Is “Inbox Zero”—the clean slate with every email handled—an impossibility at your workdesk? Whether you work in the office or remotely, archiving, keeping tabs, delegating, and crafting the right responses to every important email you receive is probably becoming another job in itself.
There is an epidemic of email overload, and virtual work has led to serious stress for many professionals. According to a 2021 Superhuman survey, email fatigue is the leading cause of distraction at work and a major cause of rising dissatisfaction with remote work. It’s such a pain point that 22% of remote workers want to leave their current job because of the volume of email they receive.
While your flood of email can’t be stopped, here are some efficient ways to handle overload so that you can minimize interruptions, decrease mistakes, and gain back more of your time for productive pursuits:
Email Strategy #1: Set clear expectations for email use with your team
Harvard Business Report reveals that 57% of employees report not being given clear direction, and 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with employees. Set communication guidelines with your team, accounting for the following points:
• When email is the appropriate communication platform and when it is not • When direct messaging, phone, or in-person discussions should be used • When a “reply all” is necessary and when it is not • Which team members certain types of requests and communications can be delegated to, as needed • The importance of being concise and getting to the point immediately
Email Strategy #2: Answer emails at designated times
Set up 3-4 blocks of 15-30 minutes per day, depending on your email volume, to respond to emails, so that you can maintain your workflow at all other times. Communicate this to your team so that no one expects immediate responses, and provide an alternate channel for urgent messages such as direct messaging.
Email Strategy #3: Turn off email notifications
With your time block system in place, you won’t have a need to receive distracting notifications. Notifications can be stress-inducing and overwhelming themselves.
Email Strategy #4: Delete, do, delegate, or defer
Go through your inbox during the designated time slots and organize emails in folders by using the 4 Ds model. You’ll notice an immediate feeling of relief when you see how many emails can be deleted, delegated, and deferred. This habit will enable you to take timely action on the emails that matter most, and still effectively handle other communications as your priorities require. You may want to add a fifth option—a “waiting” folder for action-pending emails that require others to respond before you can do anything.
Email Strategy #5: Create subfolders, if necessary
If step 4 still leaves you with too many emails in the “do” category, create subfolders and group together important emails and email chains according to key topics. This archiving method will make it much easier to find what you need when you do have time to respond. Outlook and other email applications can automate this step once you set up rules to categorize or filter emails into subfolders and prioritize based on the sender.
Email Strategy #6: Add follow-up reminders to your calendar
For messages that require a follow-up action that you have designated to defer, put a reminder on your calendar including the folder location and date when a follow-up is required.
Email Strategy #7: Unsubscribe from unwanted email
Do you receive industry newsletters and marketing communications in your work email? Remove yourself from these lists by using the unsubscribe button. For those communications you still want to receive, change your email to a non-work address that you can review by choice during your personal time. Mark all unwanted communications as “spam”, so that you won’t continue to receive more of the same from these sources.
“Inbox Zero” may be an unrealistic pipe dream, but with these strategies, you should be able to conquer your inbox without feeling overloaded. Let us know how these tips are working for you!
This year, we are focused on Mindfulness and Self Care – both at home and in the office.
That’s why this month’s blog comes to us from Lori Deschene, the founder of one of our favorite new websites, Tiny Buddha. We hope you enjoy her blog as much as we did.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
Growing up I often heard the phrase You shouldn’t care so much.
Derivatives of this idea included: So what if they’re talking about you. Who cares what they think? He’s a jerk; why do you care about him? You’re your own person; why do you care about what she’s doing?
I associated the word “care” with stress, because in all these instances, caring meant feeling bad.
It meant being overly worried about someone’s opinion of me, or feeling for someone who didn’t feel for me, or thinking someone was somehow better than me.
I frequently responded, “What kind of person would I be if I didn’t care?”
I also argued that not caring could be a limiting choice.
Sometimes someone else’s criticism contains a valuable lesson. Sometimes someone who seems like a jerk really needs someone to take a chance on him (or her). Sometimes someone else’s choices help us illuminate the path we really want to take.
If we decide to stop caring in all instances that might push and challenge us, we risk closing ourselves off to insights, relationships, and ideas that could change our lives for the better—and potentially do the same for others.
I’ve since realized that the real message isn’t to stop caring, but instead to recognize how we care and why so that we don’t give our power away.
Sometimes we care with love; sometimes we care with fear. Sometimes we care with self-respect; sometimes we care with self-contempt. Sometimes we care with a sense of possibility; sometimes we care with fears of inferiority.
The important thing is that we don’t let caring about people or circumstances detract from our ability to care for ourselves.
A friend of mine recently told me she’s stopped caring about what people expect of her. Knowing that she values those relationships, I concluded that she really meant she stopped stressing about how well she met their expectations.
She essentially decided to stop worrying about things outside her control, and focus instead on all the things that were within her power.
That’s what it means to care for ourselves: to do our best and celebrate that, even as we keep learning and growing.
Why are successful people so often the most effective time managers? Because they do three things better than everyone else: 1. They are continually aware that time is a very limited resource. 2. They learn and apply critical skills to arrange their schedules efficiently. 3. They monitor their use of time and adapt effectively as variables change.
You wouldn’t be here if you had time to waste, so follow these five rules to become the best time manager you can be and get back hours you never knew you were wasting each day.
Time Management Rule #1: Delegate work that others can do 75% as well as you
If you are a manager or executive, consider what you’re doing that others could do almost as well, and free up your valuable time in the process. Because we’re all biased toward the way we do things, make a list of all of the projects and tasks that you’re confident someone you could delegate to would do 75% as well. Then clear your plate for what really matters.
Time Management Rule #2: Organize your day around SMART goals
What makes a goal worth scheduling? It should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). Specific goals are clearly defined, down to the nitty-gritty details. Measurable goals can be tracked or even quantified. Achievable goals are realistic and attainable. Relevant means there is a real purpose or benefit to getting something done, and Time-bound means the goal has a specific deadline. If your goal is MART or SMA but not fully SMART, it isn’t worth scheduling.
Time Management Rule #3: Stop falling prey to time-wasters
If you’re like most people, you could save an hour a day or more each day by following this rule alone. According to Salary.com, 89% of people waste time every day at work, and 69% of men and 62% of women use the internet for personal reasons. To squeeze more time out of your day, every non-essential activity or task that isn’t getting you closer to your SMART goals has to go. This includes surfing the internet, posting on Facebook, and getting a haircut during the day (not every time-waster is digital).
Time Management Rule #4: Prioritize, schedule, and monitor your time
“Spontaneous” is a word for time-wasters. If you can avoid it, make sure you account for all your time in your daily schedule. Create a task list and prioritize the times, first according to deadlines and second to importance. If a task seems complex, break it down into more easily Achievable components. Record how much time you allocate each item in a calendar, and then monitor your time to see when you’ve gone into overtime. Review at the end of each day and week to modify your estimating process and your efficiency for each task.
Time Management Rule #5: Set aside a block of time for reading and responding to emails
U.S. workers now spend an average of 3.2 hours per day checking work emails and more than 90 minutes per day recovering from email interruptions. This is a serious crisis and An excellent first step to take is to set aside a block of time each day to read and respond to emails and let your collaborators know you’ll be reachable and responsive during that time.
Try these tips and share them with your team. Then tell us on Facebook how many hours per day and per week after week one you’ve saved by implementing them!
Penny Wise is here to help you achieve maximum productivity during your workday! Visit us online today: Click Here »
Happy New Year! There’s no better time than now to declutter your workspace. Brighten your workspace and improve your efficiency with these clever office organization ideas using Avery products. Labels, Ultra Tabs® and markers are all you need to try out these brilliant life hacks. You can also use these ideas and products as a springboard for imagining your own desk organization ideas.
Is there something that keeps slipping your mind? For some people it’s an extension number or a shortcut key or an important date. Make sure to keep these details within your view with colorful, repositionable Ultra Tabs on the edge of your monitor. Ultra Tabs are great office organization supplies and are available in a variety of colors, finishes and sizes.
A brilliant file folder hack is to write down the contents of the folder on to a label on the front. Avery shipping labels with TrueBlock® material blocks out everything underneath the label so that you can easily place one over the other without having the previous list bleed through. Ultra fine tip Marks-A-Lot™ markers also work perfectly for clean and compact writing.
