What Can You Do Today That Makes Your Job Better?

Career & Workplace

what can you do today that makes your job better?
Have you noticed that small things can affect the way you feel? For instance, when I look at this picture of spring flowers, it makes me smile and think about Spring (if it ever comes back). I like looking at certain things, and when I arrange my surroundings to include those things, then I feel better about my job. I’ve learned that I need to do certain things to be productive and content.
The things you do every day make a difference in your job, don’t they? Of course they do! And those little things add up because a contented, productive worker is valued. When I say “contented,” I don’t mean you have no ambition. You can be very ambitious about your career and still be content in your daily surroundings because you have exercised control over your workspace. Here are a few ideas on how to do that:

  • Control the clutter. There are at least 3 ways clutter affects your career: you lose important information, you get overwhelmed, and you look inefficient. It is worth the extra minute or so at the end of the day to restore order to your desk.
  • Keep things clean. Use the canned air to get the crumbs out of the keyboard, and wipe off the mouse and anything else that you touch all the time. If you have disposable wipes in a fragrance you enjoy, all the better. Clean spaces feel better. Maybe because you aren’t breathing all that dust.
  • Put some plants around. There are plants that will do OK in office environments. If you can’t do that, put something you like to look at in the spot you stare at while you ruminate.
  • Keep a fun glass of water at your desk. Most offices have water dispensers, and you can pick up some beautiful goblets and tumblers at thrift stores because you only need one for yourself. You aren’t running a marathon. You are sitting at a desk, so you can add crystal elements to your work space if you find something you like. Mix it up and keep it fun — have a collection to choose from. And drink more than one glass of water a day because office environments are dry.
  • Exercise. Getting your body moving is going to have a positive effect on everything you do. Forbes has a list of the 10 best exercises to do at your desk, and they are entirely doable. I did a few of them… and felt it the next day. Definitely worthwhile.
  • Cut people a break. Their grumpiness probably has nothing to do with you, and a smile exercises your cheek muscles. It also gives you more control over your response to the situation.

The job you have today might be temporary. Your job might be “searching for employment,” You may not currently have a desk to put a crystal goblet of water on or a workspace to call your own. But you do have a daily environment that you can begin to control, and that will make your day better.

3 Ways Clutter Affects Your Career

Career & Workplace

Cluttered office
Clutter really does affect your career: there have been studies that prove it affects the way employers and coworkers view your ability to do your job. Forbes ran an article called “The Dangers Of A Messy Desk” where a study clearly showed that co-workers judge other’s work habits by their cleanliness, and Office Max did a similar study with similar results.  Here are three ways that those piles bring your life to a halt:

  1. You lose important information. The argument that it has to be in your view in order for you to remember to do it loses its power when you stop seeing the item that is in front of you. Honestly, what important piece of paper have you frantically looked for in the past few months?
  2. You get overwhelmed. How many times have you said, “I can’t deal with that right now, I’ll get to it later”? How many times did you actually get to it and do it the way you should have?
  3. You look inefficient. People assume that you are just like they are: overwhelmed by piles of papers and stuff while you stop seeing what’s in front of you and lose important information.

This isn’t just a workplace problem. UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families came out with a book on our clutter culture in America that is kind of fascinating and appalling and convicting all at the same time. But we don’t have to be handcuffed by our clutter habits!
Get real and start small. Take ten or fifteen minutes (set the timer) and work on one pile…and stop at the end of that time. Do this every day and you will begin to see a big difference. There’s all sorts of decluttering advice out there, but the big thing is doing it; if you wait until you have time to do it all, you probably will never do it.
If you are looking for a job, be professional about it and keep your surroundings professional. Make your job hunt a priority and respect your time job searching. Create a desk area, keep track of your papers and appointments, do the electronic weeding of your emails, etc.
Take a picture of your desk, cubicle, office, or work area, and look at it. Be honest, now. What would you think if that were a coworker’s space? If you were the boss, would you want that person working for you? If you like the way it looks, then maintain it. If you don’t like the way it looks, you have the ability to change it – a little at a time.