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How to find your office Zen

How to Find your Office Zen

Sometimes we all need to step away from our work and take a little break. But often, actually leaving the office isn’t an option. So what do you do when you need a quick mental vacation? Thankfully, the same technology that helps you stay productive can help you productively relax, too. Here are five tech tips that can help you find your balance, right in the midst of a hectic workday.

Block out the noise

If you work in a noisy office environment, noise-reducing headphones can mute three-fourths of the commotion around you.[1] Built-in microprocessors go beyond simply drowning out unwanted distractions. They actively make things quieter by analyzing background noise and creating an inverse sound wave that cancels out offending sounds.
Along this same line, the key to recharging and refocusing might often be as simple as listening to soothing music. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, put on your headphones and play whatever it is that helps you relax—whether it’s a symphony, smooth jazz, show tunes, or maybe even nature sounds. To get the most out of this mini break, try to stop working, turn away from your computer, close your eyes, and just listen for the duration of at least one song or track. You’ll be surprised at how it affects your mood.

Give your eyes a break

Working late? Studies have shown that exposure to excessive light in the evening from computer monitors and other digital devices can disrupt your sleep and exacerbate sleep disorders. If you’re experiencing these issues, this effect can be lessened by using dim red lighting in the late evening.[2] Free PC software like f.lux can automatically adjust your computer screen to use more red-shifted light later at night, helping you fall sleep faster after you do finally leave the office.

Start a creative project

Sometimes the best way to relax is to do something creative. Devices like Sprout by HP can help you switch gears at the office by combining a fully-capable work PC with tools that make crafting, designing, and 3D scanning simple and easy. Sprout accessories like the Dremel 3D Idea Builder can also help you turn your creations into printed models.

Remind yourself to take five

Sometimes our work schedules are so hectic that we end up going nonstop from project to project without ever pausing to take a breath. But even taking just 30 seconds between tasks to stretch and pause can go a long way towards helping you relax, refresh, and refocus. A recurring reminder in Microsoft Outlook or another scheduling program can help you get in the habit of taking a few minutes for yourself, even on your busiest days.

Get away from your PC—without missing out

Sometimes you need to step away from your desk to calm down and collect your thoughts. The problem is, work doesn’t stop just because you need a break. Wearable technology has made it easier to stay connected enough that you don’t need to worry about what's going on at your desk while you’re getting some fresh air. Smartwatches, for example, let you stay connected thanks to smart text and calendar notifications that are sent straight to your watch from a paired smartphone.
Relaxing at work doesn’t just mean taking time away from being productive. A little stress relief and work-life balance can help you accomplish more. Give yourself a few minutes to unplug, hear a good joke, and laugh. You’ll feel better, and at the end of the day you’ll probably get more done.
[1] The Wall Street Journal, At Work, Do Headphones Really Help?
[2] American Medical Association's Council on Science and Public Health, Light Pollution: Adverse Health Effects of Nighttime Lighting

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