One beautiful aspect of Lifescaling is that we can not only apply these principles to our own work lives, those of us in supervisory positions – whether we’re managing one assistant/intern or responsible for an entire company – have the power to share these best practices with our teams. So after establishing distraction-free work environments for ourselves, we can create an environment that respects the intentions of employees with closed doors and noise-canceling headphones and learn to expect responses to non-urgent emails within six hours, not six seconds! We have the power to create environments that respect and value the need to focus.
Though much of LIFESCALE focuses on ways to overcome the constant distractions and addictions to our devices and social media, it also aims to restore creativity and positivity to our lives. That’s why I dedicate an entire chapter (“Energize”) to what famed author Norman Vincent Peale called “The Power of Positive Thinking.”
My chapter subhead, “Positivity Opens the Doors to Our Destinations” sums up my view that to find true joy and balance in our lives, we must believe in ourselves first – and our unique power to fulfill our dreams. I wrote it this way: “It’s those whose dreams and imagination become so vivid on the inside that they influence the outside world around them and reshape their destiny and those whom they touch.”
It is my feeling that both of these elements – avoiding distractions and a positive mindset – are crucial for managers in the business/corporate settings to create a productive workspace culture. I found several empowering online resources that share insights and tips (in line with the themes in my book) as to how to achieve both.
Let’s start with the “4 Easy Ways to Fight Distraction at Work and Perform Brilliantly,” a ProofHub Blog written by Sandeep Kashyap, CEO of SDP Labs. His list:
- Stop Multitasking.
“Do one thing at a time; always be present, finish before you start; concentrate on the most important tasks one at a time, and do not let small tasks interrupt larger ones.”
- Squash negative self-talk.
Be conscious of what you are telling yourself. Think the opposite of the negative thought. Avoid negative people, compliment others, and take care of yourself.
- Kick your email addiction.
Choose specific times during your day to check email. Turn off your alerts. Disconnect from your inbox and prioritize urgent matters.
- Keep yourself away from auditory distractions.
Sometimes, background sounds can create stress that releases cortisol into the body. The excess cortisol affects the part of the brain which regulates the ability to plan and remember things. Find a quiet place to work. Use noise-canceling headphones. If there is a door, shut it. Listen to some natural sounds.
As to the other point, INC. Magazine created “7 Tips for Creating a Positive Workplace Culture.” These include:
- Begin with gratitude.
- Create a Safe Environment, which includes eliminating negative personalities and respecting every idea, whether it’s from an intern of a tenured team member.
- “Don’t Leave Your Dirty Dishes in the Sink” – i.e., Don’t leave a mess for someone else to clean. Time is our most valuable currency. When we aren’t respectful of our colleagues’ time, we are contributing to a negative workplace environment.
- Realize there are only opportunities in business, not problems. Every challenge is an opportunity to reflect, analyze, and evaluate so that we will do better next time.
- Consistency is key.
- Encourage positive thinking. Setting weekly, monthly and yearly positive intentions as a group will help to align your team and ensure that everyone is facing towards the same North Star.
- Don’t sacrifice the important for the urgent. Dependability, structure, clarity, and meaningful work are all ingredients that, when combined, can culminate in a solid foundation for a positive workplace.