10 Ways To Improve Your Work Environment and Be More Productive.

Lately I have been thinking about ways I can re-organize my home and work space to improve my productivity and work more efficiently. After much thought I have come up with these 10 ideas. Some of them are my tried and true methods and others ( ahem #3) are ones I need to work on.

1. Don’t work or study in or on your bed.
The brain is an intuitive machine. Have you ever noticed how your stomach grumbles while you’re cooking dinner? If you lay or sit in bed you are telling your brain that you are ready for sleep. So you will feel tired and not at all ready to tackle that 20 pager paper or work report.

2. Drink Up! H20 that is…
I learned this trick in college. While you might think that quad cappuccino will help you stay awake to study you’re better off drinking ice cold water. This will keep you hydrated and alert. Consuming extreme amounts of caffeine will leave you dehydrated and jittery. Try limiting yourself to one cup of coffee for that night time study session.

3. Get dressed.
If you are like me and often work from home you know how easy it can be to just stay in your pajamas all day. I find I am more productive the days I get dressed as if I’m working away from home. Sometimes I get ready just from the waist up. I do my hair and make-up and put on a casual shirt but keep the yoga/pj pants and slippers.

4. Get a little physical
Take a break every hour or so to do some jumping jacks, squats, yoga stretches, or whatever you like.   If you work in an office you can always excuse yourself to the bathroom to do this to avoid weird looks from your co-workers. Either way it’s always good to get your blood pumping after long periods of sitting. If it’s nice outside I like to take a little stroll around the block. The fresh air combined with the walk helps me feel revived and ready to take on the rest of my tasks.

5. Be bright
I think lighting is very important for a person’s productivity. You want your work area to be well lit but not too bright. When my office installed a new set of LED overhead lights they were so obnoxiously bright that many of us felt nauseous and I even donned a pair of sunglasses for several shifts. The key is to find as much natural lighting as possible.

6. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!
I am a firm believer in to do lists. The bottom of my purse is well padded with tons of little pieces of paper scribbled with groceries to buy and things to do.  Every morning I make a to-do list with my morning coffee. Then I take that list and prioritize it into another to-do list. I always try to take care of the smallest tasks first so I can dedicate my time and attention to the bigger, more important tasks.

7. Eat away from your desk
Try your best to eat meals at the dining table, in the break room, or outside. If you mix eating with work you may not consume mindfully which can leave you still feeling unsatisfied and reaching for naughty snacks come 3 o’clock. Extra time searching for snacks can prevent you from getting all of your work completed.

8. Set social media limits
It can be so easy to spend hours on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. To stay productive try designating a specific time each day to use social media and stick to it. All of those apps will still be there waiting once you’ve finished those important work tasks.

9.Practice color theory
Color Theory is the idea that certain colors can provoke certain emotions. For example the color purple is supposed to trigger the area of your brain that controls intelligence, leadership, and thought. Green is linked to clear speech. This idea is a bit controversial but I find that I am least productive around the colors red, yellow, and orange. Finding the right color for your work area or work materials might help you feel more satisfied with your work and be more productive in general.

10. Regulate the temperature
This is a fairly simple idea but it’s very important. I can remember several times when I was trying to work on something but all I could think about was how freezing the room was. If you can, regulate the thermostat so you don’t feel too hot or too cold. If you work in an office where you can’t regulate the temperature yourself, adjust your clothing so you feel comfortable without adding or removing layers. A big, puffy coat will definitely slow down your work.

One additional piece of advice is to talk with your boss and co-workers about the environment in which you work. Bring up concerns or suggestions in a staff meeting. Bosses want you to be as productive as possible so they might be open to office modifications. You never know until you ask.

I hope these tips are helpful to you and I would love to hear any other ideas you have. Leave me comments down below, tweet me @imperfectperla, or email me at cwlinguistics@gmail.com

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Check out my new YouTube Channel!

Hello everyone!