It’s easy for a plain, black and white to-do list to blend into the background of your desk. Adding round color coding labels is a fantastic way to bring color into your routine while also making it easier for you to parse your schedule visually. If you’re interested in creating your own color coding system take a look at our article on how to improve your day with color coding for some great office organizing ideas
Skip the work of scouring through hanging file folder tabs by creating your own top-view tab markers. Print onto clear labels and center them on the top of binder clips for improved tabs that are easier to view. Clear labels are also great for marking your supplies, addressing envelopes and creating your own DIY labels.
Every charging cable looks the same behind your desk and it’s easy to lose track of which one is which. Barbell labels are ideal for identifying cables since they are easy to wrap around, will stick in one place without sliding and allow you print out double-sided tags.
Concerned about your privacy? An extra use for round color coding labels is to block out your webcam so that it only works when you need it. They’re also easily removable to keep your screen clean or if you feel like changing up the color.
These labels and more can be ordered from Penny Wise Office Products. Contact us today at 1-800-942-3311 or shop online at www.penny-wise.com
We’re excited to bring you today’s post written by LCSW, Amy Moran. With more people working from home those days, we know many are struggling with motivation and the challenges of staying engaged in your workplace. We think you will find her suggestions helpful. Please let us know some of your own tips for staying motivated!
Most people find working from home to be challenging—especially at first. From piles of dirty laundry to daytime TV, there are tons of distractions.
And sometimes, pajamas and a comfortable seat on the sofa just don’t provide the same type of motivation you get from a suit and an office chair.
Whether you’re home alone and the house is too quiet, or you’re home with the family and the kids are out of control, you may find it’s tough to stay on task, get your work done, and feel productive. Fortunately, the following strategies can help you stay motivated when you work from home.
1. Create a Schedule
Without a structured workday, time can get away from you. You might find that you start shifting your workdays later and later as you sip an extra cup of coffee. Then, your work hours extend later into the evenings, which causes you to stay up later at night, as well.
Or you might find that you easily get off track or distracted while working. Projects that used to take 20 minutes are suddenly lasting 2 hours.
That’s why it’s important to have a clear schedule. Establish a time to begin and end work. Try to stick to it as much as you can.
2. Establish a Dedicated Workspace
You might be tempted to work in bed. After all, it’s likely the most comfortable space in the house.
But when you associate your bed with work, it can interfere with your sleep. And trouble sleeping will affect your performance the following day. Most sleep experts recommend reserving your bed for sleep and sexual activity.
So even though your bed might feel like a comfortable spot, create a workspace somewhere else. The kitchen table or a desk in the corner of the living room might be better alternatives to your bedroom.
3. Work in Small Blocks of Time
Blocking out small amounts of time—and planning what you’ll do during that timeframe—can make big tasks feel more manageable.
You might find you have more motivation when telling yourself that you just need to complete one invoice in the next 30 minutes, rather than telling yourself that you have 50 invoices to create by lunchtime.
Scheduling your time will also hold you more accountable. You’ll be less likely to get lost on social media when you know you only have 15 minutes to complete a task. And you’ll be less likely to procrastinate when you’ve given yourself a tight deadline.
4. Limit Distractions and Interruptions
You might find that you struggle to get back on task each time you’re interrupted. You can stay motivated by limiting the distractions and interruptions you experience.
This may mean muting your phone notifications and only checking your email once an hour. Or placing your phone on “Do Not Disturb” until you complete a specific task.
If you’re working from home with kids, keep them occupied to reduce how often they interrupt you. Give them tasks to do and plan to check on them at a certain time.
Establish some ground rules about what constitutes a legitimate reason for them interrupting you while working. Then, you can reward them for playing well on their own with a chance to do something extra fun when you’re finished working.
5. Practice the “10-Minute Rule”
It can be hard to convince yourself to start working on a task you really don’t want to do. Whether you know it’s going to be boring, frustrating, or just really challenging, convincing yourself to get started is tough.
One of the best ways to get moving on something you don’t want to do is by using the “10-minute rule.” Tell yourself that you only have to work on something for 10 minutes. Then, after the 10-minute mark, you can take a break if you want.
