Tag Archives | work environment

A Better Career Goal: Happiness

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There are two ways of being happy– either diminish your wants or expand your means.

It’s our natural instinct to want to be happy. But remember, happiness is not merely a destination, but a path we take through the journey of life. No one else can make you happy. Only you can do that.

A famous saying…though I have no idea who said it…Action may not always bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.

Make yourself happy first, your family second.

If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.

If you want happiness for a day, go on picnic.

If you want happiness for a week, go on a vacation.

If you want happiness for month, get married.

If you want happiness for a year, inherit wealth.

If you want, happiness for lifetime learn to love what you do for living.

Feel free to substitute in whatever makes you happy, but the point is what you do for work and how happy you are doing it has a huge impact on your overall level of happiness…and health.

Notice though…that it says “learn to love what you do for a living.” you may not start out loving it or be able to choose to work at something you love, but try to learn to love what you do as much as you can.

How have you learned to love your job? Or do you hate it…

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Create Order the Ben Franklin Way

 

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time – Ben Franklin

Centuries have passed since Benjamin Franklin created his treatise on how to live a virtuous life. He stressed the value of cultivating order (the third virtue) to allow him to accomplish more in his daily life. Franklin understood that to get the important things done in life, he had to make sure the little things wouldn’t get in the way.

Our lives today are considerably busier, with more distractions than Franklin could possibly imagine. Order is more crucial than at any time in our history. We desperately seek ways to get more done in the same 24 hours, while at the same time trying to find a sense of balance and calm. A vast amount of advice is available at our fingertips, books, blogs, and experts on how to be more productive, yet despite the information out there, we still have difficulty finding that elusive quality of order in our lives. Why?

 

Portrait of typical order reformer:

Woman/man decides they’re going to get their life in order once and for all. They resolve to make their bed every morning, tidy the house, clean all their piles organize their calendar, clean out their inbox, set up an efficient organization system. That lasts a few days, maybe a week, and then they fall off the wagon, wondering what went wrong. Sound familiar.

Every time you attempt to organize your life or change your behavior in any way, you’re fighting against our natural instinct to cling to choose the path of least resistance, which generally means, reverting to known behaviors. It doesn’t matter that they weren’t working, what matters is that they are comfortable and familiar.

Herein lies the stumbling block that most run up against. You have to make order the path of least resistance! How do you do that? By having a place for everything and clear focus on, doing what’s in front of you, doing what’s next and doing what’s important.

Want more help? Next, post I’ll share my ridiculously simple secret for maintaining order. Stay tuned…

 

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A Simple Tool to Improve Your Health and Increase Your Productivity

We have become a sedentary society, sitting hunched over our desks for long periods of time. This is not only detrimental to our posture and our joints it can be disastrous for our health. I discovered a solution that addresses these issues.

Advantages

A walking desk, sometimes called a treadmill desk is a very useful tool. Not only does it get you up and out of the chair, it helps you combine exercise (which nobody seems to have time for,) with work, surfing the internet, playing games, checking Facebook, however you use your laptop.

One word of caution…Do not expect to jog or speed walk while using this desk. I am not responsible for injuries. I am generally able to walk at 2 mph at a 5% incline. It doesn’t sound like much, but it saves me time, helps me stretch out my joints and muscles, and burns about 250 – 300 calories per hour in contrast to the 50-80 calories that sitting still burns. It adds up.

Results

My experiment with my walking desk has been a complete success. I have been using it for about 6 hours a week for a month and have noticed a less stiffness and back pain already. I have also saved time and seem to be getting at least as much work done as before, maybe more. Not to mention the extra 1200 calories I’m burning a week just by walking.

Equipment

Many of us have an old treadmill that is probably accumulating dust or has clothes draped over it. If you are not one of those, consider investing in a treadmill (and actually using it.) It is the simplest option for improving your health and exercise. There are so many choices, you can certainly find one that suits your needs and fits your budget.

There are also many choices for the desk itself. They range from pricey, but state of the art walking stations to inexpensive homemade versions. There is a wealth of information on the internet.

