Author Archives: national pen

Dental Marketing Confidential: How to Impress New Patients

Creating a successful dental marketing campaign is vitally important to your practice. If done effectively, it can alleviate apprehension in prospective new patients. Here’s how marketing for dentists can shine a light on your practice and build trust with new patients.Toothpaste on a Toothbrush

It’s amazing how much thought must go into operating a dental practice. It takes hard work, serious upfront capital, and an acute understanding of dental marketing techniques that work well for the industry. The bottom line when it comes to any business is to welcome guests warmly, keep people happy, and create patients/clients/customers for life.

Patient satisfaction is linked to several key components. When it comes to creating a lasting, positive impression, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is my dental practice clean and well-maintained?
  2. Does my staff operate with the same positive tone and engaged manner that I do?
  3. Do I offer all the services my clients expect from a contemporary dental office?
  4. Do I have systems in place to organize and manage my existing dental patients?
  5. Is my decor inviting, and is the office a comfortable place to wait for dental services?
  6. Do I offer promotional dental marketing gifts or items of nominal value to reward loyalty or entice first-time visits?
  7. What makes me unique when compared to the other dental practices in the area?

These questions are a great place to start, but it is crucial to include one overriding theme across your considerations: Few people like getting dental work done, and many have an associated fear of the dentist. This makes it all the more important to do all you can to minimize patient apprehensions and create the best impression possible.

Alleviate Patient Anxiety

Let your guests know you’ve considered their comfort level and have made proactive steps to minimize their stress and anxiety levels. Simple visuals like fresh flowers, fish tanks, serenity fountains, or interesting art displays can help put patients at ease. Try to keep the high-pitched whir of dental tools from permeating the waiting room by playing soft background music, and reduce barriers between front office staff and the waiting room. In fact, the “front-desk window” is considered a stress trigger for many patients. Openness is a good thing to create a more relaxing environment.

Dentist and Happy Dental PAtient

Make Patient Comfort a Priority

Provide small pillows and blankets for patients who are undergoing longer procedures to enhance their comfort level.  If they must stay in the chair for an extended period of time, offer personalized lip balm to minimize chapped lips, common with longer dental procedures. Also, consider the temperature in the room. Patients often report dental offices are too cold.  This is often attributed to lack of patient movement rather than a low ambient temperature. In addition, consider the needs of parents who have arrived with small children. A television and kid-friendly movie can help, as do toys, books, games, and other child-focused items.

Provide a Gift

To ensure your patients remember you long after they leave the office, provide them with a small dental kit to take home. Most dentists with an eye for marketing opt for a promotional gift that combines real world utility with a manageable unit cost. Often, patients will receive a new toothbrush and toothpaste. Think about including a miniature customized calendar that can be used to track their dental appointments throughout the year. There are dozens of high-performance promotional gifts that can make your dental office stand out.

Growing your dental practice can be made easier by leveraging effective marketing techniques and paying special attention to the new patient experience. Focus on the fundamental considerations above, and you’ll boost patient loyalty and ensure repeat business for your valued practice for years to come.

Church Marketing that Spreads the Word & Grows Your Congregation

Here’s how to boost the excitement around your next service and attract and keep more people through innovative church marketing ideas.

Young Churchgoers in a Prayer Circle

Believe it or not, your church organization has its own “brand.” Just as we associate sleek design features and fast technology with Apple or sporty aesthetics and high performance with BMW, your church says something, too. How you define and communicate that message are fundamentals in building your church’s identity. By spreading that message, you’ll better engage your current congregation and continue attracting new members to your community.