More times than not, you’ll likely find that at the 10-minute mark you’ll choose to keep going. Usually, getting started is the toughest part. But once you do, it’s easy to keep the momentum going.
6. Reward Yourself
You might find you work best when you know there’s a little reward waiting for you. For example, tell yourself you can watch your favorite show if you get your work done by 6 p.m. Or tell yourself you can have a cup of your favorite tea as soon as you finish this report.
A little incentive can often go a long way toward helping you get work done efficiently. And it’ll help you see what you’re capable of accomplishing.
7. Challenge Yourself
Sometimes, a little challenge can help get you moving, too. For example, you might try to write a certain amount of words in 30 minutes. Once you see how many words you write in 30 minutes, you might try beating that during the next 30-minute time slot.
You might also make some discoveries about yourself. Maybe you type faster when you’re sitting at the kitchen table, or perhaps you have better focus right after lunch. Learning these things about yourself might help you set up your day for success.
Being more aware of your time helps you use it wisely. And challenging yourself in some way might provide the extra incentive you need.
8. Practice Good Self-Care
You’ll never be at your best if you’re exhausted and running on caffeine and sugar only. You need a healthy diet, plenty of rest, and good self-care strategies to perform at your peak.
But meeting your physical, social, and emotional needs right now will be a bit more challenging than usual. Eating a healthy diet might not be as easy when you’re limiting your trips to the grocery store. And video chatting with friends isn’t the same as meeting in person.
So take a step back every once in a while and ask yourself what else you can do to better take care of yourself. As your stress level increases, your self-care should increase right alongside it.
9. Experiment With Different Strategies
There are plenty of online tips about how to work well from home. But everyone is different. And what works for one person might not work well for another.
So it’s important to experiment with different strategies to discover what works well for you. You might find you feel more motivated in the evenings, or you might have more energy after a morning workout.
10. Practice Regulating Your Emotions
Research shows we tend to put off tasks that stir up uncomfortable emotions. If you’re anxious about a medical appointment, you might not be motivated to call the doctor. Or, if you’re afraid studying will bring frustration, you might find yourself binge-watching Netflix instead.
In these cases, the lack of motivation stems from your desire to avoid discomfort. And when you’re working from home, there are always plenty of opportunities to engage in something more fun than the work you’re supposed to be doing.
So consider what emotion(s) you’re trying to avoid feeling. Acknowledging the emotion might make it feel less scary. Remind yourself that you can handle feeling uncomfortable.
Additionally, remind yourself of how good you’ll feel when you get the project done, as opposed to how bad you’ll feel if you don’t do the work. This might remind you to take action regardless of whether you feel like it.
What This Means For You
Working from home can be challenging in the best of circumstances. But if you find yourself working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, the added stress of the situation will make it harder than usual to stay motivated.
Be willing to cut yourself a little slack if your productivity isn’t on par. Rather than beat yourself up for not being motivated enough, you might find a little self-compassion goes a long way toward helping you feel your best.
Penny Wise Office Products has the products you need to be productive whether you are working from home or in the office. Contact us for fast, free delivery on over 50,000 products today. 1 (800) 942-3311 or shop www.penny-wise.com
With the growing availability of COVID-19 vaccines, 2021 is opening the door for many businesses to consider a partial or full return of employees to the workplace. While small and medium-sized business owners feel a sense of urgency to return to business as usual, there are facts to consider about where we are now in the pandemic and practices that can help to ensure the safety of everyone in your workplace.
By March 15, more than 38 million Americans had been fully vaccinated, or 11.5% percent of the country’s population. The Biden administration has announced goals to get all Americans eligible for vaccinations by May 1 and to get the nation “closer to normal” by July 4. While vaccinations have helped to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and many of those at high risk for serious health consequences have been vaccinated, 88.5% of the country is still waiting (or worried about taking the vaccines). There is still much to be done before we reach herd immunity, but progress is happening quickly.
So where do we stand now in terms of what we should and should not do in our workplaces? The CDC recently advised that fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks or physically distancing. They may also gather with a small group, such as coworkers, even if that group has not been vaccinated. Those who haven’t been vaccinated are advised to continue to minimize the number of people they are in physical contact with and to wear masks in public.
