When I was high school I had a teacher (Mr. Ahern) who would often reference the KISS principle. “Keep it Simple, Stupid” or more affectingly known as KISS. Since that time I have heard other acronyms that reference similar ideas. However, never has it become as necessary to utilize this principle as in today’s high stress, over teched culture. While technology has helped our ‘efficiency” we have over helped ourselves into a chaotic mess. Here are 10 easy ways to de-tech, and re-simplify for better productivity.
10. Set aside the “smart-phone” once your home– Many consumers find it helpful to have a smart-phone so they can use GPS, Send e-mail, and update twitter. However, if you’re always plugged in, you’re always reachable. Set aside some me time, and only check e-mail during the work day. If your employer doesn’t respect that decision they aren’t respecting you.
9. Keep a Paper and Pen on your Desk Sometimes a novel idea is bound to strike, an idea that is going to take some strategic thinking. Therefore, practice the “bubble-wed” concept and let your ideas run wild. Not only is it pleasant to look away from the computer screen, but your hand will appreciate being used for more than signing a signature.
8. Meet Face to Face- yes it is more cost-effective to send an e-mail, but not always faster, and not always helpful. CMC (Computer Mediated Communication) is an ideal way to minimize relationship and ensure inaccurate responses. When you need pertinent information have a sit with a co-worker or boss to ensure you are on the same page. Often time’s e-mails sit in an inbox for hours, and even get missed. After all, in FTF there are only you, while in CMC there are hundreds.
7. Do one thing at a Time- While many of us would say our Job demands multi-tasking many studies have shown that the more we are doing, the less we are doing well. Don’t talk on the phone while writing an e-mail. Don’t have 5 documents and facebook open at the same time. And stop texting during a conversation.
6. Stretch at the Desk– Everyone knows sitting all day isn’t good for your physical health, but it also isn’t good for your emotional health. Active people on average are happier people. So utilize the recommended 10 minutes of every hour to rest your hands and eyes from the computer, but to also get some blood back into your muscles to increase energy, and refocus. Lunch Break Yoga anyone?
5. Get some Greenery- Every desk is a montage of family photos, funny desk junk, and work. Do yourself a favor. Get a plant. Having a living thing at your desk is a great reminder there is a world beyond the cubicle.
4. Don’t answer e-mail at the start of your work day- checking e-mail is a technological trap designed to waste the first hour of your morning. Instead, do some paper-work, have a meeting, or organize your surroundings. This will allow you to refresh and think about today, without having to deal with yesterday’s clean-up at 9am.
3. Build good relationships– Some companies might call it time-theft to stand around and talk with a co-worker. I call it relational equity. Sometimes, it is worth investing in office relationships. Someone might get a promotion and bring you along, or you might be spared in a lay-off. Not to mention, working with people you know and enjoy makes the working day less like the working day.
2. Drink Good Coffee and Tea- Many studies show that coffee and tea is a natural anti-oxidant, and mental stimulant. Sure, the stuff at work might taste like dirt, but if you are fortunate enough to have the good stuff, a five-minute tea break might be the difference between a heart attack at 50 and jogging around the lake at 67.
1. Self-Reflection on a Mental Day-Cation- feeling stressed at work and home? Leave behind the cell-phone, don’t take a lap-top, forget the daily planner and day-cation. Whether you go to the zoo or sit in a park while you eat lunch 2-5 hours of personal time allows you to process new information and reflect on your choices. this allows you to mentally repair and make better choices.