Church Marketing Ideas

If you’re unsure about what kind of growth strategies can help your faith community, these five tips will help put you on the right path for starting your church marketing plan:

  1. Religious Organization Journals
    Create Custom Church Products
    People can sometimes be shy about reaching out to people they don’t know. By giving church members tools that enable them to easily create conversations, you’ll drive more people to your house of worship. Have them give away customized notepads or other inexpensive, yet effective promotional church products that invite others to come to your church with ease. A research study performed by Church Central discovered that 9 out of 10 unchurched people would go to church if simply invited. Choose giveaways that will find their way onto people’s desks and refrigerators, like promo magnets, pens, or other small, useful items.
  2. Maximize Social Media
    Use the largest and most accessible marketing channels to tout the benefits of your church by taking to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to connect with the community. Publish a new blog post each week for your website, then link to it via your social media accounts. This will help keep members informed on updates and inspired to continue attendance – especially if they’re new to your congregation. Make sure you favor quality over quantity when it comes to social media.
  3. Journey of Faith Religious Wall Calendar
    Order Printed Religious Calendars
    Design customized stick-up calendars that can be sent to prospective church goers in the area. Calendars are perfect for tracking church events, special services, religious holidays, and more. Sending these religious calendars to your existing congregation can improve the percentage of members who turn out each week. Additionally, by targeting non-members, you can also increase the odds of more members of the community finding out about your church, while also providing them something of value.
  4. Sponsor Educational Classes
    Use your existing space to support ongoing classes, which can range from financial literacy to parenting classes. Donate meeting space to community groups to increase awareness of your community. A solid church growth strategy should, in part, focus on driving prospective members to the church via events that bring together diverse groups with shared interests, like food festivals, musical concert series and seasonal celebrations.
  5. Show Your Funny Side
    You’ll attract positive attention when you lighten up the mood with a funny or lighthearted video that can be posted on your website or social media. It doesn’t have to be silly or cartoonish, but it must be memorable. Show people your church is relatable and inviting. This can help reinforce the unique identity of your faith community. Seek out volunteers from those who are interested or might have experience filming and video editing.

Getting the message out about your church doesn’t have to be a chore. By using a good mix of the church marketing ideas listed here you’ll put more members in the pews each Sunday without breaking a sweat. Need fresh ideas to help your church growth and marketing efforts? Contact National Pen today!

7 Real Estate Agent Tips for Real Estate Marketing

Now that we’re well into 2017, it’s a good time to get going on the New Year’s resolutions you made at the beginning of the month if you haven’t started yet. These realtor tips should get your resolutions in full swing.

Real Estate Agent and Couple Looking at Homes

Setting goals and making resolutions is a great practice in theory, but in order to make any real improvements, they must be followed by action. Due to the hectic nature of the real estate world, it can be easy to sweep work resolutions under the rug and carry on with your normal practices and habits. But, staying organized and better managing your real estate business will help you to become more in control, which can only lead to good things this year.

Realtor Tips for Success

In an effort to help you maximize productivity, we’ve compiled seven real estate agent tips that will help you get a grip on any disorganization and chaos in your everyday life and make you a top agent in 2017.

1. Make the Most of Your Open Houses
Holding open houses is key for real estate agents to attract possible buyers for their clients. Open houses require a lot of preparation such as multiple client meetings, scheduling, real estate marketing, making sure the house is ready to show, creating and printing copies of brochures, etc. Once this hard work is done, make the most of your scheduled open house with a featured giveaway. This giveaway should include a product the viewers will value, like a customized reusable bag, which will also accomplish promotion of your brand.

2. Send Memorable Mailing Campaigns
Real estate is a competitive game. Any seasoned real estate agent knows clients will not simply come to you without any effort on your behalf. With so many buyer options, you must distinguish yourself in every way possible to avoid getting lost in the shuffle. In order for your real estate agency to stand out, it’s important to reach clients through a variety of outlets.

Some have discounted mail as an obsolete form of communication, but it is still an influential way to efficiently reach a vast number of potential clients. Offer a product potential future clients will utilize, while keeping your brand front of mind. Your mail campaign should include unique, customizable home-shaped magnets, which deliver a personalized message and is an inexpensive option for tight real estate marketing budgets. Unlike a business card, these magnets will not be overlooked and thrown out with the rest of the promotional mail. Instead, potential customers can easily affix them on the fridge and automatically serve as a reminder when they need a real estate agent option.