Some links I found helpful:

I put in 5 miles at the office – http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/18/health/nutrition/18fitness.html

How to set up a treadmill desk – http://www.macworld.com/article/156988/2011/01/treadmilldesk.html

Design and build your own treadmill desk – http://www.treadmill-desk.com/

I happen to already own a treadmill and have a handy husband, so I described what I wanted and he built it for me. It really was not very hard and cost less than $100.

desk

My new work station

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7 Types Of Effective Communication And Why You Need To Know Them

It’s not enough to know  whom you are talking to, communicate, influence, and in the case of our children perhaps teach. If you want to be effective in your communication, you need to understand the best way to reach them. This has been proven time and time again.

This is the key to success, better relationships, and higher productivity at work. In fact, this strategy has been shown to lower stress by minimizing conflict and encourage camaraderie and teamwork, whether personal or professional.


Roosevelt and Churchill in conversation (Zorba the Geek) / CC BY-SA 2.0

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a customer, client, child, spouse, co-worker, or members of a board or committee. You must connect in the manner that resonates with them. It sounds difficult, but it really isn’t once you start practicing it.

Types of communication:

Informing – Some people just want the facts laid out for them. They pay attention to facts and figures, studies and other concrete data.

Analyzing – These people don’t want specific facts, but rather a summary. You need to offer an analysis and boil down the information or request in a meaningful matter.

Persuasive – This type of person wants to know what’s in it for them. Why should they agree to act in a certain way or perform a specific action? They must be convinced. Present your argument.

Mediating – Compromise, compromise. With these people, you have to be willing to give a little. They need to feel heard and respected. Find the common ground and find the solution that satisfies you both.

Emotional – This kind of communication is all about feelings. Knowing what is important and what touches these people is the key. Appeal to their emotions and connect on a compassionate and understanding level.

Entertaining – Wit, humor and levity influences these people. Serious facts are useless, be interesting and lighthearted when possible.

Inspiring – Offer motivation, inspiration, and big picture results. These people need to feel as though they are making a difference, some kind of impact.

The way to practice communication that is more effective requires that you improve your observation and listening skills. Pay attention to the people around you and be more interested in general. We could all use a little more of that.

What type of communicator are you? It helps to understand that too.

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10 Ways to Make Change Work for You

Change is not the enemy. In fact it can be the best friend you never knew you had.

From time to time it’s beneficial to shake things up and get out of a rut, even if you think that rut is working for you! You’d be surprised at what a measurable difference a small change in routine, environment or process can make. Change can be a valuable success and happiness tool if you learn to make it work for you instead of avoiding it at all costs.

Commit this week to making just one change in the way you live and work.

10 Change Suggestions to get you started:

  • Rearrange your furniture in your office or a room at home – Especially if you work from home (I recently moved my desk so that I was no longer facing the wall and immediately found I was happier and more productive.)
  • Change the colors that surround you – Colors have been scientifically proven to affect mood and creativity (you don’t have to paint your walls…new curtains, a throw pillow, flowering plant or an inexpensive wall hanging can work.)
  • Wear something different – Buy something completely different from your usual wardrobe, even a new tie or scarf will work or wear favorite clothing in a new combination.
  • Shift your normal routine – Do you always get groceries or go to the bank on the same day? Do you always check your email first? How about when you take breaks and lunch? Shake it up and see how it works (you can always go back.)
  • Try out a new commuting activity – If you normally talk on your mobile phone or listen to the news, how about listening to an audio book instead or try a silent commute (might be uncomfortable for some, but I find the silence to be great opportunity to mull over creative ideas.)
  • Expand your social circle – Eat lunch with someone different, invite a colleague or acquaintance for coffee, ask a neighbor to dinner ( you never know where you will find your next friend mentor or business contact.)
  • Swap activities – Do yoga at lunch instead of sitting in the lunch room, try Zumba instead of the treadmill, Pilates in place of yoga or biking instead of your usual morning run (altering your exercise routine not only keeps it more interesting, but also is more effective at improving your fitness and health.)
  • Eat a different meal – If you always have a bagel or muffin for breakfast, try having eggs or yogurt and fruit instead (the extra protein will increase you alertness and energy level.)
  • Examine one firmly entrenched process and see if you can tweak or overhaul it (well established processes and equipment that may have worked quite well at one time, may not be the most effective method now.)
  • How about changing your attitude or behavior – Gulp! This is the toughest, but by far the most effective change strategy (If you notice that you complain or criticize often, try remaining silent when the urge strikes.  Or if you’re always late, make it a priority to be on time for a week and see how it feels.)
Most importantly…Smile…It changes everything.

Question everything, move forward, enjoy the journey.

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