5 days of S-mas: Shine

The 5S step we’ll be discussing today is “Shine.”  Compared to “Sort” and “Straighten”, this step is relatively simple, but very important!  In manufacturing, this step ensures that work spaces are clean, well-lit, and generally pleasant to be in.  For our purposes some of the cleaning took place in previous steps, so today we’ll explore ways to minimize distractions, give yourself a rosy outlook, and generally make your mind a place you want to be.

Use these 3 steps to “Shine” up your mind!

1)Eliminate distractions

Distractions can be hard to manage, especially in an increasingly technological world.  Luckily, the same technology that makes it easy to stare at your phone for hours on end can *also* be used to help tear yourself away from it and get some work done.  Personally, I’m a fan of ClearFocus to get myself rolling and binaural beats to drown out the buzzing in my mind.  However there’s tons of productivity systems, website blockers, and music (or background noise) to choose from for these purposes.

The best approach is to test a few and see what works best for you.  Don’t be afraid to switch things up if one works for a bit, but then starts to be less effective.  The point isn’t to find one perfect app or system, but to get yourself used to focusing on your work when needed.

2)Reduce judgement

Judgement seems more rampant than ever these days.  While everyone’s lives being displayed via social media certainly make it easier, having an opinion about other people’s business has existed long before, and may even be used to strengthen social bonds.  However, distancing yourself from such negative discussions will massively improve your mental well being.  Not only does it free you from icky feelings like disdain and self-righteousness, but it also prevents you from seeing someone in a skewed light (which could likely undo any social bonds that were supposed to be strengthened!)

Stopping yourself from judging others starts with being able to not judge yourself.  Giving yourself permission to live your life to the fullest will pave the way for accepting the right for others to do the same.  After all, while our common ground might bring us together, it’s our differences that make the world such a wonderful, vibrant place.  Live and let live, as the saying goes 🙂

3)Add joy

Yesterday we discussed bringing your most positive thoughts to the front of your mind, and trying to actively take note of the good things around you.  While noticing these things is the first step, bringing in activities and relationships that bring more light into your life is where you really start to see results!

Try something new, whether it’s taking an art class you’ve been considering for ages, or reaching out to a coworker you’d like to get to know better.  Anything that gives a little spark to your day (or week!) is a step in the right direction.


That’s it for “Shine”!  Your challenge today is to write down (or comment below) 3 things you’ll be doing to minimize distractions, reduce judgement, or add joy!  Tomorrow in “Standardize” we’ll be exploring ways to automate minor decisions and streamline your thinking.  Until then!





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