What does your workspace look like? What do you have on your desk? Do you feel inspired and creative?
If you're building PowerPoint slides, one counterintuitive way to become more productive is to actually take a break from using PowerPoint on the computer and start sketching and drawing with old-school pen and paper.
It also helps if you are able to do this work in a well-designed space that inspires you and your creativity.
My desk setup
What you see in the main picture on this blog post is my actual desk at Abbott Nutrition in Columbus, OH. Most of my time is spent facing the other way, which is where my dual monitor setup is.
However, whenever I'm working on something new or ideating, I turn around and start to draw and sketch on the 11x17 paper I took out of the nearby printer. I love having all the post-it notes, colored pens, and sharpies on hand and ready to use.
The potted plants are all artificial, but they give me a sense of calm and peacefulness. The 12x12 square grass adds greenery and makes the office cubicle feel less cube and more trendy cafe.
Some people have a picture of their kids; I don't have any kids, so I have a picture of Finn, our Goldendoodle, and Riley, our Siberian cat. Looking at these pictures always makes me feel happy.
The fridge in the far right corner of the desk is always full of either Zevia Iced Tea or Coke Zero. Although we technically aren't allowed to have mini-fridges in our cubes, I plan on keeping mine until told otherwise.
Coworkers always walk by and compliment my cube. The thing is, it's not that hard or expensive to elevate your workspace. Since we all spend so much time at our desks, why not make it your own and add items that help you feel creative and inspired?
Here are a few ways to quickly and easily elevate your physical workspace.
Get a desk lamp
The one I have (and love) is from Ikea and was $45.
Offices usually have bright overhead fluorescent lighting that feels very clinical. If you're lucky, maybe you sit by a window with natural light that comes in throughout the day. Even if that is the case, I'd still recommend a desk lamp.
A desk lamp is functional and allows you to control the light directing it to what you're working on. Even though it's functional, it also serves as a decorative item that can reflect your style and personality.
Here are a few that I am eying for a future desk setup
Add some greenery
Go to your local Target and pick up some potted plants from their home decor section. If you're more ambitious, you can go to Home Depot or Lowes and pick up some live potted plants. I went this route at first, but I couldn't keep the plants alive, so I went back to artificial plants.
Plants, whether real or artificial, make a space feel nicer. It brings the outdoors indoors. It's a really easy and quick way to brighten up your workspace.
Find and display a Whatisthat
A "whatisthat" is something that will make people ask you, "What is that?" It's a great conversation starter and gives people who you may not know a reason to stop by and chat.
For me, it's the two framed pictures of Finn and Riley. But for you, it could be any item that is personally meaningful, quirky, or interesting.
Maybe it's a souvenir you got while backpacking across Europe after college. Or perhaps it's a mug your second grader made for you in their pottery class. Or maybe it's something cute you found while visiting the nearby Modern Art Museum.
Remember, you don't have to spend a lot of money to elevate your workspace. Adding small touches like a lamp, some greenery, or a personal item can go a long way in creating a comfortable and inspiring space.
What unique item do you have displayed on your desk at work?