Get Up and Get Moving!

Over the winter and cooler months, it seems that it becomes more and more of a struggle to perform every day tasks, like, oh I don’t know.  Walk up the stairs.  Brush your teeth.  Say hello to your significant other.  But don’t worry, there is a perfectly legitimate scientific reason for this.  Lack of vitamin D from sunlight, increased melatonin, and what I like to call “I’m so mad that I can’t get warm so I refuse to get out of bed” syndrome.  As a result, we begin to pile on the pounds and when you combine that with the pasty white pallor of our skin, let’s just say most of us are not looking our “healthiest.”

But then spring arrives.

hallelujah reaction happy yes reaction s

We get off the couch.  We open our eyes and see the sun.  And suddenly, we get the urge to move!  Again, there are scientific reasons.  Increased vitamin D, increased dopamine, and most importantly, “I refuse to waste this beautiful day sitting in front of the TV” syndrome.

I realize that I am very lucky to have the opportunity to play outside with my little guys on these gorgeous days.  Most people are forced to work in an office and only look outside with longing at the perfect weather. But I’m not here to make you hate your life, I’m here to help!  It is so important to stay active throughout the day.  This article lists six ways that exercise positively affects the brain.  The article is really interesting, and I would recommend reading it!  But in case you’d rather just see the list, here it is:

  1. It spurs brain growth
  2. It boosts brain-building hormones
  3. It fights depression and anxiety
  4. It reduces the effects of stress
  5. It improves your brain’s executive function
  6. It increases sensitivity to insulin

Obviously, staying active plays a major part in our every day lives.  But as I mentioned above, many people do not have the opportunity for exercise throughout the day.  Some take advantage of the longer days to get active when they get home from work, but many do not have this luxury due to family responsibilities.  If this sounds like you, then check out the next list I have compiled with different ways to be active while you’re at work.  Not only will it help your body feel better, but as you can see from the list above, your brain function will improve and will most likely be reflected in your work output!

  1. Take a walk – everyone is entitled to a break while at work, but many do not take advantage of this time preferring to complete their required tasks instead.  But simply taking a walk around the block can significantly improve your mood, and will most likely help you to complete your tasks more efficiently!  Find someone to walk with and this will help encourage you to do it every day!
  2. Stand – there are many offices that are providing standing desks for their employees, and if yours is open to it, I would highly recommend it!  You do not have to stand all day, but you do have the option of raising the height of your desk so you can get your blood flowing and wake up a little.  If you can, try marching in place while doing your work to burn even more calories.
  3. Talk to people – sometimes it seems much easier to send a quick email to our coworkers, but if you can manage to deliver that message in person without getting caught up in a longer conversation than necessary, this is a great way to get on your feet and clear your head.
  4. Do a quick exercise – The Washington Post has compiled a list of 12 quick exercises to do at the office.  Some of them might seem a little silly, but if you’re in the privacy of your own office, or if you can get more people to do them with you, the benefit will outweigh whatever embarrassment you might feel!
  5. Use small exercise equipment – when all else fails, it’s probably time to revert back to the 90’s and get your thighmaster on.  I would not recommend doing this in public, and ladies, careful if you’re wearing a skirt!  But this is an easy exercise you can do under your desk with no one even realizing!

When you’ve finished laughing (or drooling, depending on which camp you’re in), try to think of some exercises you are able to accomplish while at work and post them in the comments.  Every little bit helps, and will benefit both mind and body!  And remember, everyone has the ability to improve company culture, so take it upon yourself to organize some brain breaks for the office.  These are great for kids, and I imagine would improve office morale with adults as well!

