Many people say that if you love your work space, you're most likely to be more productive and perhaps even love your job a little bit more. Whether you work in a regular 9-5 or you have a home office, you probably have a work desk!
I just moved to a brand new desk at work and I remember thinking - "now I can make my desk pretty similar to those pretty Pinterest ones". This thought reminded me of being in high school & my promise to myself every new term to be super neat and organised.
But unlike my many failed attempts in high school, I was determined to make my work desk resolution a reality. I wanted it to be professional, yet fun and personal. I wanted to be less annoyed at Mondays, because at least I'd spend it on a pretty desk. And I loved the fact that it was a white desk! Ever notice how most Pinterest home/workdecor is white?
Anyway, few days after my perfect-work-desk-self-proclamation, I stumbled on an article along the lines of "8 Items to Have for the Perfect Work Desk". I clicked on it so fast and with excitement in my heart. But it left such a horrible after taste in my mouth. Simply put it was a poor article, more or less promoting specific items with a link to purchase them.
I hit the close button as fast as I could and decided to do the most sensible thing. Figure out what one needs on their work desk, and write my own article on it. Who knows, perhaps on a random google search one would stumble on this article instead of that, and be saved a mini heart attack.
So here's what I think should be on your work desk. For the perfect mix of efficiency yet a touch of you.
1. To-Do Note Pads, Pens, Sticky Notes & Stationery Organiser
No need to take chances at work. Yes you have an incredible human brain & memory capable of retaining so much information. But you know how terrible you feel when you forget something important? Plus there's that saying that the shortest pencil is better than the longest memory. So simply put, to be efficient you need to write it down. Ticking off your daily tasks also brings a sense of achievement. Don't forget you need a pen / stationery organiser so these aren't scattered on the desk.
And sticky notes are handy for those necessary reminders. Some people also love to write motivational phrases on their sticky notes. That's fab! At the moment I've got a sticky note which reminds to say a line of prayer in the midst of my work!
2. Water bottle & Cute Mug
If you plan to meet your recommended daily allowance of water, this is a no brainer. It saves you frequent trips to the kitchen. It's advisable to invest in a good water bottle free from BPA (a chemical that's present in many plastics and not good for your health). If possible, avoid refilling the plastic bottles used for store bought bottle water. Remember to infuse a bit of your personality into your choice of bottle. And a mug is handy for your morning or afternoon tea or coffee. I'm currently looking to buy a mug with the letter 'K' on it!
3. Tissues / Wipes, Hand Santiser & Hand cream
Not to gross you out, but it appears there could be five times more bacteria on the average keyboard than the inside of a toilet. Yuck. So no brainier there why you probably need a hand sanitiser often. After which a hand cream helps you moisturise frequently! Wipes are handy for general cleaning, including spilled food, water or drink. Not to forget that sneeze that comes up with no warning!
4. Personal Photos / Memories
Some people absolutely believe in a strict separation between their private lives and their work life. And I sort of understand why. One of my colleagues had a number of framed photos of her boyfriend on her desk. And when they broke up, the entire office knew straight away. But nonetheless, I think it's okay (and actually advisable) for a bit of your personality to show at work. Photos are often the most popular. Whether it's of our family, pets, or friends, a quick glance at the photo could improve your day. They also act as great conversation starters with colleagues. Many parents also often have a cute drawing or writing done by their kids! Other than photos, post cards and travel relics also spice up your desk!
I think these are pretty much the essentials! But if we take it a step further, you need some more goodies in your office drawers:
5. Spare charger & headphones
It's so annoying when my battery goes flat & I have to send a bulk mail asking for a charger. It's worse when no one has! Save the stress & leave a charger permanently in the office. And you need headphones too for those moments of zoning out and / or five minutes of musical bliss.
6. Gum / Mint
Two reasons. Your lunch may have been super yummy & tasted great, but the after smell is probably not good. Save your co-workers! And secondly, because gum is often all you need to prevent dosing off at your desk!
7. Light Snacks
I say light, but some people have well stocked mini supermarkets in their office drawers and who am I to judge. In actual fact, my former colleague with such a stash was often a life saver. Such that it almost became an office rule that he shopped weekly for the entire team. Nonetheless, having a snack or two (that doesn't go bad easily) is necessary for those times you're simply peckish or bored (if like me, you love to eat when bored!)
8. Lint Roller
Because no one knows where Lint appears from! But we sure don't want them on our clothes - especially not before an important meeting.
9. Personal Hygiene items
Dental Floss? Deodorant? Perfume? Toothpaste & toothbrush? Sanitary towels? You decide. But for ladies the last item is recommended. Make sure you have a stash at work. And avoid speaking in code with other ladies when a surprisehappens!
That's it! We're finally done. It may seem trivial, but it really isn't. I confirmed this fact when I was recently at my husband's office. I was totally convinced that his desk was too bland and not one I'll love to from everyday!
So what's your desk situation? In your 9-5 or your home office. What have you got on there that you love & helps you to be productive? Or do you prefer to work from home with your laptop in bed? Let us know. And if you're still a student (enjoy the freedom!) and share how you'll love your desk to look.
pS: No, I didn't forget the +1. If possible, it's great to have a plant on your office desk. It's pretty, but more importantly it's a simple way to help improve the air quality around you and contribute your bit to the environment. Research also shows that a plant on the desk helps reduce stress and improve productivity. So get one now!