3. Never Miss an Appointment
Between the many forms of communication today and the variety of obligations real estate agents inevitably deal with daily, time management and scheduling can be tricky. Staying organized and on top of your meetings is imperative to continuing good relationships, retaining clientele, and being seen as a professional and knowledgeable real estate agent.

While most everyone has forgotten to follow up or has been late to an important appointment in the midst of a busy schedule, doing so will no doubt lead to negative associations for you and your brand. This type of behavior can damage your clients’ trust in your competence as their realtor.

This can sound a little intimidating, but all you need to stay organized and composed while on the job is a calendar. Note all your appointments, follow ups, and reminders on a desk calendar. You’ll be able to juggle the never-ending to-do list much better when it’s all organized in one spot.

Office Setup with Laptop and Mug

4. Always be Prepared
No real estate agent ever has their smartphone far from their reach. How did anyone ever live without these magical handheld computers that seem to be involved, in some way or another, in our entire lives? A main part of the real estate business is talking on the phone – whether you’re calling potential homebuyers, communicating with sellers, or everyone else in between.

Ever since the smartphone surfaced and dominated the communication industry, we use our phones even more than calling. We use them for everything from checking emails to setting reminders. Because of this dependency, never allow your phone battery to reach that dreaded one percent. Keep a portable phone charger handy and avoid the stress of missing that next important sale.

5. Stand Out with Events
Promotional events are a great way to attract homebuyers for your clients, as well as networking with potential future clientele. To ensure you make the most of your efforts of putting together and marketing a promotional event, make the best impression possible with everyone you encounter.

Use promotional products, such as banners and signs, to stand out and encourage attendance. It gives you a chance to highlight your brand in a positive way, while also catching the attention of those in attendance and others passing by.

6. Keep in Touch
Ongoing communication helps to build positive relationships and increase referrals and repeat business. To help manage your time spent connecting with clients, prioritize the people in your database who have proven to be most valuable to your business. Send your bests clients a luxury tumbler set to express your appreciation for their ongoing business with you. Treating your best clients to special treatment is a great way to reinforce and even strengthen those profitable relationships.

7. Cover All the Bases
Real estate transactions are notorious for their complexity, which is why your knowledge and services are needed by so many. Closing a deal involves large sums of money and a complicated process. Once you have seamlessly executed each step for your clients – including negotiations, inspections, etc. – you have finally reached the closing process.

These involve contracts that need thorough review. Don’t drop the ball once you’ve reached the home stretch, and always come prepared with extra promotional pens on hand for clients to use when signing their closing documents. It may seem minor, but it helps those final steps to the finish line go as smoothly as possible.

These seven real estate agent tips will show your clients how prepared and professional you are. They will help you stay on top of your realtor game in 2017, while also providing real estate marketing value to you at the same time. That seems like a win-win to us.

5 Simple Tips to Give Your Logo Love

Place your logo on products that are both functional and meaningful to help with brand placement that will get the word out about your business and help your audience fall in love!

Person Drawing a Love-Themed Logo with Marker

A brand’s logo placement is a key consideration when crafting the ultimate promotional marketing campaign. Just ask Starbucks. They had to repaint many of their delivery vans because its corporate branding changed from “Starbucks” to “Sucks” when the sliding door was open – making for the infamous Starbucks Sliding Door Van Fail. This is a popular example of a good logo placement gone wrong, which then changes how the public associates this messaging with their brand. Determining your logo placement requires a good amount of thought and TLC for a successful campaign that will have your customers falling head over heels in love with your company.

