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10 Most Zen-Friendly Websites to Keep You Calm and Productive at Work

10 Most Zen-Friendly Websites to Keep You Calm and Productive at Work

Do you feel like you can no longer cope with the stress of meeting your deadlines? Does the lack of concentration stop you from focusing on your goals? Are you stuck or stressed out? Then put your headphones on. Try using some of the most Zen-friendly websites on offer that really work wonders for keeping your cool in the workplace.

There are so many more sites like this out there, but — for the purposes of this article — I have included 10 of them that I use myself.

1. Do Nothing For 2 Minutes

Yes, that’s exactly what you should do for the next two minutes. Nothing. Just sit comfortably, watch the screen and listen to the sound of waves. Will you be able to sit still without touching the mouse or keyboard? See for yourself. I know I failed the first time I tried it.

donothingfor2min

    2. Calm

    Calm.com also challenges you to sit still and quiet your mind. Apart from that, you can benefit from a selection of guided meditations that can last from two minutes to 20, depending on how long you’d like to take a break from your hectic surroundings.

    You can choose from the many calming atmospheres that are available — gentle waves, fields, waterfalls. And what’s even better about it is that you can take Calm with you. The iPhone app can be downloaded for free, and there are three options for paid subscriptions if you want to go for Pro Access. Who wouldn’t feel calmer meditating with a view like the one below?

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    calm2

      3. SimplyNoise

      SimplyNoise uses white, pink and brown noise. You just need to pick a color, slide the knob to the level that’s comfortable for you and enjoy the sound. I’d recommend white and pink noise while you’re at work to keep you alert, focused and productive. White noise uses sound across all frequencies and blocks distractions, making it great for studying and writing. Pink noise uses a mix of high and low frequencies, which is great for reducing your stress while keeping you energized.

      simplynoise2

        4. SimplyRain

        SimplyRain belongs to the SimplyNoise website and it simply plays the rain sounds for you. You slide the blue orb to adjust the rain intensity and adjust the volume by sliding the metal knob. Change the storm ambiance by toggling the thunder orb. Based on different algorithms, SimplyRain generates a randomized procedural storm each time you tune in. Both SimplyNoise and SimplyRain apps are also available on iTunes for $0.99 each.

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        simplyrain

          5. Rainy Mood

          This one’s my favorite and the one I use most often when I write. On top of the rain, thunder and bird sounds, there’s no audio limit and it plays a YouTube video every day that fits perfectly with the sound of rain. I learned about it when I read how online marketing expert and Overit’s VP of Strategy Lisa Barone writes.

          rainymood

            6. Coffitivity

            You can’t afford spending every morning at Starbucks? No probs. Bring the coffee shop vibe into your own home, on your own desktop, to get your much needed creativity boost. Coffitivity has a neat and beautiful interface and blends calm and commotion in such a way that makes your creative juices flow. They also link to a super comprehensive study about “Exploring the Effects of Ambient Noise on Creative Cognition.”

            coffitivity

              7. naturesoundsfor.me

              With naturesoundsfor.me you can mix four different sounds, but you have a wide range to choose from: tribal drums, animals, fireworks, heart beat, you name it. The one I created to my own liking is a combo of beach sounds, seagulls, pink noise and kids laughter.

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              It’s so soothing, yet lively, to listen to the sounds of the ocean’s waves gently crashing on the shore while children giggle in the background. Start creating yours! You can also save it on your computer so you can play it when you’re offline too.

              naturesoundsforme

                8. Focus@Will

                Focus@Will is fantastic! It uses phase-sequenced instrumental music that increases your attention span up to 400 percent when reading, writing, or studying. Apart from that, it extends the standard 20- to 30-minute productivity cycle to approximately 100 minutes.

                The music stream (Alpha Chill works for me) engages your background attention to such an extent that it doesn’t interfere with your conscious focal attention on the task you work on. As for the costs, you can choose from three different account types: Guest, Personal and Pro.

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                focusatwill

                  9. Get Work Done Music

                  Get Work Done Music simply plays upbeat, instrumental tunes from Soundcloud. It’s pretty straightforward to use with very few controls — just the play/pause button, Fast and Faster, and “gimme the next one cap’n” to switch to the next song.

                  getworkdonemusic

                    10. Teamviz

                    Last, but not least, Teamviz is the icing on the cake among the tools that help you stay on schedule as you prioritize your tasks and approach them one by one. There’s no music, but this is probably one of the best productivity tools out there.

                    Formerly known as PomodoroApp, this free downloadable app, which is basically a timer, allows you to break your working routine in 30-minute chunks. You work for 25 minutes then take a 5-minute break. What you choose to do during that break is important. Stay away from email and social media. I for one meditate. That’s when Calm.com or donothingfor2minutes.com, for instance, come in handy.

                    teamviz2

                      As I worked on this post I used Coffitivity and Focus@Will simultaneously. The music volume was set just above the ambient noise level of Coffitivity.

                      Try to have as much variation as possible and notice what puts you best in the zone. Measure the effects and share what worked for you with your friends — and in the comments below.

                      More by this author

                      Anca Dumitru

                      Freelance Writer & Content Strategist

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                      Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                      15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                      15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                      You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

                      Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

                      A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

                      Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

                      So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

                      1. Purge Your Office

                      De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

                      Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

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                      Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

                      2. Gather and Redistribute

                      Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

                      3. Establish Work “Zones”

                      Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

                      Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

                      4. Close Proximity

                      Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

                      5. Get a Good Labeler

                      Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

                      6. Revise Your Filing System

                      As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

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                      What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

                      Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

                      • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
                      • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
                      • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
                      • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
                      • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
                      • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
                      • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

                      Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

                      7. Clear off Your Desk

                      Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

                      If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

                      8. Organize your Desktop

                      Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

                      Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

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                      Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

                      9. Organize Your Drawers

                      Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

                      Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

                      10. Separate Inboxes

                      If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

                      11. Clear Your Piles

                      Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

                      Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

                      12. Sort Mails

                      Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

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                      13. Assign Discard Dates

                      You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

                      Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

                      14. Filter Your Emails

                      Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

                      When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

                      Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

                      15. Straighten Your Desk

                      At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

                      Bottom Line

                      Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

                      Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

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                      Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

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