In 2012, I published an earlier version of this article. It’s very helpful to improve your work experience, if you must work in an office. So I am updating and republishing it, to help you pack more vitality and improved energy, into your office environment work.
For most of my career, I travelled all around the South, Southeast, Continental US & even abroad. Having energy for a life of travel is a far different topic, than I am addressing here. Many of you find yourself in an office setting, day after day. This BEAM is for you.. These thoughts are particularly aimed to those of you who are in an office sales setting: Be it customer service, Incoming Sales or Outgoing Phone Sales or Administrative functions.
My career started in an office setting many years ago and then grew into outside sales and sales management. What a shocker it was to need to land back in an office setting years later, when my furniture industrial base moved to Asia! Some professional changes were necessary. These changes led me back into the office setting.
I found it really hard to adjust when I came back into the office environment to work again. These are some things I have learned to do to improve my own happiness and energy flow, in the office. Some may seem obvious. But I have found the obvious the hardest to achieve for a lot of us. We knew it but didn’t do it. So don’t gloss over the obvious. It may be the glaring missing piece of the puzzle you need.
I also discovered some things not quite so obvious to improve your mental hygiene and work attitude in the office. These require a little work. So here are some things to work on to improve the way you work & feel, in the office.
- Get adequate rest the night before. This seems so obvious. It is in fact but it is frequently a culprit when we don’t feel good at work. Want to feel better in the office. Get enough sleep at home.
- Take walks on your breaks… To feel better at the desk, take active breaks from the desk. Do not spend all your breaks at the coffee pot. Even if you only have time to cruise around the parking lot. The stretching and stimulation will get your blood flowing and change your mental outlook.
- Put on smiles, when no one is looking. Literally, put a big ole grin on your face. I’m not talking about when you feel like it but when you don’t. Literally stretch your facial muscles and slap a huge beaming smile on your face. It’s strange but it will make you feel better. And if you get caught. So what, it will keep your work mates guessing.
- Stand up when talking on the telephone. This is huge. This is not original with me but it was revolutionary to me when I quit reading about it and started trying it. Try it. Your erect body posture will a- make you sound better to your customers, b- change the pace in your office environment, c- force you to think about what you are doing and d- improve the number of calories you burn in a day. Try it!
- Do Isometrics at your desk. Look up the word. You can pull one hand against the other, push your palms together, exert force against your table top, stretch and move your neck around, massage your hands. There are literally limitless exercises that you can do right at your own desk that will not take you away from your work but make you feel better doing it. (be careful with all exercise if you have a heart condition).
- Be careful about the sugar. Especially in your coffee. Everybody knows this, (I hope). But many are still its victims. Yes, loading up your coffee with sugar may give you energy but it will often result in an unpleasant crash of your energy resulting from hypoglycemia.
- Drink lots of water. I don’t mean sip it. Drink it. A lot of it. Regularly. Keeping your body hydrated will make you feel better through the day. This has been confirmed and reconfirmed through research and testing.
- Watch the heavy meals. Comfort foods are not comforting, when they make you want to fall asleep at your desk. I am not preaching dietary restrictions here. Just don’t fill up, if you want to stay alert. Be reasonable and don’t overstuff with a lot of greasy, heavy foods.
- Fun is fun. Keep a healthy, tasteful joke running with your colleagues. I’m not talking about being the office clown. Just loosen up and enjoy your colleagues. A little laughter in the office will make the day go better. Bring a joke to work sometimes or at least look for the good in those around you. You can not work in close proximity with others and be happy; unless you do your part to make the work environment pleasant.
- Utilize Diversion tools. What do I mean? Staples “That was easy” button is a great example. You press the button and it rewards you with encouragement to lighten up. I used to put rocks on my desk that I enjoyed picking up. I changed it up and put Chinese work out balls on my desk to twirl around in my fingers. Now I use a power rock that I associate as a literal reminder to have an overcoming attitude. Things that do not take away from productivity but increase activity and maximize your attention level are the kinds of tools you need for this healthy diversion.
- Wash your face… Literally. The Bible teaches that when you fast, not to let others know you are doing this. And one of the ways it tells you to avoid others knowing is to wash your face. You wash your face and you feel better. You wash your face and you look better. You wash your face and your outlook changes. Don’t forget to use this as an energy bolstering tool at work.
- I have a friend who used to drive me crazy with Feng Shui. But I have discovered that he is often right. There is a way to organize things that works and ways that don’t. Improving how things are situated around you can improve your efficiency, energy and comfort. I suggest that you work on this.
- A like topic but not the same is ergonomics and synergistic techniques. Changing one little thing about your work environment can literally change your health, improve your circulation and avoid carpal tunnel. Read up on this. Get suggestions from friends. Re-arrange your office space to improve it from time to time.
- Arrange active social breaks weekly. Meet your mother, brother, sister, friend, minister etc. for lunch. Keep some variety in your schedule of your work week.
- Ruts are not schedules. If something does not feel right; it may not be.. Do not use this as an excuse to be a complainer. But if something doesn’t seem to work about your work. Change it if you can. Tell your employer that you are working on ways to increase your efficiency. When they understand you are trying to improve your work performance; employers will often work with you. Pay attention to what your hunches are telling you.
- Stand in meetings. I fought sugar (which is in remission, Thank God) & severe sleep apnea (which I just have to live with but have improved). Yet I found out that meetings were killers to my mental alertness. When possible, I learned to stand in the back of the room at meetings. Most times, if you are tactful, people will know you are trying to be more attentive and appreciate it.
- Change your chair. A crappy chair makes you feel crappy. Invest in your own posture and comfort. Work from a decent chair…
- Finally, give yourself some visual pleasures. Put pictures in your office if allowed (tastefully). Put a sculpture on your desk. Have something pleasant to look at, to lift your mood as you work.