Logo Tips for Placement Dos and Don’ts

You can’t just put your logo on anything and everything without considering a few factors and logo tips. When you’re planning your upcoming promotional campaign for brand placement, ensure your logo is prominently displayed for all to see. Aim for a location that makes sense, and on products that pair with your brand’s overarching mission.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to make sure your brand placement is highlighted appropriately:

  1. Do: Take advantage of promotional gifts like calendars and day planners, as they can be customized to showcase your logo on a part of the product that isn’t affected when someone turns the page or flips to a new month. Make sure the logo placement or brand information is positioned where it will deliver maximum exposure.
  1. Don’t: Pay for advertising space without considering how appropriate that space is for your brand placement. Billboards and larger advertising initiatives can quickly eat up a tight budget. Consider the cost benefits before putting your brand on display.
  1. Do: Place your logo on items that can serve as alternative business cards. For example, a small, inexpensive flash drive makes a powerful promotional giveaway item because you can store your catalog or other relevant company data on it, saving paper and printing costs. Your customers and prospects will see your logo prominently displayed on the drive each time they access your company information.
  1. Don’t: Sacrifice quality for quantity. It may seem like an easy solution to put your logo on anything and everything possible, but make sure you’re attaching it to well-made promotional items that will readily associate your brand with something that has tangible value.
  1. Do: Align your logo with trends. When creating a promotional marketing campaign, keep in mind that tactile gifts are becoming increasingly popular these days. Stress balls are especially fun as a small but simple gift that can help raise brand awareness, while helping other decrease their stress.

When you’re ready to create greater visibility for your brand, keep in mind you not only have to create a great logo, you always have to place it in the right spot. By following these logo tips, your audience is sure to grow to love your brand even more than before. For more information about promotional marketing gifts, browse our catalog of customizable items and see where your brand logo placement will make the most impact.

Working From Home Part 1: How to Get Your Boss to Approve Remote Work

Telecommuting, or work from home, opportunities are becoming increasingly popular.

Work from home setting with a laptop and a mobile phone on a coffee tableAccording to the U.S. Department of Labor, 24% of employed people performed part or all of their work from home in 2015. For many who take advantage of the benefit, telecommuting provides a needed change in environment, a chance to focus without the constant distraction of office noise, and the flexibility to change work habits to more closely align with everyday life – all while still delivering quality performance.

There is a certain level of trust and confidence employers must have in an employee to allow a work from home situation, but there are ways to make the remote work transition be handled in a way that makes both parties comfortable.

Tip #1: Be Reliable

It’s not likely that an employer will offer a remote working situation right off the bat, unless previously agreed upon during the hiring process – especially if other employees are expected to be in the office.

One way to show your boss that working from home will not decrease productivity is to demonstrate your reliability when in the office. Are you able to meet deadlines? Have you achieved your outlined work goals? Are you prompt to meetings, have good attendance at work?

Your boss needs to feel you can be relied upon to get the job done wherever you are. If you struggle with meeting the expectations while in a more traditional working environment, making the case for working remotely becomes more difficult.

Tip #2: Consider Your Position

Remote work situations aren’t for everyone, and won’t be as successful across all industries. Consider how much time you’re required to be in client meetings, team huddles, and other facets of the job where your physical presence is required.

For example, those who work in sales may spend the majority of time on the phone or emailing leads, while also attending conferences or traveling to meet clients at their own offices. This type of work can likely be done virtually anywhere, making an in-office presence less necessary.

Tip #3: Take Advantage of Technology

With the advancements in technology, it’s far easier to stay connected during work hours. Platforms like Skype, Google Hangouts, and other voice and video conferencing systems can keep the lines of communication open, which is essential when maintaining a positive working relationship among team members.

Tip #4: Schedule In-Person Visits

While technology allows us to have more flexible work scenarios, it’s still important to touch base in person every now and then as well. Whether it’s to work for a week in the office or to make a visit to be part of a team building activity, people you work with should feel like you are (and want to be) part of the team.

