An absolutely wonderfully done video on the psychology of desks and how they resemble their owners.
Balance is one of those things that I think a lot of people go through life without. It applies to just about everything and can be hard to achieve. In fact, we often forget to look for the balance in every situation.Here are some examples: 1) Horseback Riding – The rider must balance their weight on the saddle. Lean too far right or left and you risk falling off. Lean too far forward descending a steep hill and you risk tumbling forward, horse and all. Constantly maintaining balance in the saddle is the key to happy horses and happy riders. 2) Triathlons – During a triathlon, the triathlete is balancing speed with energy exertion, meaning that you want to finish in the fastest time possible but still have energy left to make it across the finish line. Fail at fueling your body correctly or pushing yourself too hard and your performance will show it. Balance the speed and energy to be a successful triathlete. 3) Swimming – The key to moving through the water is perfect balance, which creates minimal drag. Michael Phelps (sorry, you can’t talk about swimming and not mention him) is somewhat of a scrawny guy, but his success comes from finding the most streamlined position and movements in the water. Phelps does not need power when he is not losing speed to drag; he just needs enough to maintain. Balance makes you a happy, efficient swimmer. 4) Nutrition – Eating lots of one thing, really doesn’t work for the human body. In fact, the phrase concerning moderation is right on. Eating a balance of vegetables, fruits, proteins, and fats is the key to feeling great and losing weight. 5) Personal and Professional Life – Working too much can lead to burn out. Not working enough can lead to bankruptcy and foreclosure. Not having enough fun can lead to depression. Not exercising enough and eating too much can lead to obesity. I think you know where I am going with this. Life balance is about getting paid to do something you enjoy, hanging out with the people that make you laugh, going to the symphony, and even sweating a lot playing basketball or running through the neighborhood. Finding balance in life can be difficult and many die never having it. As you are reading this, ask yourself, Where is the balance in this moment? Is the lighting just right? Is your chair comfortable? What can you do to bring balance to the moment? When you get up tomorrow, keep balance in mind all day. Observe your world and find the places that you may have forgotten where balance exists or needs to exist. DON’T FORGET IT!
Those Long Days seem to last forever.
The task list never seems to get smaller.
The email piles up.
Three crisis happen at the same time.
Your voicemail is full.
The database is still refreshing.
Lunch just didn’t seem filling.
There are no Chips Ahoy in the break room.
The coffee tastes like it has been there for years.
The air conditioning vent targets you and you only.
Yet, you perservere and come back the next day.
Yep, those long days are just part of the fun!
Almost exactly a year ago, we reported on Tokyo-based office supplies specialist Kokuyo who opened a rooftop terrace “garden office” at its HQ to reduce electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. So we were intrigued to see a roundup of how things had gone on the Nightly Business Report on PBS. Here’s one what a couple of employees said:
I arrive at work earlier in the day, when it’s cooler and when I’m doing creative work, I come outside. Indoors, I save for preparing documents and routine tasks.
Indoors, I get distracted by all the ringing phones and people yakking at me. It’s easier to focus out here.
The shifting sunlight, the breeze, it seems to turn a switch in your brain. The office is a highly stable, controlled environment. But altering those surroundings seems to trigger the creative part of our brains.
As you all know, I find cubicles to be… let’s just say less than desirable. We are humans and, like any other species, should be outside. This post on Shedworking gives me hope that one day the out-dated cubicle will come into the 21st century and bridge the gap between the high walled cubicle and the wonderful outdoors.
Now that the bonsai plant has survived it’s first full week in my cube, I am taking inspiration from it to a new level. While I can’t reupolster the fabric on the cubicle walls, nor can I reconfigure the layout, I can start adding as many tasteful decorative objects as I feel necessary.
Taking further inspiration from my recent post, Components of a Comfortable Office, and thinking more about what I would enjoy, here is a list of potential additions:
Objects that have crossed my mind are:
– desk lamp
– water fountain
– additional plants
– artwork, (watercolor or oil painting)
– Fluval Edge with desert-scape
– large, artistic clock
While most people would pick a theme and start decorating around that theme, I am eccentric, so the stranger the mix, the better.
I am contemplating leaving it up to the social media world by having an Improve My Cube suggestion contest. Those who suggested the top item for the week would be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card or similar gift.
What do you all think? Do you want to help me Improve My Cube?
update – I had a suggestion for a fish… which I like. I was hoping to avoid large amounts of water, but that would also kill the water fountain, so I have to rethink the water and maintenance variables. Fish is a great suggestion! Anyone else?
Today, I bought a bonsai plant for my cubicle at work. After writing Components of a Comfortable Office, I decided it was time to act and make my dreary tan and white cubicle at work a little nicer of a place to spend countless hours staring at my computer.
The first thing I did was clear the desktop of everything I haven’t touched in a week (filled the filing cabinet). I figure that if I do not need to find anything in the next month or two, I can just dump it all in the recycle/shred bin.
But then, the vast white space seemed a little too vast. So, at “lunch,” I headed over to The Home Depot and purchased a bonsai plant (below) for $11.97. I am a little skeptical as to how long it will live since there is no sunlight in my cube and the place is rather dry.
With the beginnings of a more comfortable cube in place, I will keep you posted as to how this develops. I am thinking I need some dark cherry wood inserts, a zen garden, and a mock fireplace to really give it that custom look.
As I begin considering a home office remodel, I have been looking at pictures of offices. If a picture appeals to me, I try and figure out why.
Here are some of the things I’ve noticed:
1) Dark hardwood desk and cabinetry.
2) Clutter Free (indicates sufficient storage)
3) No Visible Accessories (printers, staplers, etc are hidden)
4) One to two plants
5) Decorative lighting including spot lighting and general task lighting
6) Ergo Chair
7) Creative use of wall space either for art or accessories including pens, whiteboard, etc.
What features of your office do you find essential and/or creative?