Tips for Spring Cleaning the Office

Last week was the first official day of Spring, a sign of new beginnings and blossoming possibilities. It is also a time to rid yourself of clutter throughout your workspace. Just like spring cleaning your home, start this spring season by eliminating disorder, disinfecting and re-organizing the office.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some suggestions to make the most out of your spring cleaning.

Work Zones

Start by figuring out what you want and need out of your workspace on a daily basis. Create zones accordingly, such as a storage area for supplies, a library area for research and your computer space. These don’t have to be large zones, but rather spaces to prioritize each of your jobs.

Tip: Keep only what you really need at arm’s length. Rid yourself of visual clutter.

All That Paper Work

Despite efforts to go paperless, a lot of business still deal with piles and piles of paperwork weekly. This can not only clutter your workspace but it can also make your workload look overwhelming. Opt for creating folders or bins that are labeled by project or by a daily task. Color coding can also help if the project is especially lengthy. Knowing what needs your immediate attention and what you need to accomplish every day can help you feel less stressed as well.

Desk Drawers

We all have that drawer that someone become the “junk drawer” over time. Most of the time this drawer is the catcher for things you don’t want to deal with or have cluttering your desk. Invest in an organizer that compartmentalizes all these bits and pieces like pens, paper clips, elastics, and tape. Go back every few months and keep it neat.

Email and Desktop Clutter

Email pile up for everyone and so do desktop icons on your computer. When you are in a rush to make a deadline, you aren’t too concerned about the organization of your files and emails. During spring cleaning, take the time to delete unneeded emails. Create folders in your Outlook by client or task. Clean up your desktop so that every time you turn on your computer, the first thing you see isn’t a sea of icons. This might take a little bit of time, but when you are done, you will be so happy you did.

Disinfect

They say that one of the dirtiest surfaces is your work keyboard. Dirt, fingerprints, and dust can build up over time on your mouse, phone, and monitor. Use disinfectant wipes to clean these areas weekly. According to Forbes.com, “three-quarters of workers say a clean office makes them more productive.”

 

How to Stay Healthy With a Busy Schedule

We all know we should get enough sleep, make time to exercise and eat right. But if you’re like most entrepreneurs, chances are, you’re telling yourself that you don’t have the time.

However, staying healthy and feeling your best might be easier than you think. Here are our tips for keeping your health a priority while still sticking to your busy schedule.

Bring Meals to Work

Meal planning and eating right is probably your most difficult challenge. It is easier to grab a pre-packed granola bar than it is to make yourself a nutrient-rich breakfast. However, planning meals ahead of time will save you time, money and inches on your waist.

It’s only a hassle to do this the first week of starting the new routine. After that, it becomes second nature. Spend a few hours on the weekends cooking in bulk and preparing for your work week. Most foods will stay fresh in a Tupperware in the fridge for a few days. Also, don’t forget about the microwave! You can heat up frozen vegetables or meals you saved in the freezer. Just by dedicating an hour or two to bulk cooking and prepping can mean a world of difference.

Short, But Intense Workouts

Exercise is the first thing that we tend to delete from our schedules when our time is stretched too thin. However, if you don’t have a lot of time, you can get the most out of a workout by aiming for short but intense full-body workouts. This will burn more calories than training each body part individually. According to Pedro De Abreu on Virgin.com, “some simple ways to incorporate quick full-body exercises into your routine are installing a pull-up bar in your home, buying a jump rope, and doing burpees.” Research shows that exercise routines like high-intensity interval training are highly effective for burning fat and building muscle. And the best part is, you can do this anywhere.

Regulate Your Sleeping Patterns

Studies have shown that sleeping the recommended amount of seven to nine hours can increase productivity and is essential to your health. And if you can’t commit to maintaining this regular sleep pattern, research has shown that even a 15 to 20-minute nap will make you more alert. Make sleep a priority in your life, even if you have to schedule it in. Your body will thank you for it.

Hydration

Getting plenty of water throughout your day is extremely important. It helps keep you full, energized and extra focused. A healthy amount of H2O can also keep cold and sickness at bay. Eight glasses of water a day is the recommended amount to keep you feeling your best. Try keeping your water bottle on your desk to remind you to keep drinking.

Take Time Off When You Can

Vacations are important your mental and physical health. You may feel that you don’t have the time. However, taking a vacation and getting much-deserved time off will help you be healthier, happier, and more productive. No matter how jam-packed your schedule seems, book some down time. Take time to unwind and maybe even time away from Wi-Fi. Take time to just be.