 

Advertisements

Going Above and Beyond

Occasionally in life you experience someone who seems like they – get ready for this – REALLY ENJOY THEIR JOB.  I know.  Shocking.  You can spot these rare creatures  by their smiling faces, jovial attitudes and helpful nature.  And if you encounter them in their natural work habitat, then you will probably leave feeling satisfied and with a desire to return to their place of business in the future.  And you will more than likely become an evangelist of the business, all because someone there actually likes what they do!  I love these experiences and love telling my friends about them, far more than I like to complain about the negative.  Unfortunately, in this day and age, the happy experiences are sometimes hard to come by.  People are stressed about money, time with family, relationships, etc. and all of that is reflected in their daily work life.  I am happy to say, however, that I have two positive experiences to talk about today!

The first was my birthday dinner in Branson, MO this past weekend.  We made the fantastic decision to eat at Cantina Laredo on the Landing, and not only was the food delicious, but the service was exceptional!  As a former server, I know that it is not an easy job, especially when the restaurant is busy and you are running in a million different directions.  Those busy nights can sometimes be reflected in your quality of service and while it’s easy to get overwhelmed and neglect your tables, I am happy to say that was not the case this past weekend.  Don’t get me wrong – the restaurant was very busy!  It was a gorgeous night, perfect to sit outside at a wonderful restaurant and watch the fountains.

downtown-fall

And we were not the only ones with that idea – it was packed!  But our server never stopped moving, nor did he stop smiling.  He made time for our table, as well as all of his others, and made the night so much more special.  He obviously enjoys his job and that fact is reflected in his work.  We will certainly go back, and will tell all of our friends to do the same!

The second experience that springs to mind is a little different, as it is not a business or restaurant that you can physically go to – quite the opposite actually, as this person actually comes to us.  It is our garbage collector with Deffenbaugh Industries!  I mentioned in a previous post about my son’s obsession with big trucks, so as you can imagine, trash day is quite the spectacle in our house.  On Tuesday mornings, he waits by the door with his milk and his orange slices for the truck to drive by our house.  A few weeks ago, the driver actually drove by, then noticed a little boy at the window, so he backed up and sat in front of the house waving and honking.  Oh boy was that exciting!

20160329_090542

We were so pleased and felt so thankful to him for taking a little time out of his day to put a smile on our little guy’s face.  But then the next week, my husband happened to be outside with our son when they came by, so he got to see the truck up close and high-five the driver!  And finally, the following week we took the men some water and actually got to get inside the truck and pull the horn.  I know it was exciting for a two year old, because it was exciting for me as well!  It seems people are always complaining about their trash collection company (don’t empty the cans completely, don’t come on a consistent basis, etc.), however because this one employee truly enjoys his job and has shared his joy with our family, we will always be able to overlook any negative that might happen and continue to be customers for life.

As you can see, keeping your employees happy is important!  In fact, it is crucial, as they are the face of your business.  Your employees have the ability to make or break your company’s reputation, so be sure to treat them with the respect they deserve.  You never know when their positive attitudes and outlooks can truly impact someone’s experience creating lifelong customers and evangelists.

Remembering What’s Important

Spring is finally here, which means summer is just around the corner!  For many people, summer is a time of travel and leisure, so as the weather warms up, you might begin thinking about all of the wonderful places you would like to visit.  Personally, I love a getaway every now and then, even if it’s just a few hours away.  I am probably in the minority on this, but I love staying in hotels!  I love that I can fully relax and not have to worry about a kitchen that needs cleaning, or dinner that needs to be cooked.  I love that my whole family is forced to be crammed together in one place, which always results in fun and laughter.  Now, I’ll admit that as I’ve gotten older, not just any hotel will do.  Especially with small children, I’ve become a little pickier about where we go and much prefer the Wyndham resorts with washer and dryer and separate bedrooms to a standard Holiday Inn with questionable carpets.  But at the end of the day, I just love having my loved ones all in one place.

