(my desk at home)
In the last few years, I’ve had a lot of desks. Like…a lot of desks. The down side of getting one or two new work spaces a year is that there’s a lot of schlepping of stuff that goes on. The up side, however, is that I have gotten really good at knowing exactly what I need to have within reach in order to be organized and successful.
- Color. I don’t know how people function in work spaces that are bland and one-dimensional. My desks always have pops of color, whether they’re the metal buckets that hold my pens, different desk accessories like scissors or staplers, multicolored pens and post-its, you name it–color is a must for me.
- Inspiration. This takes a lot of forms for me. In my office at home, it’s a poster of inspirational quotes, a bunch of post-its full of messages I write myself or my sister or husband write to me (one of the notes in the picture above says “put on pants! A+”. She gets me.), or the different post cards and buttons I’ve collected in my travels. In my office at work, it’s the artwork that my clients create. My walls are covered with handprints, pictures, sculptures, glitter works, snowflakes, and other artistic expressions of the work they do here. What other inspiration could you need?
- My planner. As tech-savvy as I am, I am basically incompetent without my pen-and-paper planner. I love my google calendar, but nothing will ever replace the usefulness of writing something down and having a quick way to refer back to it, as well as being able to look ahead a year. Having my contacts, schedule, and life notes in one place (without having to switch between apps or scroll through screens/tabs) is essential.
- Post-it notes. Oooohhhh my goodness, post-it notes. However did I survive without post-it notes??? I have these things everywhere, in multiple sizes and colors: on my desk, in my work bag, stuck to the back page of my planner for easy accessibility. I’ve got little tabs, full-sized, lined, and in every color of the rainbow. Post-it notes are great for writing a quick reminder and throwing it into the planner on the week it’s needed, writing an inspirational message to myself to stick onto my computer or a friend/coworker’s notebook, to scheduling tentative appointments that might need to get moved from day to day, for marking a page in a book or a signature line for a client–post-its, in short, are fantastic.
- A mug of coffee. Self-explanatory. Bonus points for hilarious mugs. (You can’t see it well, but the one in the picture above has dots on it that turn into constellations when you add hot liquid. I’m obsessed.)
- Sorted desk supplies. One of the biggest tips you see on “how to get organized” lists is “keep your stuff sorted.” I follow this pretty close to the letter. Also, I like fun buckets and different colors, so having my pens and markers sorted is a win-win for me.
- A to-do list. I would be so, so, so screwed without my daily to-do list. The amazing office manager at my internship prints off a copy of our schedule each day, so I often just pencil things onto that, but I’ve always got a pen and paper handy to jot things down. I sometimes write things down that I’ve already done just so I can check them off, because I am a Huge Loser.
- A snack. Or food of some kind. I’m the kind of person who can’t focus if my blood sugar’s low, so I’ve often got crackers or granola bars stashed away in my drawers. My home office is right next to the kitchen, so I don’t always have something right at the desk, but I try to keep something close so I don’t interrupt the workflow.
- Pictures. At both my home and office desk (though not seen above, because I’m getting it re-framed) I have pictures of my family and friends. They remind me of why I’m here and what I’m working for, and nothing cheers me up faster than a glance at my husband’s cute face. It is a very cute face.
- Natural light. This one might be cheating, but I am a huge believer in the power of sunlight to brighten a workplace, a mood, and a productivity level. I always try to put my desk near a window and to take advantage of the natural light as often as I can. I often leave my fluorescent office lights off as often as possible to work just by sunlight, because I find I have much more energy.
And that’s my desk! This has been A Post.