Whole body wellness doesn’t end at work. Putting ourselves first is a full time job. It’s scientifically proven that humans do their best, when they feel their best. That being said, here are 3 (seemingly) counterintuitive tools to boost sustainable, trauma-informed performance in the workplace.
1. Keep Calm & Make a List
“Dress me slowly,” said the lady to her maid, “I’m in a hurry.”
We’ve all heard haste makes waste, but there’s a reason these idioms stick around. We’ve all had those kinds of days. The alarm didn’t go off, the coffee spilt, you caught every single red light (and a couple bridges too). When we’re rushing, everything seems to go wrong. But there’s incredible power in learning to be still and take a breath. Instead of looking at it as a waste of time, look at it as time invested into a smoother future.
When challenged with large or many varied tasks, remember to take a breath and slow time down. Gather your thoughts, and create a punch list of everything that needs to get done. Split up large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks, and realistically lay out the things that can get done today.
By creating this roadmap to success, you can reduce the anxiety around tasks and challenges while moving towards your goals with respect for yourself and your body. You may also find that adding that structure allows for swiftness in getting things done and moving on to the next task.
2. Do Something Small
Here’s a little secret: you don’t have to tackle your list in the order it’s written in.
We suggest picking the smallest, easiest item on the list first. Why? Because getting started is the hardest part of the process. Pick something simple with a low barrier to completion. The quick little dopamine boost will feel good and encourage you to tackle something else off the list. Ride that wave of accomplishment all the way through the lighter items on the list until you find your flow.
3. Walk Away
Sometimes flow is a little tricky. If you find yourself stuck or overwhelmed, walk away. Literally. Physically. Walk away. Preferably somewhere in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the workplace. Your mind needs time to process and act on information. Sometimes when the problem seems too big to solve, we need to put some space between us and it to fit the answer.
Allow yourself to be otherwise active: a light walk, a good long look out a window, some light exercise or gentle stretching. Refocus and recenter. Go back to step one if necessary. It’s ok to get stuck sometimes. What we won’t do is: allow ourselves to stay stuck.
Being productive and successful does not have to be synonymous with burn out. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t move so fast your spirit can’t keep up.
If you enjoyed these tips and would like to read more workplace wellness hacks, see our last post on how to optimize your office for a happier, more productive space.