Set Realistic Goals

Your wellbeing should be on top of your list of priorities. Neglecting your health is expensive and bad for productivity. Lack of sleep impairs your cognitive function and makes it harder for you to concentrate. Sacrificing your health for your job just doesn’t make sense in the long run. Set realistic goals for yourself so that you can actually accomplish them. If you work well with a written schedule, then pencil in when to drink your water, when to exercise and when to block off time to meal prep. It is all a matter of making your health a priority. Once you do this, you will find that despite your busy schedule, you still have time for you!

Tips for Balancing Work and Family Life

Work-life balance seems to be a common struggle for entrepreneurs and business workers, alike. In fact, according to a Harvard Business School survey, “94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week.” And according to Forbes.com,”nearly 20% of today’s workforce is a family caregiver during “off-work” hours.” Stress from an almost never-ending workday is damaging to your health, family, relationships, and overall happiness. And on top of that, it actually decreases your productivity.

Balancing work and your family life means something different to every individual, but there are ways to find the harmony between the two. Here are a few of our tips to help you harmonize both aspects of your life so that everyone is healthy and happy.

Scheduling

Kevin Kurse, Forbes.com contributor, wrote an article entitled, “Work-Life Balance: Tips From 24 Entrepreneurs Boiled Down To 1,” where he interviewed 24 leaders of start-ups and entrepreneurs, asking about their work and life balance. Out of all the tips and tricks, the most mentioned piece of advice was keeping a schedule. If you schedule time for work projects, shouldn’t you do that same for family and other areas of your life?

Kurse also says to schedule but don’t make a to-do list. Instead, put all your to-dos on your calendar. “If you want to have an amazing life, you have to be intentional about it. Your calendar is the plan for your time. And time equals life,” said Kurse.

Think about your top priorities and create block times on your calendar to accommodate them. Dinner with the family, going for a jog, date night with your significant other…treat all of these as you would a doctor appointment. You decide what means balance for you and create the life you want for yourself.

Unplug

Let’s face it. We are all glued to our phones. Whether for business or pleasure, your smartphone is as big of a distraction as it is a helpful tool. However, when it comes to working, it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The workday never seems to end as co-workers and clients can have constant contact with you.

Instead, make quality time true quality time and turn your phone off. This act of self-control can actually make you a stronger person, as well as more present in your own life.  According to Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Life,  “Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives,” says Brooks. Inturn, reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress. If you have scheduled a time to hang out with your family, then be with your family, wholeheartedly.

Slow Down

You are no use to your company or your family if you are burnt out. Not only will you be tired, but your creativity will be greatly stunted, affecting your job performance.

Slow down. Stop striving for perfectionism and start aim for excellence instead.

Healthy Self-care 

Self-care is the kind of activity that yields big positive benefits from just a few simple acts. A bit of self-care each day boosts your physical and mental health, and your work performance, as well.

Make sure you are getting your basic needs:

  • At least seven hours of sleep a night
  • Eat healthy food and avoid junk food and excessive eating or drinking.
  • Exercise.

Among these basics, schedule in time to meditate. Short, meditative exercises like deep breathing or grounding your senses in your present surroundings, are great places to start. “The more you do these, the more you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which calms everything down, (and) not just in the moment,” says Psychotherapist Bryan Robinson, author of the book Chained to the Desk. 

Although self-care isn’t complex, it can be difficult to practice. It may feel selfish at times, but you won’t be able to help those around you if you don’t care for yourself first. Whatever you do to care for yourself will maintain your positive energy and capacity to juggle work and family caregiving.

 

Comment below and let us know how you stay balanced!

 

6 Ways to Boost Morale in the Office

Since employee morale can quickly make or break a company’s success, it is important for business leaders to keep spirits high. After all, low morale can lead to low productivity, poor teamwork and an increase in turnover. An effective leader will keep a close eye on the general morale in the office with simple and creative approaches.

Here are a few of the ways we at Media Partners Worldwide boost morale.

1. Show You Care

At Media Partners, we recognize every single employee’s birthday with a special lunch and themed decor. If someone is getting married or having a baby or celebrating a significant time in their life, we make sure to send gifts in acknowledgment. CEO, Natalie Hale, believes that being involved in employees lives let them feel loved and valued. Not just as employees, but also as family members and human beings.

“When people are loved, they will give more than you can imagine they could for you and your cause,” Hale said. “My employees are the lifeblood of the agency and I want them to know that they matter.”

2. Get Employees Involved 

“Whenever possible, I try to get my employees involved with office decisions. Recently, we were looking for a new buyer and several of the employees were involved in the interview process,” said Hale.

