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15 ways to personalize your desk for ultimate efficiency


Whether you work in a cubicle or you have a corner office all to yourself, a personalized desk can up your motivation quotient and keep you on task throughout your workday. The key is to surround yourself with items that remind you of your “why”. Yes, the majority of us work for a paycheck to provide for ourselves and our families, but what is your bigger motivation?

Think about it and add items that remind you of your purpose. Your desk will become a source of inspiration when the days get long and tasks are less than thrilling. After all, you are likely spending 40 hours a week at your workspace. Make it an uplifting place to be.

  1. Organize

    Feel like it’s you versus your desk when you arrive at work? Stop the battle. Get organized and create systems. Adding decor will not help if your space is a cluttered, dysfunctional mess. Grab the desk organizer and office accessories you need to keep your space functional.

  2. Rearrange

    Simply moving things around can revive a desk that has become boring. Personalize your desk by arranging it in a way that works for you. Maybe you have a certain order that you like to work in. Set your workspace up in a way that flows with you and how you work.

  3. Switch out your chair

    If your office space came with a standard chair that is putting pressure on your back and neck, switch it out. Ergonomic chairs can make a huge difference in how you feel throughout the day and how comfortable you are as you work.

  4. Add some green

    Small potted plant on desk

    Green things make us happy—and I’m not only talking about money! Add some plants to your office space to bring the calming look and feel of nature right to your desk. No green thumb? Artificial plants still add beauty to your desk.

  5. Pictures and memories

    This one gets real personal. Who are the people that you love? Who are you doing this work for? Who and what inspires you? What memories bring you joy? Add some pictures to your desk area that make you have all the good feels. You could hang them across a wire, use a cork board, or create a framed collage.

  6. Post your goals

    You could use a dry erase board, a cork board or sticky notes, or even print off some documents to frame. Whatever you do, get those goals up where you can see them. Stay inspired by posting long-term and weekly goals on your desk.

  7. Illuminate for ambiance

    Woman working at computer by lamplight

    Desk lamps bring warmth into your space while also helping reduce the strain on your eyes. Get yourself a lamp that will brighten things up even on those rainy and dreary days. You could add some strings of fairy lights too for extra flair.

  8. DIY art

    Another way to personalize your space is by creating your own art. Jerzy Kosinski said “the principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.” Evoke your creativity as you work by displaying art that you created yourself. Pinterest has some great ideas.

  9. Word magnets

    Add some word magnets to your desk area. You can play with them throughout the day to brainstorm ideas, write new sentences, and create inspiring quotes of your own. Moving these around with your fingers can give your brain a break to help you solve problems faster.

  10. Spray paint

    No, I’m not suggesting you try your hand at graffiti on office walls. Use spray paint as an easy DIY update to the office accessories you already own, like wire file holders and pencil holders. Maybe your accessories no longer match the look and feel you are going for. Give them a fresh color.

  11. Coffee station

    French press and coffee mug in front of a woman working at a laptop

    Free office coffee is great, but why not personalize your daily cup of joe? Add a French press to your desk and a customized mug that makes you laugh or smile. Keep some flavored creamers or Stevia in your desk drawer and indulge.

  12. Cover your keys

    Typing on a keyboard all day can get boring. Adding key covers can make your keyboard more appealing and give you something pretty to look at as you type. Silicone covers or stickers you have a huge range of options to choose from. Some have even used washi tape.

  13. Personal whiteboard

    Get yourself your very own whiteboard to write yourself notes, reminders, and messages. Get different colored markers for your board and create a color-coding system. Having a place to write notes down immediately is a great way to free space in your brain. Wall calendars work well for this too.

  14. Desktop wallpaper

    While you are personalizing your physical desk, don’t forget about your desktop on your computer. Change the wallpaper regularly to organize your digital life and remind you of your progress and the things you love.

  15. Dream jar

    A goal without a plan is just a wish. Thank you, Antoine de Saint-Exupery. But it’s a start. Add a jar to your desk where you can put slips of paper that contain your dreams. Maybe there is a new skill you want to learn to be better on the job, or a networking event you would like to attend. Write them down and fuel your desires.

These 15 ways to personalize your desk are just a start. Make your workspace your own—even if you’re dealing with limited space and need some inspiration— and let us see your pictures on Twitter @quillcom.

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