I want to share some fun news with you. I decided to start a YouTube channel. Woo hoo!!

I started this blog and now this channel as a sort of self-care project. My day job involves hearing about a lot of traumatic events so it’s good to have a positive outlet to relieve stress. Plus I think it might be fun!

Head on over to My YouTube Channel to check out my first few videos. Please subscribe and leave comments telling me what other kinds of videos you would like to see. You can also Tweet me your requests or comments @imperfectperla.

Some of my future video ideas include:
~Health product reviews
~Cooking/baking tutorials
~Craft DIYs
~Budget-friendly videos
~Beauty, makeup, and fashion
~Motivational and self-care topics
~ Your requests! 🙂

I hope you’re having a great start to your week!

Courtney

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New Year Resolutions!

Happy New Year!

As a chronic list maker, goal setter, and just planner in general I get excited when the new year comes around because it means I get a fresh start to set new goals. I wanted to share with you today the things I’ve learned over the past few years about making goals or new year resolutions and successfully achieving them.

1.Make easy goals.
When I say easy I mean ridiculously easy. Think of goals that you are 100% sure you can achieve. I believe that by making and completing easy goals, you give yourself momentum to tackle larger goals. For example, one of my goals is to simply hang up my coat and purse everyday instead of draping them over the couch.

2.Use the buddy system.
Accountability is a proven method used to reach and maintain goals. Ask a friend to join you at the gym a couple times a week or volunteer at a soup kitchen. You can also come up with goals together and encourage each other throughout the process. Send each other motivational text messages or emails once a week as a reminder that you are still there for them and working towards the goal.

3.Reward yourself.
Just like  #1 make the reward very simple at first. Don’t make your first reward of the year a brand new pair of Jimmy Choo heels. Start off with something small like a new lipstick or magazine. It is also best to space out rewards. Once you have completed a goal go ahead and reward yourself but then increase the difficulty of the goal and the length between rewards.

4. Do a little every day.
Over the past 4 months I have been trying very hard to break my habit of procrastinating. I have done a really good job too and the way I have been accomplishing this is by taking a goal and breaking it up into daily tasks. It is not a new concept that doing small parts of a larger task each day will help you complete the task with less stress. It is, however a hard concept to put into place. One goal I made a few months ago was to keep the house more organized and tidy.

I used to let my laundry and house cleaning pile up until it was complete chaos. Then I would have to dedicate an entire day or two just to cleaning up those messes. Now I try to clean a little every single day so I don’t have to waste my weekend with a dust rag in my hand.  I also like to use the 60 second rule.  If something will take 60 seconds or less to clean up I do it right then instead of leaving it for later.

This same idea can be applied to a new year resolution. Think of some 60 second tasks you can do each day to work towards your goal.

5.Write it down.
We are all so busy it is possible to simply forget about a goal. So, writing down your goals and keeping them in sight will help remind you. Try writing them on a post-it note and sticking it to your mirror or on a colorful piece of paper you hang on your fridge. I like to sometimes set an alarm on my phone with a single word or phrase that reminds me of a goal I’ve made. (ex. Take Vitamin) This year I am going to try journaling again. It is a great way to check in with yourself for a few minutes every night and process your feelings from the day. Through this process you can track the progress of your current goals and you may even discover some new goals.

I hope these tips help you achieve whatever goals you are making this new year.

Here are some of the goals I am making this new year:

~Hang up coat and purse in the proper place everyday. (Remember Tip #1)

~Journal everyday or at least every week

~Volunteer in some capacity

~Strengthen yoga practice

~Run a race

~Experiment with new recipes

~Pass Medical Interpreter Certification Exams

~Work on new content for this blog. (Maybe more videos!?)

~Find joy every day in the small things

~Be happy and healthy!

What are your resolutions or goals for this new year? Comment below, tweet me @imperfectperla, or follow me on instagram (@liveloveandtiu) and comment on my new years post.

I wish you all a very successful year.

