5 Ways to Turn the Workplace into a Zen Studio

Posted by Christine Ziebell on 10/6/2015 1:41:00 PM


5 Ways to Turn the Workplace into a Zen Studio

The scene is an upscale fitness studio, the beautiful hardwood floor scattered with plush cushions and cross-legged meditators. The lights (candles, maybe?) are dim, and peaceful music plays in the background, accompanied by the sound of deep breaths being exhaled from Lululemon clad residents of the Upper East Side.

For many of us, the word “Zen” conjures a scene similar to this one. It’s not just a word, it’s a concept; a vague idea of a state-of-mind that most people living in the “real world” will never be able to achieve.  Who has time to spend every afternoon centering yourself?

If finding your “Zen” moment comes at the price of lost afternoons and pricey fitness spas, most of us are out of luck. So the question is: Does it?

Unrealistic Expectations

The fact is that, unless you have chosen a career as a librarian, peace at the workplace is almost impossible to come by. A phone call interrupts your countdown from 100 before you hit 60, and you’re putting out another fire before you would have gotten to 38. The 150 unread emails in your Inbox, (most of them marked “urgent”) leave exactly no time to take mental time-outs and clear your head clutter.

 And yet, do one simple Google search for becoming more Zen and you’ll be met with 1,528 bloggers who will offer you the same “genius” advice for finding inner peace that are not only obvious, but unrealistic. A few deep breaths does not a Zen-moment make.

Let’s take a closer look at a few recommended techniques that promise the battle for Zen to become less of a battle, and more…well…Zen.

"Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine." Shunryu Suzuki

1. Do One Thing at a Time?

To achieve Zen, experts say you should do one thing at a time and do it well…. What world are these “experts” living in? More importantly, what company do they work for, and are they hiring? Because that sounds like a cake-walk.  

Obviously, focusing on one thing at a time begets much more peace than the 17 things you were doing all-at-once a few minutes ago. While it may be a great idea in theory to “do one thing at a time,” it’s simply not possible in today’s fast-paced business environment.

Instead, you have to learn to multi-task, continuously prioritize and re-prioritize, and accept that some of the things you thought you’d get done today will have to be tackled tomorrow.

You also have to look for tools that let you handle tasks quickly and efficiently so you don't have to stack work on top of work.

2. Don’t Get Worked Up About Things That Are Out of Your Control

Here’s my piece of “expert” advice: When things go wrong, don’t get worked up about it. Most of the time, that just makes matters worse.

If “the milk has already spilled,” so to say, focus on what can be done to find a solution. Looking for someone to blame is also an unnecessary waste of energy – focus on making things right,instead.

3. Develop Communication Rituals

Let’s face it: Most of us are terrible self-managers. Experts suggest that ritualizing your daily tasks will “assign importance to them,” which makes it more likely that you'll give them the appropriate time and attention.

Okay, fine. But maintaining flexibility around your rituals is also important. You can have a specific time and place for handling, for example, communication tasks (or at least the bulk of them), but you can't put off your boss's urgent message until your next appointed communication time – or at least I wouldn’t recommend it.

4. Communicate What is Necessary

Zen attitudes usually take a “less-is-more” approach.

I happen to be a big fan of “less is more.” Unfortunately, business communications often take a more (...and even more) approach. So choosing the right option for each type of communication is important. It lets you provide the right amount of information in the most efficient manner. And it reduces the time other people must take to read and understand your message.

Use bullet points. There can never be enough communication with bullet points.

5. Communicate Easier with an All-in-One Communication Tool

And here’s the last piece of advice, the grand finale, for becoming a Zen Master: make your communication seamless. This is where an all-in-one communication tool comes in, as your figurative fitness studio.  The simplicity and efficiency of the right tools let you reduce the time spent on daily tasks without impacting quality. This brings peace to your tasks, your team, your supervisor – and your life.

An all-in-one communication tool lets you handle messages, scheduling, and task distribution from a single point. It will maximize the time you spend on actual tasks and reduce your need to manage multiple applications and programs at once. When you keep your communication in one place and accessible to everyone, you also decrease opportunities for miscommunication, enhancing the possibility of Zen moments for the entire team.

Try out Intraboom. No fitness studio needed.



Category: Productivity, Tips & Tricks


Intraboom is the all-in-one digital workplace for teamwork and projects. A single app with file sharing, group calendars, tasks, discussion boards, messaging and more. Login at intraboom.com or download the free Intraboom app from the App Store or Google Play today!