The three best colors for a successful, productive office

The three best colors for a successful, productive office
Three Best Colors for a Successful

Is the overall energy and output of your office dragging, leading to a loss of output and – of course – profits? If so, you could benefit from changing up your office’s color scheme.

The paint color you choose for your office can make a big difference in your employees’ work performance and, more so, your business’ success. Want to stimulate creativity, productivity, or a sense of balance in the workplace? Then consider painting your office in one of these shades of color:

Yellow to Stimulate Creativity

More and more businesses rely on an “out of the box” way of tackling situations, making creativity a necessary quality for any workforce to possess. Unfortunately, unlike pure manpower, creativity is something of an elusive creature – one which may not always be at your employees’ disposal.

While you can’t simply pull creativity out of thin air, you can make steps to coax it out of the recesses of your staff’s minds. To do that, have your office painted in shades of yellow. Shown to stimulate creativity, this shade of paint will do wonders to keep your employees thinking and performing in innovative ways.

Blue to Stimulate Productivity

What’s the good of a workforce that’s inventive if they can’t produce the output you need? The most creative ideas in the world won’t stuff your business’ coffers if they aren’t getting put out there to make you money. That’s why you also need to maintain a productive workforce.

If you find that your staff’s productivity is lagging, then you could definitely benefit from painting your office in shades of blue. Blue is shown to stimulate employees’ productivity. While it’s not as effective for creativity-driven businesses, blue is great for offices that focus on number-crunching.

Green to Stimulate Mental Balance

You need to be careful about how much of the above-mentioned colors you use for your office. After all, too much of a good thing is just too much, as they say, and the saying certainly applies to colors that stimulate your employees’ productivity and output. Too much of them could quickly lead to mental exhaustion.

If you find that your employees are feeling a bit mentally fatigued, try breaking up these stimulating colors with a much more calming one such as green. Green inspires a sense of mental balance that will give your staff the mental calmness it needs to maintain a consistent output that can be far more effective in the long run than bursts of extreme creativity and productivity.

Color matters. Penny Wise carries a huge selection of colorful office products to help keep your business running smoothly. Visit us today!

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Five Strategies to Cope with Stress and Avoid Burnout

Five Strategies to Cope with Stress and Avoid Burnout
Five Coping Strategies to Avoid Burnout

Which list would you like to describe you?

– Option 1: Energized, invigorated, focused, passionate, balanced, strong

– Option 2: Run-down, sluggish, brain-fogged, stressed, depressed, anxious

I’d choose Option One and I’ll bet you would, too. As we start the new year, and a brand new decade, I thought I would shake things up a bit and write about a different topic that is of interest to us all – reducing stress and avoiding burnout.

Before writing Competitive Selling: The Guidebook to Being Proactive in a Reactive World in 2019, I got about 70% finished with a book focused on nutrition and good health for the super busy professional. Notice I said only “70%” finished. I never completed the book for a number of reasons, but it is still a topic I feel passionate about.

Besides being a writer, I’m also a passionate reader. I’ve read countless books on business and the profession of selling. In my pursuit of living a balanced life, I’ve read an equal number of books on improving nutrition, relieving stress, and strengthening relationships.

On the active side of things, I’m an avid runner and mountain biker. Work-wise, I travel most weeks and put in long hours on the job, as you probably do, too.

Life can be very busy. A busy life can easily lead to burnout, but with focused daily habits, it can largely be avoided. Here is my advice on how to do just that in 2020:

1. Get the list out of your head before you hit the bed.

We’ve all been there. Your mind is racing and you can’t sleep. One strategy that works is to make sure you compile your master list of things to do before you hit the sack. This can be done before you leave the office or even later in the evening. It frees up your mind to truly rest and helps you prioritize tasks much faster in the morning.

One of my all-time favorite books on time management is Brian Tracy’s book, Time Power. The author boldly promises you’ll learn how to get more done than you ever thought possible. It’s a great resource. I think we can all improve in this area!

2. What you track improves.

Just like I would advise a salesperson to track their sales activities, I would also suggest tracking your physical activity and your food intake.

The more conscience you are of your daily habits the better you will do. Life is stressful. Eating the right foods can help. They can truly be medicine to the body and build up your immunity and stress-tolerance. One way to tap into more tracking this year is to try out an app like MyFitnessPal. Other good ones are available, too.

Most nutrition gurus say for an active person, your diet should be made up 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fats. These percentages can shift depending on your fitness goals, health needs and doctor instructions.

Whatever the numbers are, how do you know if you are hitting them if you don’t track them?

Along with tracking nutrition, track your exercise. Let’s get physical…every single day. We have all seen the rise of the sale of standing desks and for good reason. Stand up. Get your body moving!

3. Take your vacation time this year and lose the guilt.

Without regular rest periods, your mind quickly fills up and the hard drive of sound thinking can be disrupted. When I started my business 16 years ago, my father-in-law, a successful business person, told my husband and me to get away every ninety days, whether we had the resources or not. That’s something we’ve stuck to and it has paid huge dividends in avoiding burnout and feeding our marriage.

For me personally, taking a vacation is an act of faith. There is always a long list of tasks to tackle and it never stops. But give yourself permission to rest guilt-free. Come back re-engaged and even more focused. Go ahead. Look at the 2020 calendar and plan your time off. If you don’t, it will be 2021 before you know it!

4. Get off the Complain Train.

There is a great book by Jon Gordon called The Energy Bus. In the book, he describes a great “No Complaining Rule.” Aspire to hold yourself to this rule and encourage others to do the same. Be conscious of this energy and time sucking activity and stop it in its tracks!

As the old hymn says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one.” Work on driving up your awareness of how much there truly is to be grateful for!

5. Find passion in your work.

You have been gifted with certain skills, talents and abilities that are uniquely yours. Do you know what they are? Here’s a quick question to figure out one of your gifts: “What is something you can do almost effortlessly, without much planning, and still perform it with excellence?” The “without much planning” is not advised but it’s still a way to think of your most natural gifts! (The Gallup Poll Strengths Finder is a great tool to use to create a more comprehensive list.)

Recognize those parts of the role you play at work that give you the most joy versus those that drain you. For a salesperson, it is helpful to look at things you do that are proactive vs. reactive (often draining activities). Analyze how much time you are spending in each area. Then make it a point to be more proactive in the areas you are gifted in the most…the areas where you find your passion.

So, reflect on these coping strategies and see which ones make sense for you. Remember, people love to do business with someone who loves what they do.

Are you that person?

Reignite that passion, take good care of yourself, and make it a fantastic 2020!

Marisa Pensa is founder of Methods in Motion, a sales training company that helps businesses execute training concepts and create accountability to see both inside and outside sales initiatives through to success. For more information, visit www.methodsnmotion.com

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The Importance of Kindness in a Fast Paced World

The Importance of Kindness in a Fast Paced World

As we enter into the holiday season (yes, brace yourself, it’s that time of year again) we thought this would be a great time to reflect on the importance of kindness.

Kindness in the office, at school, in traffic, or at home, can change a bad situation into a tolerable one.

In a world that moves so fast, and is digitally driven, ironically, we are less connected with one another on a deeper level than ever before. Since we only see the surface (or the highlight reel) we have no idea what another person is going through in their lives. They may have just lost a loved one, or a job, or may be dealing with pain or an illness. Those who treat others poorly or fly off the handle, are more likely to need our kindness than we can possibly imagine.

Being a little kinder than necessary is always a great way to go through life. Even ONE person can make a difference. Will that person be you? Or maybe you will be the recipient of another’s kindness?

We’ve included a few ideas for random acts of kindness here. We’d love to hear some of your ideas.

All of us at Penny Wise wish you a peaceful season filled with goodwill and kindness.

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Three Things to Do Every Morning to Create a Better Day

Three Things to Do Every Morning to Create a Better Day
Create a Better Day

The way your day starts sets the tone for everything that follows. That’s why it’s very important to be intentional about your morning routine. While we know that you don’t have much time to spend on intricate and unrealistic wellness practices, there are a few short and simple things you can do each morning to ensure you find a better footing to take on the rest of the day with ease.

1. Get some natural sunlight first thing in the morning.

Would you believe that there’s something totally free you can do each day to boost your happiness hormones and energy levels? Get sunlight! Natural sunlight, that is. Our bodies and hormones get a lot of information from the light that we’re surrounded with, and that’s why it’s important to spend a little bit of time, anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, in natural sunlight, without sunglasses, within about 30 minutes to an hour of waking up.

This time in the sunlight will signal to your brain to release serotonin, which is a feel-good hormone that also makes you calm and focused. In addition to that, starting your day with some natural sunlight and vitamin D can actually help you sleep better at night, because it resets your circadian rhythm to follow the natural pattern of light and dark, so your body will be ready to power down in the evening time.

2. Drink 16 to 32 ounces of water as soon as you wake up.

During the night-time while you are sleeping, your body is going through a ton of processes, and it also isn’t taking in any liquid. That means that when you wake up, you are technically dehydrated and in need of fluid intake. In addition to that, when you drink water first thing in the morning, it actually helps to flush all of the toxins through your system that were accumulating over night.

Try keeping a bottle of water next to the bed each night, then you can down those 16 to 32 ounces as soon as you wake up. (Quick tip: Room temperature water is actually a lot easier to drink than cold water, so it’s better if it sits out all night.) From that initial drink, you’ll get a boost of energy from the hydration, your brain will feel more focused — as it’s mostly made up of water and always needs fluids to function — and you’ll also feel full, so you don’t have to run to the kitchen for breakfast right away. Hydrating throughout the day is important for everyone, but that first glass of water is perhaps your most beneficial one of the day, so don’t skip it.

3. Spend a few minutes of quiet time meditating or being mindful.

It’s very common to wake up and immediately check our phones for emails, messages and other incoming requests from other people, thus setting us off in a reactive mode. Yet, focusing on other people’s issues can fill us with stress and worry, and this isn’t the best way to begin a day. That’s why, it’s beneficial to take anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes in the morning to sit quietly and be alone with your thoughts before consuming any technology or social media. If you’re not comfortable sitting alone in silence, you can also try out a guided meditation app, like Calm or Headspace, and let the narrator tell you what to do.

Meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, enhance self-awareness, improve attention span, as well as a host of other perks. And one thing it definitely does is make sure that you go into the day with a more mindful approach. While it may seem like meditation is a fluffy practice just for those who teach yoga, it’s growing in popularity in the mainstream as more and more people understand its powerful benefits for daily life.

The right morning routine can do wonders for your day, so choose at least one of the above and give it a try tomorrow morning. Good luck!

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Valentine’s Day Creative Crafts and Special Gift Ideas!

Valentine’s Day Creative Crafts and Special Gift Ideas!

Your friends and family will feel love with hand-made Valentine’s Day Gifts like these. Check out these creative crafts and special gift ideas!

Swingline Low Force 1-Hole Punch

  • From our heart to yours, Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • Punch your heart out this Valentine’s Day with Swingline’s Low Force Punch!

Swingline Fashion Full Strip Stapler, Swingline 1-Hole Punch, Swingline Smartcut Trimmer

  • Have fun and celebrate Valentine’s Day with Swingline!

Swingline Red 747 Business Stapler

  • Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • For the office thief in your life…Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler!

Swingline Quick Touch Full Strip Stapler, and Black n Red Ruled Business Journal

AT-A-GLANCE Standard Diary

  • Get inspiRED this Valentine’s Days with AT-A-GLANCE!
  • Don’t ever forget a Valentine’s day again!

Swingline Red High Heel Stapler

  • Kick off your heels this Valentine’s Day with Swingline’s High Heel Stapler!
  • Whether you are using in your home office or in a corporate setting, Swingline’s High Heel Stapler sure to raise your office desk’s profile just like a good high heel!
  • A Valentine gift for the fashionista in your life!
  • Dress up her desktop on Valentine’s Day with Swingline’s High Heel Stapler!
  • Whether at home or in the office, this stylish High Heel desktop stapler will demand the same attention as any trendy wardrobe accessory on Valentine’s Day and every day!

AT-A-GLANCE Harmony Collection

“Take Note” of that special person on Valentine’s Day!

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Verbatim Technology you can trust

Verbatim Technology you can trust

If you’re going to spend a lot of time on your keyboard, it might as well be a comfortable one.

Verbatim has the perfect keyboard for you!

Are you still using the mouse and keyboard that came with your computer? Or maybe you’ve tried something new, but you’ve got some nagging RSI strain, cords tangled everywhere, or a lagging mouse that’s left you unjustly fragged into oblivion? If your mouse and keyboard aren’t working for you, it’s time to buy new ones.