The Shift to Telecommuting

People check their work emails on the weekend. They may take a conference call or two outside of regular business hours. Or, they catch up on deadlines as to not be bombarded first thing on Monday morning. When employees carry over office activity into their home life, there is already the transition of a remote working situation.

According to a Forbes article, there are certain predictions that forecast 50% of the workforce will be working remotely in just three years. Telecommuting was once a special scenario reserved only for the most unique of circumstances, but now is considered more of the norm. It’s up to you to convince your boss that your value at home is just as credible as when you are in the office.

5 Tips for Eco-Friendly Office Supplies and Company Culture

Sustainability is a buzzword, which is quickly becoming a best practice used in several industries.

Office space with tables, chairs and eco-friendly office suppliesCompanies are leaning toward ways to incorporate more environmentally-conscious processes and eco-friendly office supplies. According to a 2015 global case study, 91% of consumers reported that they expect companies to operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues. Additionally, 84% seek out responsible products whenever possible; all the more reason to become more earth-conscious.

Setting up your office for eco-friendly success doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul from what you’re currently doing, but rather the implementation of small changes that will have a greater impact over time.

Eco-Friendly Office Tips

Ready to help your team and customers limit their carbon footprint? Here are 5 easy ways to get started and go green today.

  1. 1. Create Opportunities

    This broad categorization can be broken down into smaller steps based on your company’s available resources and dedication to a greener initiative. For starters, supply personal recycling bins or a few central larger bins that are meant solely for recyclable waste in your working space. Reach out to your building manager to ensure you have the right supplies necessary to carry out these initiatives as easily as possible.

    Also, simply shutting off lights not in use can cut down on energy waste. Reorganize your space to maximize daylight and help make artificial light less in demand. This helps reduce electricity costs, but can also help improve productivity and health in the workplace.
  2. 2. Pack a Lunch

    Lunch bags aren’t typically considered an office supply, but by providing each employee a customized reusable lunch bag, you may cut down on considerable waste. It encourages others to bring reusable containers and silverware from home rather than relying on plastic utensils and dishes meant for one-time use.

    Tip: Reusable bags are also unique promotional gifts that can help set your company apart from all the bags, pens, and notepads handed out at trade show events or open houses this year.
  3. 3. Provide Education

    Make eco-friendly behavior part of your company’s overall messaging. Whether you include tips about conservation in your internal newsletter or include best practices for green living in your email campaigns to clients, there’s always room to share best practices for how to help protect the environment.

    Take it a step further, and let others know you’re going digital with documents to prevent waste. Brochures, newsletters, and other marketing materials can all be created online and still have a meaningful impact on your audience.
  4. 4. Say No to Plastic Bags

    Reusable bags aren’t reserved only for farmers markets anymore. In fact, many cities are encouraging the use of them for grocery shopping or other smaller day-to-day errands. Based on numbers from the Wall Street Journal, Americans use and dispose of 100 billion plastic shopping bags every year.

    While this number has hopefully declined in recent years as sustainability has increased, the stats are still alarming enough for every business to consider using reusable bags for their business.

    As one of the most eco-friendly office supplies, reusable shopping bags help the environment, while also providing a big boost to brands through customization.

  5. 5. Take Inventory

    Employ your office manager or marketing coordinator to take regular inventory of the office supplies you already have. Too often, in preparation for events or meetings, companies will order additional supplies rather than checking on current surplus.A regular habit of tracking inventory will give you a more accurate tally of what’s needed, which helps save on waste and company costs.

Planning for the Future

Companies and consumers are becoming more mindful about the way they treat the planet and understand that many actionable items take little effort at all. As you make plans for an eco-friendly future, start small by swapping out certain office supplies for those made of recycled materials or items that promote sustainable living.

Encourage conservation of utilities whenever possible. And, make sure you’re also providing earth-conscious options for customers who wish to buy from companies that care about the environment.

