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Improve Your Workplace to Make Your Life Better
What does "quality of life" mean to you? If you want to improve it, you have to define and measure it. Most people think of it in terms of lodging, car, financial income, medical services, and social position. That point of view, however, is not fully complete. An average person is spending more than half of his/her life at work. That is why the level of comfort at workplace is an essential factor influencing on individual's life. The subject matter of this article is the improvement of your working environment and making it more comfortable for you. Please follow the guidelines in this article to minimize tiredness, achieve more results at work and make your life better.
At work you are facing two quite different factors influencing your personal comfort and efficiency. The first factor is your relations with other people - subordinates, colleagues, boss, partners, and contractors. The second factor is the technological environment in which you are working. There is an enormous amount of books devoted to the question of building good relations and proper communications between people. You may take a look at How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. When people speak about technology, they used to mention particular software aimed to solve a particular problem; usually, they do not pay enough attention to the psychological aspect of a human-technology interaction. This article focuses on that question.
Which emotions do you feel sitting at your desk in the office? Do you feel comfortable? If you cannot answer positively, please follow two simple guidelines. (1) Keep your workplace in order. Documents constantly cluttering your desk form a bad feeling and wrong opinion that you have too much work and can hardly get it done. Always put the documents in a drawer or bookcase at the end of your working day. Following that simple rule will not only allow you to quickly find a required document in the future, it will also help you to stop thinking about your work and focus on the rest. (2) In order to make your workplace a bit milder, place something nice on your desk: a photo of your family, child, pet, a souvenir from an exotic travel, anything you really like. Look at this item from time to time to relax and get good emotions.
An office work is mainly processing of information. One simple tool is widely used in offices to help people store their info - sticky notes. It is very natural to write short notes on small pieces of paper and stick them somewhere near you. The downside of this "technology" is that your workplace becomes cluttered with those stickies, so you can see them everywhere: on your monitor, desk, and the wall in front of you. The real problem here is your inability to quickly find necessary information and control deadlines. The impact of this situation on one's mentality is quite destructive, yet people continue to use that approach mainly because of its simplicity.
A reasonable way to manage your info is to make use of your personal computer and personal information management software (PIM). A PIM can help you store and find information, plan your time, remind you on scheduled events, etc. It can protect your mind from overstrain, reveal your creativity, and make your life easier. It is very important to find a PIM that really fits your needs. Below are some useful guidelines you should follow when choosing personal info management software.
Since a PIM is supposed to be used quite intensively, it has to be extremely user-friendly. Try several programs and find one, which is easy to use for you. All basic functions of the program should be easily accessible, so you could rapidly take a note, set up a reminder, and check your schedule. Your PIM software should require minimum efforts to operate it; ideally, the number of mouse clicks (and keystrokes) necessary to perform an action should be minimized. Another useful feature of PIM software is the tracking capability. A history feature is highly valuable to safely store and track your information. And finally, the most important question: how a program does actually remind you? Reminders should be non-annoying; the program should not interrupt your current work even when reminding you.
Spend reasonable time on searching for suitable PIM; this will spare lots of your time and efforts in the future. PIM allows you to organize your workplace, reduce your workload, spare your energy, and make you more productive. This will greatly contribute to the quality of your life and career.
The bottom line: Make your workplace comfortable to enjoy your life while you are working. Keep your workplace in order; put your documents into a drawer after you finish your work. Place on your desk or hang on the wall a photo of your family, child, pet, etc. Read a book about the psychology of communication. Choose PIM software, which will help you daily acting as your personal assistant, sparing your efforts, and revealing your creativity. Get positive emotions at work; that is the key to success in your life and career. Good luck to you!
Nicholas Kabarow is a senior designer and software architect at CuteReminder Labs (http://www.CuteReminder.com). His innovative ideas were implemented in the personal information management software called Cute Reminder. Nicholas' main concept of software aimed for personal use is the quick and unobtrusive user interface able to spare your efforts daily. Comments can be sent via the contact form at http://www.CuteReminder.com/contacts.php
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