourself with people and things that make you smile. Life’s too short not to don’t you think?