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IMGCA Article - Concentration and Focus


The Art Of Office Zen

Damon N. Burgess

This is not the Karate Kid performing the Crane kick down at the beach with Mr. Miyagi, nor is it meditating like a Buddhist monk high in the mountains of Tibet. The word Zen gets thrown around all over the place; think of all the books labeled "The Zen of Blank". I do not wish to take a heavily used word like Zen and attach it to something that people will take and alter their life, consciousness, or spiritual understandings. No, I am going to use the word Zen how it was meant to be used and apply it to a specific aspect of life that we all deal with on a 9-5 basis, 5 days a week - Work.

Across the planet people have all sorts of jobs and some lucky people don't need them due to financial security. Applying Zen to your job is first applying a simple lighthearted approach to the pressures in life in general. So I am not going to set up rules that must be followed, nor should we look for a certain goal other than a more peaceful work environment.

Office Zen - A guide to Peaceful Work

The aim to here is to make your work environment soothing, productive, and peaceful. Now the word Office will apply to the environment that you work in regardless if you are in a literal office or not. If you are in a home office, with desks, bookcases, and all sorts of other office furniture, well that's your surroundings. If you are pumping gas, flying an airplane, or driving a truck, that's your office.

One Simple Rule

Simplicity is the first step toward a better working environment. When things are simple, they are easy to accept and understand. When things get too complicated, that's when things get stressful and start to invade any peacefulness you had established. So first off, see complex things as simple. Complexity arrives when it is too much for you to handle, you feel out of control and unorganized. It's the mental anxiousness that looks for what needs to be done, how, when, and why.

Don't linger over what you should have done or what you should do, but instead think of the now. Make your Office, your own. Find something small that you enjoy doing at work, and focus on that one simple thing. By doing that, it helps set up a foundation of seeing simplicity in even complicated demands. The complexity happens when you try to think of everything at once, instead of focusing on one task at a time. When you focus on one idea at a time it's digestible, and reduces stress, which in turns makes you happier.

When the mind is relaxed and centered you are more productive. The Zen of your work environment is a tool that can be used to help focus on one aspect of your everyday life, which in turn makes all the other areas more peaceful.

This idea may seem too simple, and your mind already wants specific things to do, or tasks, but that's it. It's a very simple idea and that's the point. When you can manage to focus on one thought at a time, and do each to the best of your ability, it will transcend through out your life. The most efficient people do this, they are not gifted with some super power, they are able to focus the task to their ability and better understand it.

As simple as it is, people over look it all the time. You can make your environment great or a nightmare depending on you perception of it. If you are a white color worker, your office or cubicle can be groomed they way you want it to keep you happy and relaxed. You may have an overload of emails, memos, and every day routines. The secret to multi tasking in an office atmosphere is to focus on one thing at a time. Having all your attention on one task lets you understand and evaluate it more. The more you understand, the simpler it becomes which reduces complexity and makes everyone much happier.

Let's say you are a blue collar working, granted you most likely are not sitting in a nice cushy ergonomic chair. Still nonetheless, be mindful of things that need to be done, but focus on one thing at a time. You would be surprised how well this works for anything.

The Art of Office Zen is an attempt to reduce the mental noise of complexity that we overload our minds with. All these negative things hurt your chances to be happy at work, home, and in life.

A happy worker is a productive worker, which is a benefit to what you do as well to yourself. Without delving into any spiritual hocus-pocus, we took one simple idea that works for anything.

No matter what you do for a living, keeping things simple won't make living complex work. No rules, or wrong ways about it, everyone is different, but one thing Office Zen can show that we all have in common is to be happy.

Damon N. Burgess is a search engine conceptualist, writer, and an award-winning designer. The founder of, a Long Island web design company, where his concepts come to life. Also the marketing manager of one of the largest online furniture stores on the net - One Way Furniture( ) More articles at

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