Simple Things for a Simpler Year

Yup. It’s that time of year when people are telling you how to have the best year. A successful year. A stellar year. A life changing year. Please, have all of those things in 2015.

I’m here with a quieter message. I’ve got a few tips for you on how to simplify your start to the year and thereby simplify your year.

1. Tip top tidy

Whether you have a corner office with a view or a shared cubicle, take some time to tidy it up. Get rid of things you don’t use. Get rid of things you thought you’d use and never did. This includes books and magazines. That book you’ve been meaning to read for the last 7 months? If you haven’t read it by January 1, get rid of it. Put it in the office kitchen. Donate it to a book drive. Leave it on public transit so someone else can pick it up.

2. Perfection sucks.

Just have the work space that is perfect for you. Are you a visual thinker? Do you NEED your files within reach? Do you NEED your papers in sight? That’s okay. A clean desk is neither a sign of a clear thinker or a sick mind. Yes, I’ve heard all the jokes – as I have a messy, messy desk. And I can tell you, a messy desk is the sign of a MESSY DESK. And a clean desk…. Well. You Can figure it out. Do what works for you. Don’t worry about a state of Desk Nothingness or Zen and the Art of Desking.

3. My work home.

Yes, there may just be rules. Follow the rules if you need to. But to feel welcome in your own work space is important. It’s where you spend a whole lot of time. So, get comfortable. Not flip flop and margarita comfortable, mind you. But a few pictures of your family or your favourite places. A plant. A poster. Something that says, ‘this is my spot’.

4. Chomp

We all have days when we skip lunch or work late. Trying to think clearly on an empty stomach is not a good strategy. Your brain needs energy. Take some time to stock up on some healthy snacks. Some nuts. Some dried fruit. A few protein bars. Sure – there’s bad versions of all of these things – but take the time to find some good ones. And be ready for when hunger hits at a time that does not fit your deadline or much-loved and often-missed time to go home.

5. Moving me, moving you

Keep some runners in your office. Sneakers? You know. Whatever you call them, you may need them. Perhaps also a pair of shorts or sweat pants. If the weather is right or the gym is close by, you can seize a free moment and work off some stress.

6. Whether the weather

Keep an umbrella and jacket at work. You know you always need an umbrella when you least expect it. Maybe organize a ‘weather kit’ at the entry to your work area. Then anyone who is caught off guard can grab an umbrella to sprint through a rainstorm for their next meeting.

7.  Bless you!

3 ply Kleenex (tissue?) for the sniffles. Some aspirin. Some Vitamin C. A few throat lozenges. Start to feel achy and yuck? Start fighting the good fight right away. Don’t wait until you get home. Don’t wait until you feel dreadful.

8. Surprise!

It’s Wednesday. The work day is done. Time to walk the cat and mow the dog. Or, wait, SURPRISE! Movie passes I put in my desk in January. Popcorn, here we come!

And that, my friends, are just a few things you can do to simplify your life. Me? I will clean my desk when the state of it is next mentioned in a safety audit. Happy December!

Tracy McCabe is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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Juana Williams

This blog deserves an Awesome! Great advice. Love the 3 push-up and the messy desk (maybe ’cause mine is also?). And your sense of humor: walk the cat and mow the dog. Great blog.

Lynelle T. Frye

Very good points. I have small quarters for my work space and need to be a little more tidy. Also I am one of those culprits who skips lunch. Thanks for the tips!

Charlene McGregor

Hi: I love the tips, especially number 8 the movie passes! This is a great look on life attitude. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays