Working Hours

Digital Marketers and indeed anyone who works in front of a computer often spend long hours in front of their computer leading to mental and physical fatigue.

One of the first things to look at is your work space, is it in a quiet environment where you can be comfortable and get the quiet you need to concentrate and focus?

If you are working in an office with others, you should have adequate space between you and the person next to you to be able to work undisturbed.

Desk, chair and monitor height are all important and you shouldn’t have to feel strain to see your screens or reach your mouse/keyboard.

Whether you are working for an employer or working for yourself, make sure that you take adequate breaks away from your screen. To protect your eyesight, you should take a 5 minute break for every 30 minutes of screen time.

Coders, marketers and other IT workers are spending increasing time in front of their screens and increasing the risk of suffering from burnout. Working more than 8 hours per day increases your risk of burnout and other serious health issues. 8 hours per day should be the absolute maximum but work less if you can.

Just because there are 8 hours available to work in a day doesn’t mean you need to use them all. If you can produce the same amount and quality of work in 6 hours that you could in  then aim to do that.

More and more employers are becoming aware of flexible working hours and granting flexi time and remote contracts to more of their staff. Everyone is more productive at a specific time of day, identify your most productive time of day and try to get the majority of your work done during these times.

Making your day less stressful

If you are in control of your own timetable then try to assign any not so enjoyable tasks to first thing in the day when your energy levels are at their highest.

Alternating between laborious and enjoyable tasks can also be a great way to break up your day and make it less stressful.

Physical stress can be just as exhausting as mental stress for the digital worker with office syndrome on the increase every year.

Invest some time and money in going for a massage every month! You will feel the benefit guaranteed…

Ensure that you get some human contact everyday, voice or in person. All too often we resort to only communicating by text or email and even if this is just for a couple of days it can have a negative effect on our emotional state.

Look at your commute (if you have one) and see how you can make that easier by talking to your boss about starting work earlier or later.

If you are working at home make sure that you have a dedicated work space and limit distractions.

If you start to feel stress creeping into your day, take a short break and reflect on what you are grateful for that day. It can be as simple as not having to queue too long for coffee to getting the breakthrough with a client that you have been looking for.

Making your diet work for you

This should go without saying but more often than not, people who suffer from stress and burnout have not been eating properly for some time.

The obvious things include

  • Avoid excessive caffeine
  • Drink as much water as possible, try for 8 glasses per day
  • Eat fruit as snacks or drink fruit smoothies
  • Avoid processed food
  • Eat food that you enjoy!

The last one is probably the most important unless your favorite food is burger and chips. Look forward to lunch during your working day. Use it as an opportunity to relax and enjoy some good food and most of all don’t rush your lunch. This can lead to long term digestive problems and an unproductive afternoon.

Embrace Exercise & Fresh Air

Although the digital age gives us the option to work from anywhere, many of us don’t choose to do this. We stay in our offices staring at the same four walls day after day and never moving our bodies or absorbing the world around us.

It is important to spend some time outdoors everyday, even if you live in a freezing cold climate, get out and enjoy everything that nature has to offer – even if it is just for a few minutes.

Make sure you take some exercise, move your body with as little as a simple walk. Ideally, you should have a regualar exercise routine to help you keep office syndrome at bay and you will find that exercise helps you to burn the excess physical energy which builds up in desk workers and can manifest into stress.