Raise your hand if you had ever had some kind of ritual you thought would bring you good luck.
Me! Raising my hand.
Anyone who plays sports or even performs on a stage probably has had some kind of ritual (or habitual/ceremonial action) they did before any big event -- and with good reason.
HBR (Harvard Business Review) found that “performing a ritual before entering a stressful situation can reduce feelings of anxiety and improve performance.”
While it may not be a championship game or an opening night performance, work is a performance-based activity that can bring about a lot of daily anxiety to people in all types of roles.
If you have anxiety and your well-being isn’t 100%, you can’t bring your A-game to work every day. In fact, 83% of workers believe their mental well- being influences how productive they are.
So, who wouldn’t want to try something that would help them constantly bring their best to their job, or get the most out of their workday?
“Rituals and the way they make us feel, actually set our brains up for the day…” They can determine “...whether we’re going to be in this more expanded thinking space or much more narrow thinking space and have consequences on our performance,” McQuaid says.
To help you boost your performance at work and reduce your anxiety here are 9 daily rituals you can try:
Give yourself a short blast of cold water - It may sound silly, but try it before a day that you have a lot of meetings or a day that you have a lot of work to get completed for the day. The cold gives your nervous system a jolt to reset. This will also help you wake up in the morning :)
Delay checking emails until you tackle a pending task - Try it before returning to work after a long week or holiday. If you check your emails while working on a task you will get distracted and want to work on this new issue/task instead of finishing the current task you are working on.
Turn your devices on airplane mode for a few hours - Try it before a big deadline.
I know this one may be a tad bit difficult since you want to be reachable, but if you need to catch up, let your team know you will be unavailable for a few hours so you can get your work done. Here at IMPACT, I know a lot of us do this with Slack because sometimes it can be distracting and pull you out of your flow.
Count your breaths - This helps you refocus on the task at hand and not get carried away from negative thoughts or worry. Try it before dealing with a dissatisfied customer, client, or even an employee. The best thing is to close your eyes, sit upright, and focus on your breathing before going into that meeting or conversation.
Keep a daily journal - Writing things down allows your to process things with the left-hand side of your brain, improving memory and comprehension of concepts. It can be useful before memorizing a presentation.
Take a five-minute break after 25 minutes of work - Try it before tackling your to-do list. Frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused. Here at IMPACT, we like to do laps around the outside of the office, just so that we can walk away from our desks, especially if we have been working on something for a really long time.
Use a few minutes of your lunch break to meditate - Try it before multitasking. Meditating has been found to make you a better multitasker so why wouldn’t you want to do that.
Do a 5-Minute workout - try it before pitching an idea to your boss. Working out can give you more physical and mental energy to get through the day.
Come back to your body - This is about again being fully aware of your current state. Simple body movement like grounding your feet can help center you and remove distractions. Try it before delivering some challenging news to a colleague.
Learn more about each of these rituals in the full infographic from Pound Place below.
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