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Surround yourself with what you love: WORK

October 31, 2010

photo: TV Guide, The Office

Moving the Surround Yourself with What You Love series to our work environment:  Whether you work in an office full of people or by yourself in a home office, our work environment {workspace, people, what we actually do} plays a big role in our lives.  Here, we’ll look at these three components and how you can add a little bit more of what you love to each.


Order plays a tremendous role here.  A few basics:

  1. STREAMLINE:  Take away what you really don’t need – or love!
  2. SORT:  Group like items together {creating “centers” such as office supplies, discs, catalogs, …}
  3. PLACE: Each item {or group} should have a home
  4. MAINTAIN: Developing habits of keeping the order you create after any organizing project is KEY

Bottom Line: You should be able to find what you need when you need it. BTW, the same goes for PAPER (receipts, correspondence, manuals, the list goes on) and VIRTUAL (stuff on your computer including documents, email inbox, bookmarks, photos) CLUTTER}.

Don’t forget… the “fun” stuff!  If you read my blog / newsletter, you know I’m big into not only creating more order but infusing what you love aesthetically into your surroundings.  As far as work goes, these are a few ways I do it:

  • visual style {from lighting, colors, favorite photo, screen saver, “stuff I love” board…}
  • favorite scent {When working at my desk, my candle is lit.  If you work around others, be considerate!  Your favorite may not be your co-worker’s favorite}
  • comfort {I also have to be in complete comfort when at home office – as I type this I’ve got my Uggs, favorite blanket and pillow in big chair- if desk is around others, you can at least have comfy shoes to throw on under desk.}
  • sound {I go for complete silence, to my ocean machine, to my favorite music – depending on what I’m doing.}


My last post was on WHO we have around us:  how to know if you are getting {& giving} good vibes or bad ones and what you can do about it.  In a working environment, people play a HUGE role in our satisfaction and performance – possibly making more of an impact on us than our actual job duties.

For info on dealing with toxic employees {how to: recognize early warning signs, handle, avoid hiring them in the 1st place}, click this link.  My mentor/friend Doug Wilder of Wilder Business Success Inc. is one of the featured experts answering questions, posed by Karen Mathis/Daily Record, on this topic.

Behind the Scenes

As with life in general, surrounding yourself with a good support system has been a lifesaver to me in business.  One example relates to my least favorite topic:  finances. My lifesaver:  Amanda Brzoska.

I met Amanda through a peer mentoring group I’m involved with at the Women Business Center {yet another lifesaver … if you are a business owner at any stage, consider becoming involved with this fabulous organization}.  I desperately needed control of my books and Amanda came to my rescue.  A certified QuickBooks Pro advisor, among other credentials, Amanda was extremely knowledgeable and quickly did for me what QuickBooks for Dummies had failed to do:  have my QB’s up and running!

What makes Amanda stand out?  She made me feel completely comfortable.  One thing I now consider equally among qualifications and recommendations is the comfort-level I have when meeting with someone I’m considering working with.

{As Managing Member of My Small Business Assistant, LLC, Amanda helps entrepreneurs in areas where it is more cost effective to outsource – such as bookkeeping and payroll processing.  Click here if you’d like more info.  Also, check out her blog, Advice Receivable – an entrepreneur’s diary! }

With her supportive “partner approach,” Amanda has helped me conquer my fear of finances.  The “knowledge is power” thing is so true – once you tackle something you are unfamiliar / uncomfortable with, your circle of comfort widens and you become stronger, wiser…  {This is really big with personal finances as well (more order = more peace) future post.}


Doing what you love for a living is the ultimate. {And I absolutely believe it’s doable.} But if you’re not there – at least yet- working with what you’ve got can make a big impact on your attitude which makes a big impact on everything.  And who knows, what you are doing now could actually evolve into something you love.  {There’s not just one right option, decision, plan, direction….}  Here are just a few things I’ve experienced:

  • Know It All: {This is when it’s a good thing!} Know everything you have going on – take all the scraps of paper, to-do lists, stuff in your head – get it all down into one place.
  • Prioritize: determine what’s most important {and what can be simply deleted?}
  • Plan: by properly planning – you are better able to make sure those most important things are done at best time
  • Passion: If you’re not doing what you love during working hours, make sure to make time for it after hours.  We all need something we can lose ourselves in.
  • Long-Term Vision: If you have an idea of something you’d like to do “one day” – whether it’s working for yourself or with your dream company – don’t give up!  Make a vision board, draft a business plan, do some embodiment-ing,  etc etc etc!

With such a large percentage of our day spent at “work,” creating the best surroundings is time well spent.  We all have more control than we often think…


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