Our office tried out several different brands of keyboards and mice. In the testing, Verbatim came out the clear winner. We gave their keyboards and mice 5 stars. Find out why…

Verbatim Slimline Corded USB Keyboard and Mouse-Black
Looking for an affordable keyboard that still provides a better typing experience? Try Verbatim’s Slimline Corded USB Keyboard – it’s sleek, yet sturdy, with convenient plug and play USB connectivity. The Slimline Corded Keyboard features low-profile keys and adjustable tilt legs for quiet, comfortable typing. The layout features a full numeric keypad and full-size function keys, all within a slim, efficient design that frees up space on your desktop. Compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, the Slimline Corded USB Keyboard is a great addition to any corporate or home office workspace.
Order Yours Today:
VER-99202

Verbatim Silent Wireless Mouse and Keyboard – Black
Say goodbye to noise and hello to silence with the Verbatim Silent Mouse and Keyboard. Using new Silent Technology, silent click switches, and rubber covers, these Verbatim products are truly silent. The nano receiver is small enough to plug in and leave connected and the 2.4GHz wireless performance allows for a lag-free connection. The Silent Mouse features Blue LED technology, allowing users to point and click on more surfaces than other mice – from a glass table to the granite kitchen counter! The Silent Keyboard features a full numeric keypad and full-size function keys, all within a slim, efficient design. The Verbatim Silent Mouse and Keyboard are backed by a 1-Year Limited Warranty.

Order Yours Today:
VER-99779

Verbatim Corded Notebook Optical Mouse
If you want a stylish mouse for your desktop or notebook computer, try the Verbatim Corded Notebook Optical Mouse. This mouse has been ergonomically designed to fit your hand comfortably. With its high-resolution optical technology, the Verbatim Mouse also offers smooth, precise tracking and a precision scroll wheel for easy scrolling. It’s ideal for your notebook, ultrabook and desktop computer. This mouse is also compatible with PCs and Macs. If you’re looking for the perfect companion for your computing needs, try the Verbatim Corded Notebook Optical Mouse.

Available in Black, White (VER-99740), Silver (VER-99741), Red (VER-99742) and Blue (VER-99743)

Order Yours Today:
VER-98106

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Shouldn’t your notebooks should be noteworthy?

Shouldn’t your notebooks should be noteworthy?

Make Sure Your Bright Ideas Are Seen, with the Astrobrights Collection.

Why settle for a plain, boring notebook, when you could use this gorgeous Astrobrights Flex Journal instead?

The bright colorful pages with contrasting rules make sure your ideas jump off the page and get noticed.

We love the contrasting stitching on the spine, which adds elegance to your journal. The super durable covers withstand everyday use. This is one long lasting journal!

This elegant journal will add color to your day, and fits neatly in most totes, purses and backpacks.

Order Yours Today:
NEE-99724

We absolutely love Astrobrights Twin Wire Journal. It features 180 pages, and includes a Black Super-Soft-Touch Cover. At 6 ½” x 8 ½” it’s large enough to take lots of notes, but small enough to travel easily.

We appreciate the elastic closure, which prevents the pages from becoming exposed when traveling or when stored away.
The colored pages with contrasting rules make sure your ideas are noticed.

The twin-wire binding allows pages to open completely for effortless writing.

Order Yours Today:
NEE99728

When it’s time to show appreciation, Astrobrights Foil Enhanced Certificates are just what you need.

In gorgeous “Fireball Fuchsia” Card Stock, these 8.5″ x 11″ certificates get noticed. Each sheet features foil enhancements, and are compatible with your inkjet/laser printers or copiers.

Order Yours Today:
NEE-91103

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Brighten Up Your Everyday Organization with Avery!

Brighten Up Your Everyday Organization with Avery!


This Back to School Season, we are absolutely loving these fresh florals and bright colors from Avery’s new collection of organization tools. Trendy, contemporary designs to organize in style!

They are perfect for back to school or for brightening your workplace.

From brightly colored Florals to Damasks, they are a beautiful collection of style meets function.

Take a look at this beautiful collection and order your favorites today!

Durable Binders with Round Rings
Available in 8 ½” x 11” and in Mini 5 ½” x 8 ½” Version

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Durable_Binder_with_Round_Ring_Floral

Durable_Binder_with_Round_Ring_Damask

Reversible Big Tab™ Write-On Dividers
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Damask Big Tab™ Plastic Pocket Insertable Dividers
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Corner Lock™ Four Pocket Plastic Folder
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Damask Tabbed Bookmark Plastic Dividers
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Got Snax? Summer Snacks that Travel with You!

Got Snax?  Summer Snacks that Travel with You!

Summer is the best time to spend outdoors with family and friends. We love camping, hiking, pool parties, picnics, outdoor concerts and watching fireworks.