Peace,

C

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How To Tuesday: Recycle Magazines and Boost Your Mood

Happy Tuesday!

In today’s post I want to share with you how I take a giant stack of magazines and turn it into a compact book. It’s super easy and a great way to have all your favorite articles in once place. Plus it is a great way to boost your mood! (keep reading to find out how)

What You Need:

  • Your stack of magazines. I like to stick with one type of magazine per book but you can mix magazines if you want.
  • Three-hole binder
  • Scissors
  • Clear sheet protectors. Make sure to get sheet protectors that already have holes punched in the side.

How To:

  • Grab your stack of magazines and organize them by type of magazine.
  • Flip through each magazine and cut out each recipe or article that you want to keep.
  • Create different piles for your articles. For example I divided mine into three piles: recipes, workouts, and beauty/fashion.

 

 

  • Slip the articles into the clear sheet protectors and then pop them into your binder. You may want to use a separate blank sheet of paper to make a divider to separate each of the different themes within your binder.
  • Optional: Make a decorative cover or label for the front of your binder.

To prepare for this project I like to make a cup of my favorite coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and get snugly on the couch. I also like to turn on my favorite music or movie. I found this project to be a great way to unwind while still keeping my mind active.
Sometimes a small project can have a big effect on your mood. The act of organizing stimulates the left side of your brain and when you are able to easily complete this project you are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment. In addition, the act of creating something or looking at creative content keeps the right side of your brain happy. In combination your brain produces more serotonin. (The chocolate can help too!) Serotonin makes brains happy. A happier brain means a happier you! So the next time you are feeling a little down grab that stack of magazines and those mood-boosting juices flowing.

I hope you enjoyed this fun little DIY. If you make a binder like this let me know what magazines or recipes you used in the comments below! You can also tweet me @imperfectperla.

Have a great day!

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Monday Motivation Through Mindfulness

Maybe I am alone here but Mondays are when I feel the most motivated. It’s a weekly chance at a fresh start. Every Monday I like to make a list of attainable goals for the week.  Checking things off this list is very therapeutic for me so I always include some small things like “take mail to post office” or “do load of laundry.” Completing those little mundane tasks motivates me to tackle the bigger things on my list. Monday is also the day when I try to get myself pumped for the week. I do this by seeking out inspirational quotes, affirmations, or doing some mindfulness practice. 

The practice of mindfulness is a great way to feel motivated and inspired.  Essentially mindfulness is the practice of being aware of your surroundings in the present moment. When we are mindful we take in each moment and cherish it for what is it. The more we bring our focus to the present moment the more we can clearly set our intentions and enjoy the day. 
Here is a quick mindfulness exercise you can try for better focus. 
1. Stop what you are doing and just sit still for a moment. 
2. Take a few deep breathes and each time you inhale imagine the air starting from the tips of your toes and moving up your spinal cord all the way to the top of your head. As you exhale imagine the air coming into your body and flowing down your back, reaching every organ. You can also imagine when you are exhaling you are pushing out all negative thoughts and when you inhale you are pulling in positive thoughts and intentions. 
3. Now, open your eyes if they were closed and look at the objects immediately surrounding you. Really take notice of your surroundings. Give each object a few moments of your attention. 
4. Then pull your focus back on yourself. Really notice yourself and pay attention to your physical and mental being. 
5. Traditional mindfulness practice might leave it here but I like to use this focus I’ve created to set my intentions. I also give myself some positive affirmations and smile. The simple act of smiling can greatly improve your mood. 
Here are some mindfulness quotes that really inspire me.
“Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.” 
― Marcus Aurelius 

“In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility. ” 
― Victoria Moran

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” 
―Thích Nhat Hanh


“You actions are your only true belongings.” 
―Allan Lokos 

“We use mindfulness to observe the way we cling to pleasant experiences & push away unpleasant ones.” 
―Sharon Salzberg 
Have a great day and don’t forget to smile, 
C
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