Travel does bring about many happy feelings, but there is something else that having children has awakened in me, and that is a major fear of flying.  I used to be pretty ok with it, in fact I rather enjoyed it!  But on a flight to England when I was pregnant with my first son, I vowed to never fly pregnant again, because without a little “lubrication,” I just can’t manage.  Just thinking about our next trip to England, which is months away, causes me to feel the need to breathe into a bag and put my head between my legs.  However, if I am going to fly somewhere domestic, Southwest Airlines is always my first preference.  They have made a name for themselves in the airline industry for a number of reasons, including Transfarency, their policy of no hidden costs or extra charges; your bags fly free, which is a load off when figuring out the cost of the flight; and their flight attendants are hilarious!  This fact alone has gotten Southwest a lot of attention recently, especially as one of their YouTube sensations was a contestant on the Amazing Race due to her hilarious public announcements!  My favorite by far, however, is this attendant rapping the safety instructions; I think I would have been able to relax a little on that flight after laughing so much!

Southwest is definitely doing something right.  And although you might argue that their ticket prices are a little higher, the peace of mind is worth it for me.  I know there won’t be extra charges, and I know that if something comes up in my life and I am unable to fly, I will not be out a couple hundred dollars.  All of this, plus in-flight entertainment?  Yes please!

So next time you are looking for a service provider, don’t immediately discount someone due to the higher cost; in many cases, that higher cost comes with additional perks and makes your life much easier.  And when your life is easier, you have more time to spend crammed in a small hotel room with the people you love most in the world.  Which is totally worth it.

Traditions

Every April Fools Day as a child consisted of waking up to my mom and dad yelling, “There’s a firetruck outside!  Come look!  I wonder what’s going on??” And even after this had run its course, and my brothers and I knew that there was not in fact a state of emergency at the neighbor’s house, it was still fun to yell this each year and think back to the years when it actually worked. I’m looking forward to starting this same tradition with my family, although I think I’ll wait a few years as my son is very much into big trucks right now.  If I told him there was a fire truck outside and there wasn’t, I would be in for a rough day!  Traditions are an important part of my family, and as my husband will tell you, I love making new ones!  Even after we have only done something twice, it becomes a tradition in my mind and I begin to look forward to it each year.  However, getting hooked on traditions can have its downside.  For myself, once a tradition has been established in my mind, I feel almost guilty changing it in any way.  It worked so well every other year, so why try to do something different?  But this can obviously lead to boredom and possibly cause everyone involved to miss out on something new and amazing.

This problem can span across many aspects of life; maybe you have been to the same hair stylist for years, and although the rates keep going up and you aren’t loving what she is doing to your hair, you might feel it’s worth it to avoid the hassle of finding someone new.  I’m sure we all know someone who could use a new hairdresser!

trump hair

Or maybe your doctor isn’t giving you the care you need, however starting at square one and getting to know someone new just seems like too much work.  There are so many more examples I could give of the reasons we settle.  And these ruts are not limited to our personal lives either.

On the business side of things, there are clients, service providers, contractors, customers, etc. that keep things moving along the way they should. Depending on the business you are in, you might have dozens of different people to keep up with and when one is slacking, there is a good chance you will not have time to deal with it right away.  This often leads to poor output and loss of revenue.  For example, in one month, a retail store might require their locks changed, their air conditioner serviced, a toilet fixed, a glass door replaced, an LED light repaired and a new display case installed.  That is at least six different people that they will have to contact and arrange their schedule around.  And with that many people in the mix, chances are someone will cancel, or make a mistake and have to schedule a new time to come out and get the job done.  The time spent on all of this scheduling eats into the time the owner could be spending on growing their business!  So what if you could just have one point of contact?  It would mean only one person to handle the scheduling, and one person to get to know you and your business in order to ensure maximum quality is provided.  That is what Royal Services can do for you.  So next time your air conditioner serviceman shows up late, but you don’t want to spend the time finding a new one, check out what Royal Services can do to lighten your workload.

And next time you are looking for a new family tradition, check out this list of ideas for a great new tradition.  And even if they don’t all work out for your family, it will certainly be fun trying them out!  If your family has any great traditions, post them in the comments below!