Big Plans, New Year – The Weekender Is Here to Help!

pens_jan_headerimage_1200x628People across the country work a 9-to-5 schedule, in a hurry, following the same routine day after day. Once the weekend rolls around, rather than relaxing, time is often spent running errands or doing chores around the house. It can feel just as hectic as the work week. Does this sound familiar?

If it does, just know it doesn’t have to be the norm. By making small changes to your lifestyle, you can free up more quality time to do more of the things you enjoy with the people you love. If that sounds good to you, check out our just- launched month-by-month calendar guide: The Weekender.

We’ve curated the ultimate, online calendar flipbook that will help you feel motivated once the weekend sets in, so you can make the most of your days. It provides small goals, helpful quotes, and words to live by to help you achieve the kind of work-life balance that promotes healthier,happier living. Who wouldn’t want that for the new year?

Set Your Sights High in 2017

A fresh start always feels good and new challenges can be invigorating. Don’t fear New Year’s resolutions; they don’t have to be daunting. No one says goals should come with time constraints or limitations. Instead, this year, make your resolutions matter for the rest of your life, not just the rest of the year. For starters, how can you introduce more joy into your life?

Is it by staying organized? Trying something new? Stepping outside of your comfort zone? The Weekender inspires making changes that reach for something a little higher than “more time at the gym,” one of the top resolutions tried and failed year after year.

The Weekender focuses on a different concept and fresh ideas every month that include the kind of small things that make a bigger difference for the year overall. For example, January invites you to “plan it out,” May asks you to “slow down,” and September entices everyone to “unplug and explore.” Maybe not every month will speak directly to you. Take what you need from the calendar and leave the rest.

Use the Weekender to Recharge

There’s no doubt about it – the week can get hectic. There are deadlines to meet, routines to follow, and goals to achieve. It seems counterintuitive to slow down, take more breaks, and do things that may have nothing to do with work. But, in many ways, approaching your day-to-day in this way actually helps with productivity, creativity, and your overall energy.

Take a chance starting in January to introduce some of these new habits into your life and see if you can tell a difference in how you work, act, and feel. Write down what you want to achieve for the month and review what’s worked for you. Share The Weekender with co-workers, family, and friends and set goals together to help keep each other accountable.

Enjoy these final days of 2016 and look forward to what 2017 will bring!

2016 White Elephant Gift Guide: Office Edition

If you’re looking for a perfect White Elephant office gift for your holiday office party, consider this your official gift guide!White Elephant Gift GuideThe memo went out on Friday – “Office party: Meet in the conference room at 3pm, bring a side dish and a White Elephant gift (valued at around $20).” This sounds fun enough, right? The office holiday party always ends up being an event worthy of water cooler talk for weeks to come. But what should you buy as your White Elephant gift? If you’re looking for something fun, safe-for-work, and memorable – as well as inexpensive, consider the following ideas.

White Elephant Gift Idea 1: A Box of Wine

Just because most White Elephant gift exchanges tend to applaud the inclusion of silly or outrageous gifts, why not combine something elegant – but then give it a twist? Wrap up some wine, but make sure to buy your favorite boxed varietal to elicit a few laughs, and most likely appreciation, from your co-workers. Step it up a notch with a funny wine glass – extra points if it fits an entire bottle of wine.

White Elephant Gift Idea 2: Silly Mugs

Mugs are universally popular, since most likely more than one person in your office gets their day going with coffee. But why not order a silly mug that can deliver a hilarious and personal message that only you and your colleagues will understand? Choose from an assortment of customizable mugs to help create your perfect White Elephant gift.

White Elephant Gift Idea 3: Outrageous Calendars

One gift that keeps on giving all year long is a desk or wall calendar, and you can find some truly goofy calendars to pair perfectly with an off-the-wall office party in no time. One of the most popular calendars this year is the “People of Walmart” calendar – itself a 365-day visual reminder of some of Walmart’s most…unique shoppers.

