Posts Tagged ‘Work’

New Happy Format at The Bee Blog!

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

I know, I know… I’ve been a bad blogger lately.  I’ve just been so busy with school and work that I haven’t had enough time to devote to the Bee Blog!

But here I am, back again, and ready to announce a new experimental format for the Bee Blog.

Each post will include:

  • 1 random happy thought found somewhere in the blogosphere
  • 1 random happy photo found somewhere in the Flickrsphere

Do you like this?  Yay or nay?  Let me know!

A Happy Thought from Herminelee:

At work today, I have received an email from a colleague who works in a similar position at another school. It simply says…

Click here for more!

Happy Pic:

From Brad & Sabrina on Flickr.

Pace Yourself, Especially on Bad Days

Friday, September 12th, 2008
This is #12 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Pace Yourself, Especially on Bad Days. Go slow. Don’t be in a hurry. Just take one thing at a time and keep moving forward. If you’re having a really low day, you might even want to take care of yourself by playing hooky !

I must respectfully disagree with this advice.  Sometimes you SHOULD be in a hurry – but being in a hurry with your actions or thoughts does not necessarily require you to be in a hurry with your emotions.  You can cultivate a sense of calm and joy within yourself even when you’re pressed for time, if you make a conscious, repeated attempt to do so.

-MJ

Choose Happiness, Humor, Enthusiasm, Gratitude, Kindness, and a Positive Outlook.

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
This is #10 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Choose Happiness, Humor, Enthusiasm, Gratitude, Kindness, and a Positive Outlook. Being productive and competitive in business doesn’t mean that you have to be serious all the time. Smiling doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. Enthusiasm doesn’t mean you’re not competitive. Being positive doesn’t mean you’re blind to challenges. Choose to enjoy your time at work. Find others who are like this and spread good cheer. It’s contagious and it grows. Try to avoid gossip and negative chat. It can be tempting, but it doesn’t serve anyone well, including yourself.

This is great advice.  Whether you love or hate your job, you can always improve your work life by consciously deciding to have a good attitude about it.  When I’m overworked, frustrated, tired, or just grumpy, I constantly have to remind myself to take a deep breath, relax, and think of something positive.  Sometimes that positive thought is as simple as, “At least I’m learning from this miserable experience,” or “Thank goodness this will all be over soon,” but even simple thoughts work.

I believe that you too will find that if you actively develop the habit of thinking positively and avoid griping to yourself or others about your problems, you will become a happier, more productive person – and you’ll probably be a whole lot more fun to be around. :)

-MJ

PS -  SMILE!  Even when life sucks, and no one is looking. :D

Transitions.

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
This is #9 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Transitions. Make sure you plan in enough time between activities and appointments, and find ways to fail proof being on time.

I always underestimate how much time I need to finish something, so I’m often rushing from place to place with no time to spare.  This lifestyle is strenuous, and it is not very happy OR productive.   I’m slowly learning to make more realistic assessments of how much time I have and how much time I need to achieve a goal.

I think the instruction to “make sure you plan in enough time between activities and appointments, and find ways to fail proof being on time” could be extended to include your emotions and relationships.  For example, a speedy transition from singleness to marriage would probably lead to problems down the road, if you and your partner haven’t taken time to develop a full understanding of one another.

Similarly, hurrying through the transitory stages of grief or failing to take enough time to adjust to moving to a new city might create more emotional or organizational disruptions for you than would have been created otherwise, if you took your time and eased through these processes.

-MJ

Drop Unimportant Tasks.

Monday, September 8th, 2008
 This is #8 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Drop Unimportant Tasks. Delegate or delete the non-essential items from your to-do list. The best way to do this is to always do your most important things first. Somehow, miraculously, extraneous things will fall away.

Scratching things off my to-do list without even attempting to do them feels wonderful.   Delegation feels even better, because then the to-do is a to-done without my pinkie finger ever needing to lift.

-MJ

Planning.

Sunday, September 7th, 2008
This is #7 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Planning. Establish a routine of planning your week and your day. This will allow you to have your most productive week all the time. Start your day an extra 15 minutes early to do this planning everyday. Write down the top 1-3 important things you must do that day. Plan your upcoming week on Sunday evening. The weekly plan doesn’t have to be extremely detailed. Just include the major items.

