Two of the most important ongoing discussions in the modern workplace center on work performance and mental well-being. These two elements are closely linked—your mental health has a direct effect on the quality and consistency of your work, and vice versa—so it pays to consider how you can take care of both when you’re on the clock. We’ve compiled five secrets to help you balance work performance and mental wellness.
1. Take a break
Sometimes, when you’re battling a particularly large workload, it can be tempting to forego a break in favor of more time in front of the screen. However, working without breaks will only lead to mental burnout, which has a negative impact on both your emotional well-being and the quality of your work. Whether it be taking your full lunch break or just spending 10 minutes making an afternoon cup of coffee, stepping away from your work for a little while will make you feel rested and ready to be productive when you jump back into work.
2. Never multitask
Though multitasking can sometimes seem like a necessity, concentrating on just one thing at a time will make you produce higher quality work, faster. Juggling several tasks at once can stress you out and cause you to feel spread thin, even making you forget where you left off on a project before you switched over to another assignment. If you focus on individual tasks until they’re completed, however, you’ll enjoy a sense of accomplishment upon realizing how productive you’ve been—which, in turn, will fuel your motivation.
3. Treat yourself
Just because you’re at work doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a treat to lift your mood and fuel your performance. So, whether you’re celebrating a finished project or you’ve just completed an important presentation, go ahead and reward yourself with something you deserve. It can be as simple as swapping out instant coffee for decadent Nespresso pods, or heading to your favorite local bistro on your lunch break for a peaceful read and bite to eat.
4. Communicate regularly and honestly
As society has become more talkative about matters of mental health, mental health at work has risen to the fore of the discussion. Whether you’re having a hard time with a personal issue or you’re battling a mental illness at work, bottling up your thoughts and feelings won’t be good for either your work performance or your mental well-being. Think about opening up to a close colleague or letting your manager know if you’re struggling with a hefty workload at the minute. Communicating openly with somebody in your office can be comforting, especially since we spend so much of our waking time at work.
5. Don’t overwork yourself
We’re all guilty of working longer hours than expected from time to time, when we have an important deadline approaching or something urgent come up at the last minute. However, making a habit of working overtime can be detrimental to your emotional well-being.
You’ll quickly create a false expectation that your current workload is manageable, which, if untrue, will only add to the pressure and stress you feel at work, leaving you tired, unmotivated, and unhappy. Worse still, it’s possible your social life will suffer if you prioritize work over other aspects of your life—which can also leave you more vulnerable to mental illness.
Work smarter, not longer. You can do this by setting realistic deadlines, communicating your current workload to your manager, and staying productive by working on one task at a time (while taking breaks, of course). Following these steps will help you maintain a healthy and rewarding work-life balance.
At the end of the day, working hard shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice your mental well-being. Following the steps above will help you achieve a balance between the two.
Richard Clarke is Managing Director at Novell Coffee, which brings Nespresso compatible capsules to coffee lovers across the UK and beyond.
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