White Elephant Gift Idea 4: Desk Accessories with a Twist

Consider ordering a “high-heel” tape dispenser, or a “funny face” pencil/pen holder to add to your office partner’s desk accessories, then watch as they think, “Hmm… this is pretty silly, but I’ll actually use it!” Office-themed gifts are perfectly suited for White Elephant gift exchanges as they’ll likely get used quite frequently and they’re an easy reminder of your office friendships.

White Elephant Gift Idea 5: Fun Card & Board Games

Cards Against Humanity comes right to mind, but virtually any fun card or board game will work at your office gift exchange. Keep it safe for work, but don’t be afraid to push the boundaries a bit and purchase an irreverent game that will have everyone in stiches while playing.

White Elephant Gift Idea 6: Noise-Isolating Headphones

This gift might be looked at as your way to subtly block out the office chatterboxes, but good quality headphones are also a sought-after gift for audiophiles and gamers. Search online and you can easily find a pair of headphones or earbuds for about $20, then wrap it up and watch as the lucky recipient opens your thoughtful and office-appropriate White Elephant gift!

If you’re on the planning end of the office’s White Elephant festivities, keep the following ideas in mind:

  1. 1. Understand the history of the holiday tradition with our fun White Elephant infographic
  2. 2. Lay out the rules early on so the invitees understand the process
  3. 3. Provide some examples of appropriate gifts to make shopping easier
  4. 4. Create pre-numbered slips of paper to establish the gift order
  5. 5. Provide food and drinks – possibly “white foods” like ice cream or white chocolate
  6. 6. Have fun and create memories with your office buddies!

White Elephant gift exchanges are a big part of most office holiday party traditions, so keep your guests on their toes, laughing and engaged in the gift-exchange process this year!

 

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How to Reduce Work Stress with a Desk Sanctuary

A stress ball can only go so far. What sights, smells, sounds and small comforts can help turn your desk into a mental and physical place of relaxation?
Reduce Work Stress with a Desk SanctuaryThe statistics are quite revealing – more than 40% of adults report that work stress is “very or extremely stressful.” A professional may have 50-100 unique tasks or projects in play at any given time, and today’s litany of distracting mobile devices and social media streams can inhibit productivity and incite additional stress. Office stress is real, but there is something you can do about it – convert your desk area into a work sanctuary!

Here are the 4 S’s on how to reduce work stress:

Work Stress Tip 1: Sights

One of the easiest ways to minimize stress at work is to create pleasing sightlines for the eyes. Consider spending an hour or two de-cluttering your workspace. You’ll feel lighter, less affected by the “noise” of the office, and you’ll minimize distractions that can quickly derail even the most productive of employees. Make sure to tidy up each night before you go home so you return to a fresh and organized workspace the next morning.

You can also create visual harmony by adding some personal touches from home. Bring your favorite accent pillow and use it as a back support for your desk chair. It’ll remind you of your happy home and can add some life to the office’s décor. Clean up, minimize clutter, and add a few personal touches to enhance the overall look and feel of your work desk.

Work Stress Tip 2: Smells

Instead of relying on an aerosol can of room air freshener to brighten up the smell of your office, consider a natural remedy. Bring in living plants that can naturally freshen the air, while adding a sense of organic beauty to the office. If you’re near a window, consider using natural light to keep your plants or flowers healthy – they’ll thrive and you’ll feel great seeing something alive and green right in front of you each day.

Other stress reducing products include natural air fresheners like teakwood wick sticks that can be soaked in a specially-fragranced oil, or any of a variety of scent diffusers on the market today. Scents that have proven over time to deliver a sense of calm are: lemon, rosemary, cinnamon, lavender, and pine. Just be sure your coworkers aren’t sensitive to any scents before you bring them into the office.

