I recently completed a training for work that used a concept called the “mood elevator” to explain the emotions people might feel during the work day and how those impact performance and experience. The mood elevator describes a linear continuum of emotions with the most negative (“depressed”) at the bottom, and the most positive (“grateful”) at the top. The general idea is that people perform and feel better the closer they can get to the top of the mood elevator. The concept certainly has merit, but I think it can be improved. Continue reading Reshaping the “Mood Elevator”
In college, I’d say I was a procrastinator. I’ve always worked well under a deadline, and what better way to incite that energizing pressure than waiting until shortly before an assignment is due to begin working on it? Once I became a graduate student and then a professional, my workload became such that procrastination was no longer a viable option. The stakes were higher, and the tasks more complex. So, over time, I’ve shifted my work style to be more planful (although I still can crank out a mean last-minute job). Continue reading Procrastinating by “Pre-Crastinating”
I’m a very detail-oriented person. Fortunately, I think I am also pretty good at looking at the big picture, but I struggle with letting go of the details. It turns out, sometimes it may be important to do just that if you want to remain organized with a busy schedule and competing demands. Continue reading Manage Your Time Like the CEO
In the abstract, I’d advise against traveling down an Internet rabbit hole. You know the situation: You start reading an interesting story, and you see a link to another site midway through that sounds interesting. You click the link and open it in a new tab. Now you’re browsing back and forth between two tabs, and then you open a third interesting link. Before you know it, thirty minutes have passed and you’re on a website that is completely unrelated to your original task. Continue reading Nemawashi: A Japanese Management Style for the Modern American Worker
Last summer, I wrote a post in defense of handwriting notes. Psychologically speaking, I argued, the process of putting ideas on paper by hand helps people better understand and remember information, facilitates emotional processing, and allows us to connect better with the people delivering information. I recently came across an NPR story that asserted the modern relevance of the paper notebook, for many of these same reasons. Continue reading Handwriting: Still in Style
I’m on vacation this week, but my blog isn’t. Each day this week I plan to round up archived posts that share a common theme. Today, in honor of my butt being in a beach chair enjoying sunshine and margaritas, the theme is work-life balance, why it’s important, and how to get more of it. Continue reading Vacation Roundup: Work-Life Balance
Gamification, or the integration of game mechanics into non-game experiences, is having a moment in health care. Less public, but equally intriguing, is its increasingly frequent use in corporate settings to promote improved performance and productivity.
Microsoft is one company known for bringing gamification elements into its business processes with positive results. Continue reading Gamify That Project Plan!
Working from home seems like a great gig: You don’t have to factor a morning commute into your wake-up time, you can throw in a load of laundry during a conference call, and forget about wearing uncomfortable suits when you’re in a sweatpants mood.
All of those advantages, though, come with the caveat that it’s very easy to lose control of your time when you work from home. When I first began working from home, I found my work days stretching longer than they should because I wasn’t focusing as much as I needed to during the 9-5 block. It took a few months to find my stride. First, I needed to figure out some key strategies for managing my time. Here are three that work for me: Continue reading Time Management Strategies for Working from Home
In 2004, I had Lasik. Let me start off by saying, that procedure is the bomb. My vision wasn’t too bad to start with–I could navigate my apartment without glasses–but I had to wear them if I left the house, drove, or wanted to watch a tv that was more than three feet from my face. Plus, glasses are annoying. They irritate your ears and nose, fog up when you cook or exercise or move from air conditioned areas, and get super-dirty all the time. Continue reading Why I Miss Wearing Glasses
Lest you think I’m just being goofy, videos have long been used in psychology to induce good moods. I remember working on studies in grad school where the IRB would require we do something positive at the end of the experience to make sure participants left in a good mood; videos of puppies and kittens seemed to do the trick. Watching happy videos isn’t only good for your mood; it can also make you more creative and productive.
So get clicking, and don’t forget to leave some of your favorite videos in the comments to spread the love! Continue reading Friday Funday: To the YouTubes!