Pat Katz Pat Katz




PAUSE – 14.36 – What Can You Do To Brighten Things Up?

Weeping Willow Cottage

Weeping Willow Cottage

Reflection: December is just around the corner. The sun (at least here in the northern hemisphere where I live) is taking its own sweet time creeping over the horizon in the morning, while racing to darkness at the end of the day.

It seems like the ideal time to address one of the questions that came out of the Pause ezine reader survey conducted earlier this year. One Pause reader asked, “How do you brighten up the workplace?”

It’s an interesting question. If your daily experience delivers some combination of dim, dark, dingy, depressing or drab, it can be a real downer. (Sorry about that, there seemed to be a lot of loose d’s hanging around my keyboard!)

So let’s take a look at actions that could reverse the trend and bring a bit of lightness and levity.


Action: Here are a handful of ways to brighten your workplace. You might find one or more helpful. See Resources of The Week for a few links that expand on these ideas.

  • Open the blinds. Crank up the lights. Literally, what wattage are those bulbs over your head? Or, if changing them is above or beyond your control, try adding a powerful lamp to your desktop or workspace.
  • Invite something living to share your space. A live plant – one that thrives in low light – makes an easy and acceptable start. Probably best to leave the mice and geckos at home, but a goldfish could be a possibility.
  • Introduce a shot of humor wherever you can. Post a cartoon, sprinkle your coffee chats with puns, or hold a contest for the groaner of the day. Anything that prompts a smile or a chuckle will brighten things up for everyone. Well, not for those who detest puns, but you know what I mean!
  • Add something colorful to your wall or your screen saver – a fresh photo, print or poster. Or amp up your wardrobe. Neutrals like tan, black, grey, brown and navy may be classic, but they’re also dull and boring. If you don’t want to frighten the soul at the next cubicle over, start small with a vivid tie or a brilliant scarf.
  • Do something different. Change the order of your day or your week. Jump the rut. Pick one small task or process and figure out how to handle it more creatively or innovatively than before.
  • Heh it’s the season of giving. Set a few small colorfully wrapped packages on the corner of your desk. Leave the tags off the boxes. Keep everybody guessing. Encourage others to shake, rattle and guess what might be inside.
  • Share a bit of good news. It can’t hurt and it just might help!


Quotes Of The Week: Life isn’t all perpetual bliss, nor is it one woeful weeping session. But you can concentrate so hard on noticing moments of one or the other that either a bright outlook or dim expectations becomes your regular illusion. – Richelle E. Goodrich

I can never resist telling people good news. I mean, why not brighten someone else’s life too? – Sophie Kinsella

We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own. – Ben Sweetland


Resources Of The Week: Check out Top Ten Plants For Low Light. (Zeezee is a favorite of mine.)

Here’s the inside scoop on light boxes for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Mike Kerr’s weekly ezine is ripe with humor and fun loving ideas to liven up the workplace.

Gaping Void Artwork is the brainchild of artist Hugh MacLeod who started drawing cartoons on the back of business cards and now focuses on transforming business through art.


Readers Write: In response to last week’s message, Always on Guard – Often Off Balance, Pause reader P writes: I realized as soon as I read Often Off Balance that my decision today will be to leave work to attend a funeral of a close friend even though there are so many things that need my attention at work. I sat, took a deep breath and thought about what is important: letting my friend’s family know I care by being there, or work that will just keep coming whether I am here or not.Your messages always bring me back to reality and they make me think about what is important. Thank you for that.


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Appreciation, Life Balance, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

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