How To Hurdle Any Mental Block

 The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary.   Edison, Thomas A.

Unfortunately, that’s never as easy as it sounds. There are an unlimited number of distractions and excuses out there to keep you from doing just about anything. You may not think it’s big deal when these blocks keep you from filing a report early, or doing a little extra for one of your least favorite customers, but you’re wrong. As you become more and more comfortable with letting this blockades prevent you from doing the things that could make you truly great. With that mindset you become just another face in a very large crowd.

Since we know all of you are much more than that, we decided to put together a list of some of the easiest ways to overcome just about any of these mental blocks.

1. Hit Refresh

We understand that it’s not really as easy as hitting a button in the browser to reload all of the information going through your head, but there are ways to do it. Mental blocks tend to happen when you’re thinking outside of the present moment. Once you start on this path it’s hard to refocus which is why we suggest doing something that requires no focus at all. Go for a run, take a shower, play an instrument, do whatever it is that will turn your brain off for a bit. Once you achieve the mental refresh you’ll have a much better perspective on what you’re trying to accomplish.

2. Work on Something Else

Sometimes we just need to accept that now is not the best time to be working on whatever it is that’s giving us such a hard time. Persistence is admirable but in reality you could spend 4 hours sweating through a project that should only take half the time and end up with work that’s only mediocre at best. We all have plenty of items on our to-do lists so, when you feel stuck, choose something else that’s easier to do. Even if it’s mindless work, you’ll be getting something done while giving your brain a break from its most recent stressors.

3. Work Somewhere Else

Many people underestimate the effect that your workspace can have on your mentality. Bad lighting, the wrong chair, too many distractions, all of these things seem minor until they compile to the point of being able to metaphorically paralyze you. Take a day to go work from a coffee shop or your home office. If you can, take a day and work outside under the sun. A change in your work environment can stimulate different areas of your brain that you’ve been trying to access.

Ergo Office Seating is working to promote a more creative and productive world one chair at a time. Check out our 2012 pricer HERE.

3 Ways To Make Your Business More Than Just A Business

There is no lack of competition anywhere in any industry, so how are so many companies making it?  Maybe it’s because there are plenty of people to target or maybe it’s because no one is really paying attention who they are buying from.  Try these tips to make your business more than just the place the customer is buying from that day.

1. Make everything a little easier for your customers.  Everything from finding what they want to waiting in line or paying their bill.  Convenience has a high exchange rate in a world of people who have little to no time to spare.  If it is easier to do business with you than the other guy, the customer will keep coming back, and they might even pay more.  Plan out your busy times to make sure you have enough manpower to help every customer who is going to need it.  Make sure your employees are offering help before they are asked for it.  Even if the customer doesn’t need anything right away, they know that you are available to help them when they do need it.

 

2. Create a unique experience for your customers.  If you aren’t thinking about it can you tell the difference between shopping at all of the different “marts”?  White tile floors, fluorescent lighting, aisle after isle of products to search through, and employees working on their tasks instead of paying attention to you.  Create an environment that differentiates you from the competitor.  Pick a word that best fits your brand and apply that to the environment that you create.  If it’s “fun” start adding bells and whistles and all sorts of shiny moving things to entertain the customer.  If it is “luxurious” then you should offer luxury in everything from the decorations to the extras that offer the customer.  If your environment is entirely different that the competitors your business will stand out and be remembered as the obvious choice.

3. Give your customers more than your competitors.  This can be as simple as having lower prices or offering them a coupon as they walk in the store.  Extras go a long way when it comes to choosing a place to purchase from.  if you have a similar product and similar prices, what else do you have on your side to tip the scale in your favor?  Well you make things easy for your customers, and you have a great atmosphere, but you need a little bit more for the skeptics who don’t appreciate those things.  Think about free gift wrapping, complimentary coffee, coupon days, free samples, community events, and anything else that might make your customers just a bit more happy about giving you their money.

Keep these three tips in mind the next time you find yourself thinking about why you aren’t beating the pants off of your competitors.  Please share your tips and advice here on our blog or with us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Future of Work (and Workspaces)

PSFK just published a new report, The Future Of The Workplace that predicts how workspaces may look, and function, in the not-too-distant future. At a glance you’ll see sound-proofed pods instead of cubicles and more spaces meant for creative collaboration. Other common trends include:

  • Fluid Technology – allowing workers to complete their tasks from almost anywhere at any time.
  • Co-Working spaces will help to facilitate innovation in a variety of industries.
  • Pop Up Workspaces – Furniture and office designs are becoming more flexible to facilitate the needs of the mobile business
  • The Work(out) Workspace – More and more companies and encouraging healthier lifestyles for their employees.
  • Collaboration Through The Cloud – Workers have the ability to collaborate on the same projects in real-time through multiple cloud services.
  • Telepresence – More advanced communications methods will be adopted to connect workers from all over the world
  • Higher Learning – Employees will be encouraged to continure learning by doing.
Get a sneak peek of the full report on Business Insider
PSFK also hosted their annual conference in London to bring together innovators from various backgrounds and share ideas. One of our favorite presentations came from the Rockwell Group. James Tichenor and Josh Walton presented their ideas on combining assets from the digital and physical worlds in public spaces. (See their talk below)

Some highlights from the talk:

  • The physical and digital realms are not resistant to one another.
  • Learning through making is what builds innovation.
  • Interactive spaces are designed through a series of inputs and outputs.
  • Technology transfer occurs through architecture, place-making, networking and the world wide web.

 

Does Your Workspace Fit Your Brand?

Does your work environment fit your culture? When you walk into work everyday does it feel like your company or just like a place to work? These are all questions that company’s need to be asking on a fairly regular basis. Your workspace should be the “living” version of your brand. Your brand is essentially the personality of your company, so your workspace should share the same personality right?  LUNAR had this same thought and acted on it.

If your ready to bring your brand to life in the form of your workspace check out these three tips.

1. Express Your Voice – Set the stage for by surrounding yourself with the personality and character of your company. Give every aspect of your workspace a purpose.

2. Embody your values – If you value the art of collaboration, design a space that encourages and creates collaboration. If you value individuality, give everyone the opportunity to personalize their own space.

3.Leave room for improvement – Your company and your brand will change over time so set the stage instead of building a set. The difference is the ability to adapt.

More Workspace Design Tips Here.

Give us your tips in the comment box below and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

2013 Challenge: Turn Off Your Workplace Distractions

Working while at work is a fairly simple concept right? You go to work to work and there should be no ifs, ands or buts about it. As we all know it’s not as easy or as simple as it sounds. Most workplaces are filled with distractions. If it’s not the actual environment it’s all the things that come with it. We’re all so plugged in that it’s nearly impossible to focus long enough to…I don’t know… finish this post.

We challenge everyone out there to take control of your lives and stop giving into anything and everything that can be a distraction. What you’re really doing is giving yourself more stress and that’s bad for both your physical and mental health. Below is a list of distractions and how to defeat them.

Text messages - For some reason it’s not necessary to follow social etiquette via text. People know you’re at work, and they know they shouldn’t be bothering you, but they do it anyway because “It’s only a text”. We say No More! Go in to your phone settings and turn off the alerts for text messages then put your phone somewhere just out of normal reach. If it rings, you’ll still be able to hear it and get to but you won’t know whether or not you’re getting a text every 10 minutes. (We also highly recommend making all of the push notifications from your apps silent)

Email - Have you ever had a day where you feel like all you did was write and respond to email? It happens to the best of us, but not anymore. From now on you’re going to check your email every few hours. Once before you start the day, once when you get a stopping point around mid morning, once when you get back from lunch and one last time about an hour and a half before you leave. We have a subconscious voice telling us to respond to every email we get as soon as possible. In reality, if you respond within 12 hours you’re a rockstar.

Office Chit Chat - Don’t get us wrong, collaboration is a beautiful thing but it’s easy to lose large chunks of time to a discussion about taxes, sports or your kids. If you have close friends at work you like to talk to about all the details of your life you should schedule a lunch date. It’s not just the 10-20 minutes these conversations take up that’s the problem, it’s the fact that you lose complete track of what you were doing or what you were going to do. Basically stopping and productive momentum you had built up.

Other Productive Habits For 2013

  • If you’re allowed, try working for a while with noise canceling headphones and your favorite music.
  • Take a quick lap around the building or up and down the stairs to get your blood pumping.
  • Take a day to work from somewhere no one can find you.
  • Take a day off.
  • Prioritize your to-do list the night before.

 

If you’re looking for a little more inspiration for creativity and productivity check out our last post with 20 Shareable Quotes on both.

20 Shareable Quotes On Creativity and Productivity

These are two topics that don’t always work well together. Most people will say that you can’t rush creativity, and that’s true, but that doesn’t mean that every great idea requires exorbitant amounts of time to find and develop. We know that sometimes it’s not easy to take in a lot of information at the beginning of the week, and that’s why we decided to put together a simple and powerful collection of quotes to help get all of our minds on the right track before the week takes its hold.

On another note: All of these quotes are ready to share via Twitter. All you need to do is click on your favorites and we’ve taken care of the rest.

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” Stephen King

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”  Bruce Lee

 “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.” John F. Kennedy

“Adversity is just change that we haven’t adapted ourselves to yet.”  Aimee Mullins

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” Albert Einstein

“Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.”  Leo Babauta

The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.“ Thomas J. Peter

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” David Allen

“It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less.”  Nathan W. Morris

“Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.” -Goethe

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” -Soren Kierkegaard

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” -Leo Burnett

“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get up again.” Vince Lombardi

 ”Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neal Donald Walsch

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”  Aristotle

I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.”  George Burns

We are what and where we are because we have first imagined it” Donald Curtis

“Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

And one of our favorite quotes:

“Beauty without expression is boring.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is Your Office As Clean As You Think?

We’re all still fighting our way through flu season and work is one of the places we can’t avoid. Despite the various bottles of hand sanitizer being passed around, your office is filled with germs. We love this infographic because it identifies the spots you’re most likely to pick up the bug that could ruin the holidays, and we want all of you to stay healthy!

 

How Clean is Your Office?

Individual And Collaborative Genius In One Workspace

It’s hard to think of physical space as having the capabilities to multi-task. If you can get past the oddities of it you can actually open up a few new possibilities for your entire team. Traditionally, workspaces are either set up for productivity or creativity. The spaces set up for productivity tend to be closed, keeping the worker in their own little world. The workspaces designed for creativity tend to be designed with more open space to encourage interaction and collaboration. (See our post on designing highly creative workspaces.)

As is true for most things in life, there is a grey area. In this case, the grey area is a workspace designed to encourage both individual productivity and creativity as well as team collaboration. Here are six of the most important elements of this workspace.

  • Everyone has their own area with separate spaces for organization and ideas.

  • Individuality and personalization are REQUIRED

  • There are blocked out times for focus and for open brainstorming

  • There’s always at least one channel of communication open to everyone. (We recommend Skype)

  • There is a place for everyone to work on one idea. (Paint an entire wall with something like Idea Paint)

  • Create an alternative and more comfortable room where workers can escape their own spaces.

Why Work Doesn’t Always Happen At Work

So Where’s The Best Place To Work?

Below is a great Ted Talks from Jason Fried but let’s cover a couple ideas first. There are certain chemicals that your body releases that help your brain function and some that come close to turning it off. If your workspace encourages creativity and allows you to relax and breathe, your brain will cooperate. If you’re stuck in a stressful environment with nothing to look at besides fluorescent lights and grey cubicle walls, it won’t.  Now, everyone is different and performs better in different environments but one thing we all have in common is that high levels of stress and lack of stimulation prevent us from doing our best. Check out the video for more thoughts on this.

We strongly believe that the right environment starts with the right chair. When you think about it, many of us spend the majority of our work week in our chairs. That’s why we make sure every design promotes ergonomics and comfort, so you can get your productive and creative juices flowing. Check out our brand new venice for the perfectly crafted chair to inspire your creativity. 

3 Essentials For A Highly Creative Workplace

This topic breaks down a little bit into the duality of nature and nurture. You can have the most creative office in the world, but without the right people you won’t be getting the ideas you’re really after. At the same time, you can have all of best creatives in your industry under one roof and, without the right environment, still no creative sparks will fly.

Today we wanted to spend a little time identifying the best, and easiest, ways to promote  creativity in your workspace.

 

Rule #1 – Design a space where people can’t help but run in to each other.

All businesses tend to segregate their departments assuming that the best ideas for marketing will come from within the marketing department and the best ideas for accounting will come from within the accounting department. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When you get people from different projects and departments running into each other and sharing their thoughts and goals with each other you get multiple perspectives. Disney Pixar studios has their bathrooms in a central location so that every single employee is forced to interact with others who are working of different projects multiple times a day. On a more extremem level 3M is famous for moving their employees around to different projects and even industries within the brand on a regular basis.

Rule #2 – Leave room for personality and personalization.

Encourage each person not just to hold on to their individuality, but to share and spread it like a virus. If everyone on your team contributes to the workplace with their favorite musings and inspirations the overall creative energy will grow exponentially. A great way to do this is by giving your team a canvas that can grow and change as often as needed. Check out Idea paint for an easy and incredibly helpful solution.

Rule #3 – Ergonomics matter.

Here’s a simple and true statement. The more comfortable someone is in their workspace the less distracted they will be. There’s nothing worse than getting the creative flow going and then having to stop because your eyes or strained or your back hurts. Every employee should have an ergonomic chair that is adjustable to their needs. Their computer screen should be eye level so they don’t have to tip their heads and strain their necks and their mouse and keyboards should allow them to rest their wrists and forearms comfortably. Many associate ergonomics with productivity and it definitely factors in, but you should underestimate its power over creativity as well.

If you’re looking for the perfect chair to get the creative juices flowing in your office check out our brand new Venice!

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