If your business is like most others, most of your employees, customers, and visitors have not yet been vaccinated. With this in mind, here are some key safety considerations for gradually returning employees and visitors to your workplace:
1. Promote vaccinations: Over the next few weeks, the Biden Administration will deliver vaccines directly to up to 700 community health centers and will double the number of pharmacies and community vaccination centers operating. Simply communicating the availability of vaccines in your local area and the eligibility criteria as they are announced will maximize the number of employees who can gather without masks or physically distancing.
2. Require face masks for all employees and visitors, including those who are vaccinated, since the findings on whether vaccinated people can transmit the virus are still unclear. Keep spare face masks on hand and educate employees on the proper way to wear and handle masks. Noses must be covered!
3. Stagger a return to work: Some of your employees have been vaccinated. Others can only work effectively in the workplace. Bring these two groups back to work first, then stagger the rest according to vaccinations and need to be in the workplace in order to execute their roles. If an employee lives in an at-risk community or immune-compromised household, extend their ability to work from home.
4. Have a pre-screening policy: If you can prevent sick employees from putting others at risk, you are taking the most important step in ensuring a safe workplace. Consider having someone check temperatures at the door and turning away employees running a fever. Ask all employees to stay home if they are experiencing symptoms including body aches, a fever over 100 degrees, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of taste or smell.
5. Seek emergency medical attention for anyone in your workplace exhibiting sudden signs of trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion; inability to wake or stay awake; or pale gray or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone.
6. Routinely sanitize and disinfect the workplace, carefully following these CDC guidelines for the materials to use, surfaces to clean, and frequency of cleaning.
7. Adjust your floor plan to reduce congestion and the potential for face-to-face contact as people pass one another. Consider using tape to mark areas where people can walk to ensure that there are six feet of width between people as they pass one another, especially in intersections. If there are areas where congestion or face-to-face contact is almost impossible to avoid, use partitions to reduce the potential for viral transmission.
8. Promote physical distancing by not holding meetings in closed rooms, if possible. Use open spaces instead. If this isn’t possible, use the largest possible rooms for in-person meetings and limit the number of attendees to only those that must be present. Consider holding virtual meetings or hybrid virtual/present meetings.
9. Post signage reminding workers of proper protocols including individual mask-wearing, handwashing, avoiding handshaking, not sharing objects, and other hygienic practices.
10. Be ready to adjust your protocols and plans as the situation changes. While it is highly likely the pandemic will continue to subside as more people are vaccinated, there is a possibility that COVID-19 variants could complicate the situation. Be prepared to reverse course and let your workers return to remote work temporarily, as necessary.
There is no doubt the impact of COVID-19 has been greatest for smaller businesses. As a small-to-midsize business, you have fewer resources to deal with an unexpected crisis. These ten guidelines can be implemented by businesses of all sizes. When put into place as a matter of policy, they should be all you need to gradually and safely return employees to your workplace.
The warmer weather and the longer days intensify our desire to clean and organize. While many people take the time to clean out their wardrobes and organize their homes, one area that is often neglected is an office or desk space. Since your work area is a place where you spend 8+ hours per day, it is important to take the time to clean out these spots, as well. Use these tips to get the most out of your spring cleaning and prepare yourself for the rest of the year.
1. Digital Declutter
Digital clutter slows down your computer over time and leaves you with little space to store your work files, which is why a routine e-cleanup is necessary for top performance. Start by going through your files and transferring ones you want to keep but don’t actively use to a server or an external hard drive. If there are files that you do not need at all, go ahead and delete them! After completing these steps, organize your desktop and folders to simplify your file search.
2. Clear the Unnecessary
Your desk should hold your most important items such as a computer, phone, notepad, and a reliable pen or mechanical pencil. If your desk has drawers, use them to sort any paperwork you have on the top surface away, to keep your surface clear and streamlined. The trick is to keep your most used items within arm’s reach. Being organized and having a clean slate can help you become more productive during the workday.
