by Amanda Borshoff

Things here at dgs have been a flurry of projects, meetings and travel. With the influx of work, I’ve found my mind has been racing a thousand miles a minute, and I’ve found a few things to help me better focus and remain stress free.

1. Stay organized. My desk is usually clean and organized. You know I’m busy if you find my desk out of sorts. Each day before I leave, I make it a point to organize my desk. That way, when I arrive in the morning I’m ready to hit the ground running.

2. Make a task list. Start simple and build. If you prefer your computer, I suggest creating a list in Word or Outlook. This allows you to easily remove, add and re-prioritize your tasks. If writing things down helps you to remember, grab a notebook that is only used for tasks. Make sure you use the same notebook and only use the notebook for your tasks list. (Trust me on this one, I learned the hard way.)

3. Move around. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, you’re going to wear yourself down and become sore. When I start getting restless or my body aches, I stand up and stretch, walk to the kitchen for a snack, get a drink of water or walk to someone’s desk to ask a question instead of writing an email.

4. Me time is key. By definition, I’m a workaholic. I live and breathe dgs and marketing. In order to create a better work-life balance, I make it a point to find time each day to do something just for me. For me, it’s no longer getting online after work. I may take magazines home to catch-up on the news, but unless there’s a rush project with a very tight deadline, I no longer get online after hours.

5. Laugh. I know it sounds a little unorthodox when talking about how to be efficient at work, but it helps. Laughing boosts your endorphins and makes you feel happier, which decreases stress and tension. Each morning I read the Dilbert comic strip. This usually makes me giggle, and if that doesn’t do the trick, I can always count on J-Biddy to tell me a funny joke.

6. Have a toy/picture/icon. I have an assortment of “fun” things at my desk. This goes along with the laughing tip, but I find having something to keep me visually or physically stimulated outside of my working helps me to focus. Just a few items in my “fun arsenal”…suction cup, silly putty, Buddha board, Spock doll, stress ball, star sunglasses, leprechaun hat, slinky.

So that’s it… my rules for leading a successful and productive life…Do you have any extra tips? I’m always looking for new ideas.

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