The more spontaneous these events, the better! That’s why we keep delicious treats from Office Snax on hand for any occasion.
You already know that Office Snax items are great in your office breakroom, but did you know that their convenient, non-breakable containers are ideal to keep in the car, boat or camper?

Here are a few of our favorites:

Salted Pretzels
Great for a day at the beach, on a picnic, out in the boat or around the fire pit. Choose your favorite! Resealable tub maintains freshness and travels easily.
• Giant Sourdough
• Sourdough Nuggets
• Mini Twist
• Giant Pretzel Sticks
• Peanut Butter Pretzels

New! Honey Wheat Braided Pretzels
These delicious braided pretzels will easily become your new summer snack favorite.

New! Peanut Butter Pretzels
Salted pretzels, nugget style filled with peanut butter. Resealable tub goes where you go!

New! Generations Mix
Something for everyone! Carry a mix of candy appealing to everyone from your toddlers to their Great Grandparents. This assortment of popular candy comes in a reusable, resealable tub to maintain freshness.

Soft & Chewy Mix
Classic Favorites like these make road trips happier. Assorted candy Airheads, Now and Laters, Bit-O-Honey, and Tootsie Roll. All in a resealable liner.

Doggie Snax
While you’re enjoying summer snacks, don’t forget Fido! We keep a box of Doggie Snax on hand for all our outdoor adventures. Handy to have in the car when we go for hikes, we also use them for positive reinforcement training with our ten month old lab. She gobbles them up!

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TOP 6 TIPS FOR WRITING A BUSINESS NEWSLETTER

TOP 6 TIPS FOR WRITING A BUSINESS NEWSLETTER

A good business newsletter is an effective tool for reaching your audiences with important information. Our partners at International Paper/Hammermill Paper understand this, and have shared their knowledge with you in this blog.

You can use your newsletter to expand your customer base, keep existing customers excited about your business, or attract new sources of funding. It can be strategic by demonstrating your business plan in action or it can be pragmatic and introduce new products, services or capabilities. Or it can do both.
There are a few things to keep in mind when putting your newsletter together to make sure it is as effective as possible. We’ve put together some pointers to help make it easier.
Ready to create your newsletter? Check out our Business Newsletter Templates.

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Define Your Audience

Who are you trying to reach with your newsletter? Make sure you have a clear idea of your audiences, then try to organize your newsletter contents to reach them in order of priority. In other words, speak to your most important audience first and then secondary audiences after. You can dedicate an entire newsletter to a single audience and reach a different audience with the next one or you can try to reach as many audiences as possible in each newsletter.

To reach each of your audiences with the information they value, it’s a good idea to develop an editorial calendar. Think through who you are trying to reach and how often you want to speak to them. This will help you decide what each newsletter needs to accomplish, as well as how often you need to send them out.

Be Customer-Focused

Your newsletter should provide your audience with information that is valuable to them. A newsletter that speaks only to your accomplishments or capabilities isn’t really customer-focused. Take the extra step to show how your accomplishments or capabilities can help your customers achieve their goals.

The headline for each section of the newsletter should present a customer benefit. For example, rather than saying “X Corp. Achieves New Milestone in Y Acquisition”, try something like “Deliver Your Products Faster, Cheaper”. A subhead can be used to provide important details, such as “X Corp. has reduced shipping time and cost with the strategic acquisition of Y company.”

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Figure Out Your Call-to-Action

What do you want your audience to do after they’ve read your newsletter? Visit your website? Contact a representative or salesperson? Join your mailing list so you can initiate a conversion process? Be clear about what you want your audience to do, and tell them. “For more important details, call us at 1-800-555-9999,” or “To pre-order our new SuperFast Everythinger, visit us at SFeverythinger.com. “

Prioritize Your Information

Begin with stating the customer benefit in the headline, then provide a summary explanation in the subhead. The body copy can go into more detail as needed. This helps audiences pressed for time get the most important information quickly while also allowing anyone who is interested the details that are important to them.

Show It

Good imagery can generate interest by showing people what you are talking about. Remember that quality is important. A quick shot with your phone camera is probably not going to show your product in its best light. Take the time to use good imagery, but remember…too much of a good thing can work against you. If your newsletter has too many images, the imagery can distract from your messaging and what you want your audiences to know and do.

To make all of this easier to put into practice, we’ve developed some useful Business Newsletter Templates that will help you organize news and information in a way that is easily read. It’s a good idea to check your work by printing it out first–we recommend using a quality paper like Hammermill Premium Multi-Purpose 24LB. printer paper.

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