De-Clutter and De-Stress!

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Zen Artistry

Siimon Reynolds, mentor and coach to many business leaders, executives and entrepreneurs, and a Forbes magazine contributor, writes, in the 2013 issues, about a few steps we can take to be calm in a stressful work environment. These steps allow us to look within and condition ourselves, rather than looking for outside forces to do the job.

He suggest we determine the ideal person/character we hope to be or have and make that our priority. When faced with difficult or problematic circumstances, we should shift our thought process towards finding a solution rather than focusing on the problem. He suggests we eliminated the thoughts that add stress through calming breathing exercises and remembering that we are in control of our sense of calm and that it is not dictated by the situation or problem that surround us. Read more here…

Of course, it helps to make our environment conducive to harmony and calmness which will then result in productivity and consequently make our boss happy. Take a moment to look around your work space and ask yourself “Is it helping me work efficiently?” If there is a lot of clutter and unnecessary distracting “stuff” disseminated around that is birthing more stress and anxiety of “too many unfinished work”, then your answer would be no.

Here are 10 simple steps we found on the Lifehack website that can help you. (We like the last step especially – for obvious reasons).

  • Clear papers. Take all the papers on your desk, and around your desk, and put them in your inbox. […] With each document, your choices are to 1) Trash; 2) Delegate; 3) File immediately, 4) Do it immediately; or 5) Put the action on your to-do list and the document in an “action” folder.
  • Clear clutter. Now clear as much of the other stuff on your desk as possible. And it’s all possible.
  • Clear gear. You don’t need your office gear to be in sight. Put your pens, stapler, paper clips, digital camera, and any other assorted gear in a drawer, organized neatly.
  • Clear the walls. Clear every scrap of paper and most of the artwork from your walls.
  • Have an inbox. Have one inbox on your desk, and have all incoming documents, notes, phone messages and other papers be put into this inbox.
  • Simplify your computer. Clear your desktop of icons — it’s an inefficient way to launch documents or programs and organize yourself, and they’re just visual clutter.
  • Simple filing system. Use a simple alphabetical filing system with plain manila folders.
  • Edit, edit, edit. Once you’ve cleared the clutter, there’s usually still stuff you can clear away. Edit your surroundings.
  • Simple furniture. Go for the simplest furniture possible, a plain floor covering.
  • Simple decorations. Skip the bric-a-brac, and only have one or two simple decorations, such as a few flowers in a vase or a Zen garden. Read more here…

Take a Staycation at your Desk!

Take a staycation!

Are you overwhelmed with work and the pressures of life?  If so, you might want to take a vacation.  However, that’s not always possible due to your workload or other responsibilities.  One thing you can do, though, is take a short “staycation” at your own desk!

What is a staycation?  It’s a relatively new slang word that’s a combination of “stay” and “vacation.”  It means to take a break without going anywhere.  Some people take staycations by taking off work for a week or so and just staying home, kicking back, and doing nothing.  Sometimes that’s not even an option, though.

If you find yourself needing a major break during the day, you can take a quick staycation at your desk.  There are a few different ways of doing this.  One thing you can do is push your chair back, close your eyes, and just rest for a minute or two.  Now, be careful you don’t fall asleep—you certainly don’t want a co-worker or, worse, your boss stepping in and seeing you asleep!  But resting your eyes for just a few minutes, especially if you’ve been staring at your computer screen for several hours, can really help.  Take a make-believe vacation to a tropical island for just a minute.

Another option, especially if you spend all day sitting, is to get up and move around for five minutes or so.  Move around, do some jumping jacks or simple stretching exercises, and get the blood flowing to your legs again.  In recent years, a number of studies have shown how unhealthy it truly is for people to sit all day.  You need to do something every few hours, at the bare minimum, that gets you up and moving.

We love the idea of just using your imagination.  focus on something that reminds you of a peaceful getaway.  A green plant or a picture or screensaver of a beautiful beach, for example.  Then close your eyes for a moment and imagine being there.  Smelling the flowers, listening to the waves wash up on the shore.  The better your imagination, the better you feel!  Or simply plan the perfect vacations.  Even if you never actually go, just the act of planning a fabulous getaway can reduce stress.

A quick desk staycation can be a great way of stepping back and letting your brain recharge.  If you just can’t seem to figure out why numbers aren’t adding up or how to make two dozen schedules match up for a meeting, sometimes it really does help to take a short break.  Let your mind wander off, and it just might come back with the solution you’ve been looking for.  Just be sure you don’t take work staycations too often!

Pick a lush green plant as a focal point for your desk!