Work Stress Tip 5: Sounds

Isn’t it outrageous to think that office productivity generally increases when some background noise is allowed in the workspace? Background noise generators can help to relax the mind, aid in concentration, and minimize anxiety for some individuals. Something as seemingly basic as streaming music through your phone while working can help hone your focus during the day – just make sure to keep your device properly charged and cradled so it’s always ready to go.

Work Stress Tip 4: Small Comforts

There is a reason why stress balls and other desk gadgets are such popular stress reducing products – they really work to minimize anxiety and enhance productivity. Take a three-minute break each hour to de-stress with a favorite stress reliever or other anxiety-management desk product, then watch as you work more efficiently and concentrate more effectively throughout the day.

Creating a small sanctuary in the workplace isn’t as hard as it sounds. Focus on the aesthetics of your work area, the smells and sounds of your workspace, and the stress-relieving items you choose to keep at arm’s reach. Do so, and you’ll start to feel better almost immediately and kick work stress to the curb!

4 Ways to Relieve Holiday Stress for Marketers

The holidays aren’t always necessarily about limitless joy. If you’re feeling anxious this season, consider some of the stress-killing tactics below.

Best Ways to Relieve Holiday Stress

People often refer to this time of year as the Season of Joy, or a time to be merry, but for some of us, especially marketers, the holiday season is a stressful time of year that isn’t quite as fun as all those holiday commercials indicate. There are deadlines to be met, clients to satisfy, and next quarter planning to be done. This all must be done before everyone goes on holiday vacation, so there is typically an even bigger crunch for time.

If you are feeling anxious about the holidays, consider the following holiday stress tips to minimize any negative feelings you may be having. Then, get into the holiday spirit so you can better enjoy time with your friends, family, and all the social activities on your calendar!

Holiday Stress Tip 1: Exercise

One of the most effective ways to skip the holiday blues and enjoy this joyful time of year is to get your body moving. Take a 10- or 15-minute break every day for a brisk walk, hit the treadmill before work, or even go for an indoor swim to raise your spirits and elevate your mood. Even if you can’t get away from your desk while at work, you can work out your arm (and any of your frustrations) with a soft stress ball. Anything to get your body moving will help minimize sensations of anger, frustration, and fatigue.

Holiday Stress Tip 2: Watch your food intake

It is so tempting to grab snack foods and sugary treats during the holidays (the breakroom is usually full of them) but try to resist! Yes, many of us tend to use the winter season as an excuse for poor eating, but empty-calorie foods and sugary sweets can cause energy crashes and don’t contribute to a sense of well-being. Instead, try to consume more vegetables and fruit than you normally do. Then, incorporate lean proteins and healthy fats to round out your diet and cut down on the holiday stress (or guilt). It is amazing what a healthy meal can do for your sense of wellness.

Holiday Stress Tip 3: Plan ahead

The holiday season is often characterized as an idyllic time in which to spend with family around the fire, swapping stories, exchanging presents, and eating delicious home-cooked meals. In reality, the holidays can be a logistics nightmare – requiring you to plan for extra busy times at work, balance visiting family members, elaborate food preparation duties, crazy shopping malls and expensive gift lists, and more. To help minimize stress this holiday season, consider ordering a desk calendar to more easily plan and execute your holiday strategy. Writing out lists and reminders is often helpful to feel organized and in control during the hectic holidays.

Holiday Stress Tip 4: Be generous

You can send customized gifts to your business relationships to solidify your commitment to them. It’s the season of giving, and the smallest kind gesture can automatically make you feel happier and calmer. Also, instead of fighting to create the perfect holiday experience for everyone on your list, simply approach each day by asking, “How can I be more generous to those in my life?” This doesn’t mean spending a ton of money on gifts or overdoing the holiday experience. Instead, create something personalized or creative that can show those around you how much they mean to you.

This festive season, don’t let holiday stress and anxiety take all the fun out of what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. Get moving, eat right, plan ahead, and act generously, and you’ll bring a sense of levity and fun to the months ahead!