One of my favorite Butter Bee Happy users (he’s one of my favorites because he was an early adopter and posts such cheerful happy thoughts all the time), EddieStarr, once posted this happy thought:


I have fabulous plans for the weekend

Planning your activities, for both work and play, gives you a plan to follow and a goal to achieve.  You will also have something you can look forward to: either the completion of that activity or the activity itself will probably give you satisfaction.

Don’t forget to add a few question marks to your plan, to leave room for spontaneity. :)

-MJ

Make the Most of Your Commute

Saturday, September 6th, 2008
This is #6 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Make the Most of Your Commute. How do you spend your commute? Make it positive time. Use it for reading, writing, creative thinking, creative projects, listen to audio books, or, heck, write your own book! If you enjoy your commute, that happiness will spill over into how you feel at work.

This is an idea that I can get REALLY excited about!  Because you know what I love doing during my commute?  Listening to podcasts!  There are podcasts for every subject and genre in which you could possibly be interested.  Audio books are pretty awesome, too.  They’re especially nice for longer commutes.

If you have never tried these two forms of media, you really, really should consider doing so.  You can listen to podcasts and audio books around the house, too, while you complete menial chores, and maybe you could even listen to them at work.

You’ll learn a lot and be entertained. : )

-MJ

PS – My favorite source of audiobooks is Audible.com.  And no, they’re not paying me to say this – I genuinely use and enjoy their books and service.  I wish they would pay me, though. That would be nice. ;)

Turn off Your Computer

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008
This is #3 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Turn off Your Computer. “What?!” you say. “Everything is done on my computer!” Well is it really? What percentage truly is? Plan to have your computer on only for that amount of time each day. Plan out blocks of time for different computer tasks and work from a checklist to keep you focused. Giving your eyes a rest from the screen will give you more energy for creating. Even if you just close your eyes as you think of a response to an email can help too.

A friend of mine once lived through two months without an internet connection at her apartment.  That sounds like torture, right?  Actually, she told me that after initial withdrawal pains, she thoroughly enjoyed the absence of the potentially distracting web.  She told me that without the ability to spend hours aimlessly following links around the internet and double-checking her email, she was far more productive and had so much more free time.

To limit the amount of time I spend on the computer, I sometimes deliberately unplug my laptop, so that I will have to complete all my work within the time that I still have battery power. Doing this can make you feel like you have a deadline, which can help you stay focused and avoid aimless web exploration.

In the past, such exploration has kept me awake hours beyond my bedtime.  Since I’ve instituted my battery-power time-limiting system, I’ve completed more work in shorter periods of time, and have added a few hours of sleep to most of my nights. This has definitely made me happier.

-MJ

Accept That You’ll Never Finish Your Task List

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
This is #2 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Today we’ll look at this this suggestion:

Accept That You’ll Never Finish Your Task List. For perfectionists and overachievers this is as frustrating as a greyhound forever chasing the mechanical bunny around the track. Get off that track. Just make sure you work on your most important stuff first. Let the fluff slide, not your priorities.

If you didn’t waste valuable time going down little roads to nowhere, pursuing activities that just don’t really matter, you would have more free time.  Then you would be able to say what ButterBeeHappy user mrsdonnad says in her happy thoughts: I’m enjoying “me” time.  Maybe like garyk, you would feel “gratefuller for waking up feeling calm,” because you’d accomplish your greatest priorities without allowing insignificant details to gnaw away at your mind.

Don’t forget to click on the picture above to read the cute story about that to-do list!

-MJ

The Power Question

Monday, September 1st, 2008

I found an article called “25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work” and decided to go through the tips one by one to see if they work for me.

Throughout the month of September I will chronicle this experiment right here, in this blog.   Are you ready for the first tip?  Here it is:

Power Question. Keep a question like this at your desk to help you stay focused: “Am I making the most of my time right now?” or “Is this the most productive use of my time?”

I have to ask myself questions like that all the time, because I tend to multitask too much and lose track of what’s most important.  But would spending .5 seconds every 5 minutes or so re-reading such a question actually make me more productive, and therefore, more happy?

What if you had to complete a task that, in your opinion, was a total waste of time?  Wouldn’t asking yourself that question frustrate you?

I’ll tell you what would make me feel good: instead of a power question at my desk, I would place a sign reading, “What you do is important.”  Feeling important and believing that we matter to the people around us is vital to our happiness and mental health (Dale Carnegie expresses this in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People“), and may have a more positive direct impact on our emotional well-being than constantly questioning each of our jobs and tasks.

-MJ