Easier said than done, I know. Because, firstly, who has the time? And secondly, what could you possibly do when your main priority in the morning is to get ready for work? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Practice some breathing exercises in the morning. Listen to music you like. Have a cup of tea in bed with your partner. And so on.
If you travel using public transport, as a devout reader, I’d highly recommend that you keep a book on hand. I’ve found that reading a few chapters while I’m on my way to work is not only fantastic escapist material, but it’s a great way to keep my anxiety at bay.
By the time I get to work, I’m usually a little sad that I have to put my book down, but I at least feel a little more prepared for the day.
2. Be social (because you will need to be), but take time to recharge
There’s no getting around it. Meetings, team interactions and socialising with your colleagues happen on a daily basis. It’s one thing to be reserved, but it’s another thing entirely if you’re completely anti-social.
Admittedly, striking the balance between the two is hard, so if you’re really struggling, then take some measures to find a method that will help you to regroup. Find a quiet space, take a walk (even if it’s to the bathroom), go outside – take that break you need to restore your equilibrium.
3. Headphones are your friends
There’s quite a bit of debate around the issue of headphones at work, but personally I think if it helps you, then you shouldn’t shy away from using it. Frankly, I find that using headphones and listening to music helps me to zone in and focus on my work.
It’s also a great way to keep the anxiety of always having to socially perform at bay. That said, don’t go to extremes by employing the use of headphones for the entire day. The last thing you want to do is make it look like you don’t want to interact with anyone at all.
4. Make the space around you an introvert-happy space
Huffington Post has recently posted an article that encourages introverts to “create a sense of private space within your personal area” and I couldn’t agree more. Personalise your desk by adding things that reflect your personality.
The idea behind this is that if you go to the comfort of your own home and space, you simply need to bring it to you. Being surrounded by the things you love goes a long way to making you feel comfortable and secure in your environment.
The books and fairy figurines on my desk definitely goes a long way to making me feel like I have a second home at work.
5. Make use of apps that will help you combat feelings of anxiety
Music not doing the trick? Need something with a more meditative and calming effect? Google Play and the Apple store have great apps to try for relaxing.
I currently use Relax Melodies (an app which consists of a series of nature-related sounds and one you can blend and play around with to create multiple effects) and it works like an absolute charm. The ambience that apps like these create go a long way to help you with your concentration, focus and anxiety – especially in a rowdy and open plan office environment.
6. Office workplace flexibility?
Check your company’s policy regarding office hours.
Find out if there are days when you can work from home (but only if you really, really need to) or whether you can work the earlier or later, but quieter shift.
Sometimes you might find it easier to work during times when there’s a lull, so it might be worth working something out with your boss that could help maximise your productivity.
What are some of your tips when it comes to working in an open plan office?