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Summary:

That fresh air breezing through your office, which was so stuffy just a few weeks ago, those flowers blooming, finally breaking up the gray, that happy, new-leaf shade of green everywhere… It’s getting very hard to concentrate. I feel like closing my laptop and going out […]

That fresh air breezing through your office, which was so stuffy just a few weeks ago, those flowers blooming, finally breaking up the gray, that happy, new-leaf shade of green everywhere…

It’s getting very hard to concentrate. I feel like closing my laptop and going out for a picnic in the park.

I’m from San Diego, where spring is pretty much the only season. But I’ve lived in Paris for a couple of years now and I’m quite distracted by this springtime thing! Getting used to dark, cold days was a challenge. I never realized how essential brightness and beauty in my surroundings were to my productivity.

Without being conscious of it, I find that over the course of the last two years, I’ve gradually peppered my environment with touches of warmth and sunshine, both virtual and tangible. I put a Hawaii photo slideshow widget on my iGoogle page. I often pop in to the beach where I lived before I moved here via a webcam I bookmarked. There’s the kitschy little red Eiffel Tower on my desk and the bright red office chair I recently got at IKEA. Things like that.

What are your tricks for brightening up your surroundings and lifting your spirits?

If spring hasn’t quite sprung where you are, I have a little piece of happiness for you that might tide you over till the flowers start to bloom and remind you how good we web workers have it. It’s a song called 7 Days of the Week – Never Go To Work, by They Might Be Giants.

You can subscribe to a monthly podcast of other TMBG gems, which are guaranteed to brighten your day. You can also download them for free on the iTunes store or buy their CDs/DVDs. The one on which Never Go To Work appears is entitled Here Come the 123s.

Enjoy!

  1. Tabletop plants are great!

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  2. I have a brown thumb, not enough light in Paris, I’m a klutz. Otherwise, I’d do it!

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