How to Get More Done with (a Lot) Less Stress: 12 Daily Habits

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“Three working rules: Find simplicity out of clutter; Find harmony out of discord; In the middle of the difficulty is the possibility. “
Albert Einstein

“Just think”, as my old master said – which means that you reduce all parts to the simplest terms and return to the first principles. “
Frank Lloyd Wright

The daily work we do – at school, at work, or in a shop – can easily become overwhelming and ineffective, drawing the energy and joy out of your work.

So how can you work easier and easier to do more of what’s really important in less time and with less stress?

Let me share 12 habits that I’ve discovered over the years that help me do just that.

1. Prepare your day the night before.

Pack your bag or suitcase. Put the leftovers of your dinner in a container and put them in the fridge. Keep your keys, wallet, etc. in a place where you can easily find them along the way.

This preparation helps you to have a less stressful morning.

2. Be 5-10 minutes early for appointments.

Your daytime travel becomes a time of relaxation and recharging. Instead of a time of stress and fear.

Also, people tend to like when other people are on time.

3. Work on one thing at a time.

It will be easier to concentrate and do a good job.

In less time than trying to do multiple tasks (at least if you’re something like me).

4. Work in a cone of silence.

Just before you start working, shut down your email and instant messaging programs.

Close the door to your office. Put your phone in silent mode and put it in a drawer.

If possible, end your internet connection. Or use an extension for your browser like StayFocusd.

5. During the day, ask yourself questions about simplification and focus.

It’s easy to get off track during a normal working day.

To stay on the right track or return there if you get lost, use questions like:

  • What is the most important thing I can do now?
  • Does that bring me closer to my goal?
  • Do I keep things extremely simple right now?

6. Let your lunch break be a time of relaxation.

Eat slowly. Place the fork between the bites to make this easier. Eat carefully and enjoy every bite.

Eating your lunch this way helps you relax and relieve some stress in the middle of your work day.

It can also help you avoid overeating, as it takes your brain 20 minutes to determine that you are full. By slowing down your food, your brain can stop you before you overeat.

7. Spend 80% of your time concentrating on a solution.

And you only spend 20% of your time dealing with your problem, your challenge or your problem. Instead of doing it the other way around.

This makes it easier to live an easier and more action-packed life and not to fall into a pit of self-pity or to be stuck in the mental habit of perceived fainting.

8. Ask for help.

You don’t always have to do it alone. You can ask for help.

You may not always understand it, but you will also be surprised at how helpful and kind people can be to reduce your stress and solve a challenge.

Just don’t forget to do the same for them as best you can when they ask.

9. Simply check your emails once a day.

Checking email or social media accounts multiple times a day consumes a lot of time and energy and can leave you feeling unconcentrated and stressed.

Instead, try to review and process all of these things only once a day. I do it at the end of my working day.

If this is not possible for you, try to postpone it for at least a few hours. And put your morning energy and focus on your most important task of the day.

10. Write shorter emails.

If possible, limit your emails to 1-5 sentences. You can also have some predefined answers to frequently asked questions saved in a folder in your email program.

This way you can spend less time and energy on your daily email processing.

11. Set and keep consciously firm boundaries between your work and your personal time.

Do you have a set stop time for your daily work (mine is 7am). Don’t work on weekends.

Be conscious of your limits and you will have less stress and more energy and focus on working better and leading a higher quality personal life.

This is one of the most important and often overlooked habits in this article.

12. Be smart about the 3 basics of energy.

By that I mean getting enough sleep, exercising a few times a week and eating a healthy diet.

In theory, this may seem very obvious. In practice, however, it makes a big difference to your optimism and self-talk, your energy level, your ability to deal with stress and to think clearly.

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