Tag Archives: work

workspace.

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sign above the desk:

“hello customers, welcome to the garage. i am your 4th floor guardian m-f after 4pm.”

we happened upon this happy workspace in a most unlikely place

with a comfy swivel chair occupied after 4pm

a christmas card that says ‘joy’

a boom box

a tiny desk

a plastic plant that dances

an air freshener

a snow globe

a piece of hanging art

and a welcoming sign

what a wonderful workspace

everything someone would need

what a special person

who welcomes you

watches over you

 keeps you happy and safe

on the 4th floor

a safe haven in the world.

 

“i’ve got a theory; if you love your workspace, you’ll love your work a little more.”

-cynthia rowley

 

 

 

the art and joy of puttering.

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If waiting for an important telephone call, or stuck in writer’s block with a looming deadline, we’ll inevitably rearrange our record collection or clear up the papers dotted around your office – and it’s sometimes the most relaxed you’ll feel all day.

We’re not alone in this. As we faced pandemic stresses, many people reported finding renewed interest in looking after their homes as a way of coping with the uncertainty. On YouTube, there’s a huge audience for videos of people going about their chores, with millions of views for some of them. Psychologists suggest there are many mechanisms that might explain the perfect pleasure of puttering – and they may well encourage you to engage in it more often.

At the most superficial level, puttering may be useful because it occupies the mind, so that we devote fewer resources to the things that are worrying us. Even if we struggle with structured forms of meditation, for instance, we may find household tasks can anchor us in the here and now. But that will depend on where we place our focus.

In one of the few studies to examine the mental health benefits of washing the dishes, researchers divided 51 participants into two groups. Half read a text that encouraged them to focus their thoughts to the sensations evoked by the activity. “While washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes,” they were told. The rest read factual instructions on how to do washing up without explicitly encouraging them to focus their awareness on the sensations it produces.

Afterwards, the participants were asked to take a questionnaire about their feelings. Those who had fully engaged with the sensory experience reported a significantly better mood. This included reduced nervousness and even a sense of “inspiration”, as if the immersion in the simple activity had refreshed their minds.

Unlike other distracting activities – such as playing computer games or watching trashy TV – puttering also has the advantage of being proactive and useful, increasing our “perceived control”.

When we feel anxious, a sense of helplessness can heighten the physiological stress response, increasing levels of cortisol. Over the long term, the sense of helplessness can even harm the function of the immune system. Ideally, we would deal directly with the upsetting situation itself. But research suggests we can gain a perception of control from activities that may have little effect on the situation that’s bothering us.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to align with actual control, as long as we believe, or feel, we have control,” says Stacey Bedwell, a psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London. Simply being able to change our environment can create a feeling of agency that is beneficial, she says – which may explain why cleaning and organizing our homes can feel so therapeutic.The benefits do not end there. If your puttering takes the form of organizing and decluttering, you may find that the tidier environment is itself a form of solace.

As the University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross writes in his book Chatter: The Voice in Our Heads and How to Harness It: “We’re embedded in our physical spaces, and different features of these spaces activate psychological forces inside us, which affect how we think and feel.” If we see order outside, it helps us to feel a bit less chaotic inside, he writes. “[It] is comforting because it makes life easier to navigate and more predictable.”

Brain imaging studies support this view. In general, you see much greater brain activity as you increase the number of distracting objects within a scene – with each object vying for our attention. This may lead your brain to tire so that it struggles to maintain its focus over long periods of concentration.

Importantly, you don’t necessarily have to remove the clutter to prevent this from occurring – simply rearranging it will do. Organizing objects into groups – by color, for example – may provide the brain with more obvious cues for navigating the chaos. This reduces some of that neural confusion – and may improve our focus as a result. By reducing anxiety, soothing stress responses, increasing focus and triggering the release of endorphins, it’s little wonder so many of us take to household chores as soon as we are faced with uncertainty.

Like all activities, the extent of these benefits will be influenced by your personal tastes and the associations that you link with the tasks. If you are housework-averse, and will only pick up a duster under duress, the pleasures of puttering may be forever elusive. But for the homebodies among us, we can now understand why fruitful fidgeting can be such a salve for the restless mind.

“the imagination needs moodling– long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling, and puttering.”

-brenda ueland

what’s your go-to puttering activity?

BBC, David Robson, science writer, Ethan Cross, author 

the pitch.

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brilliant pitch on our local townie site:

FREE SNOW SHOVELING CLASS: This Thursday Feb 3rd, I will be holding a FREE snow shoveling class at my place. Come and join the class and learn about the proper ways to shovel!

Reviewed techniques will include the scoop and throw method, the down and push method (AKA the plow technique) as well as the upside down scraping technique. 

Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to enhance your snow lifting techniques without throwing your back out! I will provide the driveway to ensure your training is conducted in the most life-like situation. I only ask that you bring your own shovel. 

PM me for additional details and times. Spots are limited and handled on a first come first served basis. Hurry, don’t delay!

as always, i loved the responses and they did not disappoint:

Is this for credit or just a certificate program???

Is this one of those Huckleberry Finn/ Tom Sawyer type classes where you have us shovel for you??

Now That’s What I Call marketing baby! Makes me want to get a shovel and throw on the parka and Boots!


Yes my place as well for the master class!

After can we repaint the fence?

You stole my idea!!!!

Now, why didn’t I think of that!!  

Best AAT snow post EVER! 

“i like work, it fascinates me; i can sit and look at it for hours.”

-jerome k. jerome

 

 

 

credits: ann arbor townies

playing the odds, you win some……

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(supposed to be here)

back in the day

when i was a waitress

going to school

training to be in the travel industry

i was on call for my restaurant in michigan

but i also had to be at an airline travel class in dallas

my restaurant had very recently said

absolutely no more days off for anyone

too many people were calling in sick or with excuses

so

according to my optimistic rationalization style math and logic

knowing the staff

having no other plan

odds were 50/50 at best

 i said nothing to my restaurant

crossed my fingers

flew to dallas

made the fateful call-in from the lone star state

 amazingly

the staff had all shown up that day

for the win!

p.s. don’t try this if you are a doctor

(actually was here)

 

“never tell me the odds.”

-han solo

 

 

construction and creation.

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very clever move

to close the roads and do construction

when people have nowhere to go

what a dramatic opening it will be one day

 a fine gallery unveiling 

i hope there is champagne. 

 

“the whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this:

that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed;

but a thing created is loved before it exists.”

-charles dickens

credit.

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that moment when you’ve worked very hard on something

and suddenly someone

jumps up front and center just as the last piece is put in 

and it’s photo op time.

we each have our own thoughts on this. 

 

“it is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

-harry s. truman (my approach)

“hard work is rewarding. taking credit for other’s hard work is rewarding and faster.”

-scott adams (olive’s approach)

panic in the disco.

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(not me, but I had the same face when looking in the mirror this morning)

ever have one of those mornings

when you wake up very suddenly

notice it’s not dark outside

like it always is

when you wake up to go to work

you text your work partners

panicked and feeling guilty

to apologize

say you’ll be there asap

wondering why you didn’t hear your alarm go off

thinking about how you can get ready and do a make-over in 5 minutes

then begin to text your bosses to say the same

only to realize in the middle of typing

that it is

actually sunday

not monday

 have to type again

to apologize for waking everyone up?

just asking….

 

 

“forgive me if I sleep until I wake up. “

-charles olson

 

 

 

image credit: bored panda