3. Wipe it Down
Now that your workspace is tidy and streamlined, it is time to clean it. Start by using a disinfectant wipe to sanitize your work tabletop and then move on to using a screen cleaner spray for any electronical surfaces like your computer and phone screens. One area you’ll want to make sure not to forget—your keyboard! Using a microfiber towel and cotton swabs can help you get into all the spaces between the keys. Try making cleaning part of your weekly routine to truly feel a difference.
4. New Supplies
Now that you have gotten rid of all the clutter, it is time to take inventory of your supplies and make a list of what you still need. At the top of that list should be new pens and mechanical pencils for the rest of the year. The Sarasa Grand Retractable Gel Pen comes in 6 aesthetically pleasing barrel colors and rapid drying gel ink for an effortless writing experience. For a mechanical pencil option, try out the DelGuard Mechanical Pencil. Its lead won’t break under pressure and is refillable.
5. Add Some Pizzazz
Finally, don’t forget to make the space your own by injecting your personality into it. Show off your style with a potted faux plant, sleek metal mousepad, or a few framed photographs. No matter how you do it, adding your own personality to your workspace is a great way to breathe in new life and help you (and your desk) feel refreshed.
Even if it isn’t spring, adding some personality to your newly cleaned and organized office can help you refocus and improve your productivity. We hope these tips help you organize, clean, and refresh your workspace.
All the supplies mentioned here are available from Penny Wise Office Products. Call to Order – (800) 942-3311 or Shop Online www.penny-wise.com
If Wellness in 2021 is your goal, we’ve got 4 great Work Day Wellness Activities for you, even if you are working from home.
Most of the work from home guides you may have read focus on productivity, with tips about how to concentrate on work and better utilize tech, such as external monitors or laptop docking stations. But productivity is just one half of the recipe for WFH success.
Wellness is also a crucial ingredient. After all, it’s not easy to perform at your best if you’re feeling unhealthy or stressed-out. There are some easy wellness activities that you can take advantage of during your lunch break to stay active and engaged.
Activity #1: Eat Lunch Somewhere Other Than Where You Work
When you work from home, time can seem very fluid, with no clear boundaries between work and leisure periods. Similarly, the lines between “workspace” and “leisure space” can become blurred.
But you still need clear differentiation as well as regular breaks to avoid long, uninterrupted periods of staring at a screen in the same spot, which can quickly put you into a lull. In other words: Don’t eat lunch in your WFH workspace, or deprioritize doing so just because you feel like you’re “in the zone.”
A survey from hygiene and health company Tork found that employees who regularly took lunch breaks felt more engaged on the job than those who did not. It might seem counterintuitive that people who work fewer hours overall, and do so more sporadically with interspersed breaks, are more productive than ones who just power through all day at their desk, but it makes sense in a way:
• Leaving your workspace for a kitchen or patio table lets you switch contexts and can help recharge your mental energy.
• It also spares you from literal multitasking – for example, trying to eat and respond to emails simultaneously – that taxes the brain and decreases the quality of any attempted work.
Activity #2: Take a Walk or Do Other Exercise During Your Break
Going for a walk offers multiple benefits to productivity, health, and wellness.
First, like eating lunch somewhere else, it provides a clear break from sitting in front of your computer. That’s important for resetting your mind. Walking helps sharpen the senses and improve key brain functions for memory, learning, and cognition.
Second, if you can walk outside, you can give your immune system a boost. Georgetown University researchers once found that sunlight boosts T-cell activity.
Third, it’s good for keeping up with a formal health and wellness program or regimen, if you follow one. Specific requirements of these programs – such as getting in a sufficient number of steps each day or achieving a certain heart rate – can be more easily met with some lunchtime physical activity.
If walking isn’t your favorite thing, you can still do some other beneficial exercises with minimal setup:
• Bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and pushups require nothing but a little space and can pay dividends right away in how physically and mentally alert you feel.
• Consider getting a pair of dumbbells and a yoga mat to add more challenge and create a more comfortable surface, respectively.
• Track your time so that the exercise routine doesn’t run too long or make it more difficult to fulfill your work-related commitments.
Activity #3: Eat a Prepared Meal
Switching from a commute-based job to working remotely can dramatically change your eating habits, and not necessarily for the better. Since snacks might be readily available from your WFH workspace, it can be easy to eat junk food throughout the day. On top of the risks already present from sitting for too long (like higher blood pressure), there are possible downsides for your health.
