We’re all guilty of it from time to time.
You have a huge workload of projects and deadlines that leave you glued to your chair and your eyes barely take time to blink as they stare at your computer screen. The problem with that “too busy to move” posture is that over long periods of time, it will cause not only some easily detected strains in your back but also some not-so-easily detected strains on your eyes.
We all know the feeling of being stuck on a project for too long—you start to get frustrated to the point where the mental corrosion keeps you from getting anywhere.
Here are some methods to help keep you both mentally and physically fresh and help re-charge your batteries and keep you as productive as possible at work.
If You’re Taking Longer than Expected to Finish a Project, Try Switching to a Smaller Project and Come Back to it Later
Unless your project has a tight deadline, there is no reason to get worked up and spin your wheels on an issue when you can use that time more productively. Work on some smaller projects that aren’t quite as stressful, so when you return to the problematic project you’ll be mentally refreshed and in a better position to resolve it. If you spend too much time on a problem, you might start to read over important lines and skip crucial information. Don’t let this happen to you—your train of thought can fall off the rails if it’s not properly stimulated.
Give Your Eyes a Break
Seriously, sitting in front of your computer non-stop for hours on end is going to have some negative side-effects. Everyone needs a break. Go grab some coffee, go to the bathroom, chat with co-workers, stretch a little or even doodle on a piece of paper. If you’ve hit a wall on a project, step away and let your mind go somewhere else for a few minutes. We all know by now that staring at a computer screen for too long isn’t good for you on a lot of levels. Give your eyes a break. Get up from your desk, take a few deep breaths and walk for a bit. You’ll be surprised at how much a five-minute break can re-energize both your body and your brain.
Don’t get too frustrated
Is a project dragging you down? Is the program you’re working in not responding? Is Chrome taking up too much of your processor? Try not to get too frustrated. With every project and program you work with, there is almost always going to be setbacks (Tom Brady just lost a Super Bowl!).
Let’s say a program is running too slow—try a computer restart and get your blood flowing by standing up and stretching. Is a project’s deadline and subject just too much to bear? Take it one step at a time. Not every problem has to be solved the same way; there are a million-and-one ways to complete a project. Think outside the box—is the solution a fast course of action or a step-by-step build up? Ask for help if you feel stuck, get some fresh opinions and an extra set of eyes. Your co-workers are there to assist you, and their feedback can be vital to your success.
The bottom line is that with 4-8 hours a day spent in front of a computer screen, you can cause a lot of strain on both your physical and mental health without even knowing it. Nobody has ever won the Indianapolis 500 without taking a couple of pit stops! Keep your body both physically and mentally fresh and you’ll notice the projects getting done left and right!