February 4, 2020 | Andrew Stead
  • Being resilient in the workplace and creating a resilient environment is fundamental for the success of organisations and businesses.

    Some professions are more challenging than others: bankers and executives, healthcare professionals, and military forces are constantly subjected to high stress levels. But it doesn’t matter how stressful our day in the office might be, or what our job entails, we all need a good dose of resilience! It’s a critical element to understanding and managing the consequences of work-related stress.

    Here’s my little collection of the perfect ways to boost resilience in your workplace.

  • 1. Compartmentalisation

    Each second our brain processes around 11 million pieces of information. However, our conscious mind can process less than 50 pieces at a time (Britannica, 2020). So how can we overcome this information overload that overwhelms our brain every second?

    Compartmentalisation! Divide different information and different tasks into different categories. Your brain will be far less stressed as a result and science says you’ll be 40% more productive and effective to boot! (Monsel & Driver, 2000).

  • 2. Take breaks

    If we want to improve our resilience, we need to take breaks at the right time. Mental focus, clarity and energy cycles are typically 90-120 minutes long (Ericsson et al., 1993) so if you expect the most from your brain you better also give it a break!

    A good balance of work and breaks stimulates mental clarity, creativity, physical energy and focus while giving us a greater resilience during the workday (Hunter & Wu, 2015).

  • 3. Boundaries

    You’re in the middle of a massive project and your boss walks in and asks you to prepare another report for the very next day. Maybe this is the time you have to say no. Establishing healthy boundaries is a life skill that creates greater resilience and well-being (VanderPlaat, 2015).

  • 4. De-Centre Stress

    Don’t be confused - being centred is very important. What I mean here is our capability to decentre stress! Pause for a moment, observe the situation from an objective point of view and get creative on the solution. Decentering stress as it happens gives us “the ability to pause, step back, reflect, shift perspectives, create options and choose wisely” (Graham, 2018).

    This ability to activate a thinking process and overcome emotional attachment is fundamental to boost resilience, especially for demanding, high-performance workplaces.

  • 5. Compassion

    Being kind is free! And the benefits are extraordinary. Compassion and empathy can significantly improve performance, productivity and engagement (Silver et al., 2018).

    Read more about how to be more kind and compassionate in the office here and spread some extra love! 


  • 6. Monotasking

    Forget multitasking, start Monotasking! We don’t have parallel processors that run effectively and efficiently all the time. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not computers… According to the neuroscientist JoAnn Deak, Ph.D., multitasking “doubles the amount of time it takes to do a task, and it usually at least doubles the number of mistakes” (Deak, 2010).

    Want to make sure you’ll get it done in the least time possible? Monotasking is key! Prioritise, don’t overlap and don’t mistake what’s urgent for what’s important. This resilience trick will take you far.

  • 4. Flexibility

    Don’t confuse perseverance with obstinacy. Like I do! It’s okay to change your mind and it’s okay to change your plan. If the ideas you had in mind don’t end up working, don’t get upset or blame yourself. Let it go and move on.

  • 5. Breathe!

    Reboot your brain and shift your point of view by simply taking a breath. Find some time for yourself to practice mindfulness and meditation, and the effects on your brain will be extraordinary (Kwak et al., 2019). You don’t need to sit and meditate like a pro, just go for a walk, leave your phone at home, and enjoy the scenery!

  • EXTRA!

    Want to know the secret ingredient? Self-Esteem! Stay focused on your true values and always remember you’re worthy of great and fabulous things.

    You may also be surprised to know just how many celebrities and big personalities suffered low self-esteem for years before reaching success!

    Stephen King – one of the most famous authors of his time – got rejected 60 times before publishing his first short story. Jim Carrey and J.K. Rowling struggled financially before reaching global fame. Even Einstein struggled both in school and his career, well before becoming the very embodiment of intelligence itself.  

    Their secret? A giant dose of resilience and self-esteem!

    If you want to read more about successful stories of resilience read this article I wrote some time ago. [CLICK HERE]

    Now that you have the recipe for perfect resilience, it’s time to get cooking!

    Have a fantastic, resilient day,