Planning your meals is one way to avoid falling into this trap of impulsive and stress-induced snacking (plus, it’s good dietary advice in general). Enjoy a meal that was prepped in advance, like you might have done before if you packed your own lunch for the office. This helps instill structure in your workday, too, helping avoid the boundary-less work-life muddle discussed earlier.
Consistent hydration is also important, so keep a water bottle nearby as well as grab your favorite drink of choice at the beginning of each workday. Making these kinds of preparations benefits your health as well as your productivity, since they reduce the time you spend on tasks such as getting up from your desk to get a drink.
That said, do take breaks as needed, perhaps on a schedule aligned with a time management technique like the Pomodoro Technique. This particular technique entails intentionally breaking the workday down into 25-minute increments, with frequent 5-minute breaks and less frequent 15- to 30-minute ones.
Activity #4: Listen to Music or Look at Art
Every lunch break is an opportunity to do something positive for your health and wellness – and that “something” doesn’t have to be physically strenuous.
If you don’t listen to music while working (maybe because it’s disruptive to others at home, or has to be paused/stopped frequently for meetings), try doing so during a break to give yourself a boost of endorphins that elevate your mood. Music may be good for productivity because of its mood-enhancing effects. A study of software engineers found that programmers who listened to music while working felt better and produced higher-quality code.
Likewise, looking at art or – better yet – creating it is a proven health and wellness activity. Even a 10-minute art break with just a pencil and some paper can get the creative juices flowing, with a spillover effect on your productivity and your overall wellbeing.
Check out all our Work From Home Products for Improved Productivity and Comfort at www.penny-wise.com
Until now, there have been conflicting messages related to the risk of the airborne transmission of COVID-19. A group of 239 scientists in 32 countries have published their open letter to global health community to present the evidence.
In their letter, the highly qualified group state:
• Multiple studies “have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking, and coughing in microdoplets small enough to remain aloft in the air”.
• These microdroplets “pose a risk of exposure at distances beyond [3 to 6 feet] from an infected individual”.
• “we are advocating for the use of preventive measures to mitigate this route of airborne transmission.”
As discussed above, the highly qualified group of 239 scientists highlight in their open letter that multiple studies:
“have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking, and coughing in microdoplets small enough to remain aloft in the air”
Surfaces and COVID-19
While it’s believed that COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person contact, officials haven’t ruled out surface contact as a potential source of contagion. It’s just too early to tell.
In fact, recent tests on the coronavirus COVID-19 showed it can stay active on various surfaces. Researchers found viable coronavirus samples could live for up to:
• 24 hours on cardboard
• four hours on copper surfaces
• two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.
During tests, the researchers also found the coronavirus could be detected in the air up to three hours after emission, making it vital that people clean the air.
The importance of cleaning
While the majority of COVID-19 cases are derived from person-to-person contact, we can’t overemphasize the importance of proper room cleaning.
So, while many people have stressing surface and hand cleaning, the addition of cleaning the air will undoubtedly help manage enclosed spaces. AeraMax Professional’s four-stage system, with True HEPA filtration, can effectively and efficiently build on the hand and surface cleaning routines.
Where AeraMax Professional can help
We do know that AeraMax Professional air purifiers can mitigate additional pathogens in the air where people are infected, removing pollutants from air and reducing risks for people already infected.
AeraMax Professional air purifiers:
•Are certified to be effective in reducing airborne concentrations of influenza A (H1N1) aerosol in a test chamber, reaching 99.9% airborne virus reduction within the first 35 minutes of operation.
•Are certified to capture 99.97% of pollutants at 0.3 microns.
•Can capture more than 97.8% of pollutants at 0.1-0.15 microns, via IBR Laboratories test data.
What’s more, an AeraMax Professional III with PureView Technology can sense when airborne contamination is present in a room, automatically adjusting cleaning to remove the offending particles from the air. This is ideal for places like assisted living facilities, where residents already have compromised immune and respiratory systems.
AeraMax Professional Air Purifiers are available at Penny Wise Office Products www.penny-wise.com