Delegating as a team to make decisions for the office on things like new software or new companies to work with can definitely boost the morale. Involving employees in the conversation, makes each person feel they are a valued member of the company. Everyone has their own individual thoughts and suggestions and it’s important for everyone to feel engaged and that their feedback makes a difference

3. Create a Comfortable Environment

Currently, we are in the process of rearranging the office to make it more comfortable for the staff and more welcoming to visitors. As I mentioned above, this is a collaborative effort. We are bouncing ideas off one another and giving our suggestions to our CEO. Comfort in the office is important because we spend the majority of our week in this building. People are more productive when their environments are healthy and happy.

4. Provide Lunches and Snacks

Food is always a great morale booster. Our CEO provides lunch on a weekly basis which the entire staff greatly appreciates. It is a way of showing us that we matter as well as a special treat to look forward to. Rewards such as these, or snacks, significantly improve the morale, as well as bond the entire office more closely together. In addition, outings like lunch at restaurants or a company happy hour are fun ideas to switch up the day to day routine.

5. Be Flexible About Time Off When Necessary

Your employees shouldn’t have to dread asking for time off. As dedicated as each staff member is to the business, they do have a personal life outside of the office. Necessary requests for family or health purposes require business leaders to be flexible and giving. This improves morale because employees know that if something comes up in their life, they won’t be penalized for it at work. Getting rid of any sense of dread, if possible, will allow your staff to actually be happy coming to work! And that is what every company wants. Happy employees!

6. Find Ways to Give Back to the Community 

Everyone feels great when they give back. During Christmas time, our office sponsored a family with the Long Beach Women’s Shelter. Our entire staff contributed generously and we eventually had bags and boxes full of presents to give to the family in need. Finding ways to contribute to your community will not only develop notoriety within your city, but it will also boost the attitude in the office.

 

 

Healthy Habits in the Workplace

Workplace wellness is just as important to your business as sales and increasing revenue. Eight hours in a chair in front of a computer, five days a week can take a toll on the body. As CEO of Media Partners, I am always looking for ways to promote health in the office. Feeling good makes everyone more productive and happy.

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Here are some of the ways we at Media Partners Worldwide bring healthy habits to the workplace:

Snack Choices

We all like to snack throughout the day. However, donuts, soda and other types of junk food are strongly discouraged. Instead, we stock up on Pop chips, healthy granola nut bars, and fresh fruit. We have plenty of organic teas in our kitchen cabinets and we encourage everyone to stay hydrated with plenty of water.

Essential Oils

We frequently use Doterra Essential Oils to promote better health.  Essential oils can make a huge difference in the energy of the workplace environment.  We have a couple diffusers in the office and we frequently will diffuse oils for balance such as peppermint, lemon, rosemary and ginger. These oils provide stimulation to the senses resulting in mental clarity. If we need an extra boost, oils like grapefruit, lime, and lemon promote inspiration.

I will also diffuse OnGuard oil when people are sick. With an emphasis on healing naturally through essential oils, tempers can be soothed, clarity can replace confusion and sick days lessen.

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Music

We are fortunate to have Wholetones as our client. Wholetones: The Healing Frequency Music Project believes in the power of healing through the vibrations of music. By playing these CDs, we can increase the energy flow in the office and create a relaxing, yet creative environment. If you want to learn more about the using music to promote healing, relieve stress and break negative cycles, visit wholetones.com.

Sitting on Yoga Balls/Ball Chairs

Recently, I bought my staff yoga ball chairs as an alternative to sitting in an office chair all day. A stability ball can help burn more calories and tone core muscles. It can also help you elevate back pain since sitting this way requires you to maintain good posture.  According to the American Fitness Professionals and Associates, “For best results, switch back and forth between using a chair and a stability ball. And, don’t forget to stand up throughout the work day to mitigate any possible health concerns associated with sitting for a long period of time.” We find that by having an option to switch to the stability ball throughout the day increases our productivity.

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Take Short Walks

I also encourage everyone to take short walks and leave the office. Fresh air is so critical to maintaining overall health. A regular supply of fresh air is very important. “Fresh air provides you with a steady supply of oxygen which is needed by your brain and every single cell of your body…Every function carried on by the body is directly related to the life of the cells. Cells need four things to live and function properly such as oxygen, water, nutrition, and cleansing. Without oxygen, the cells die in three minutes as it is one chemical essential for the cells to create energy,” according to Your Standard Life. Fresh air can provide energy and increase productivity.