We spend a lot of time in our offices! Even when you factor in meetings and errands, you’re probably in your office or cubicle about 5 hours a day. How often do you eat lunch at your desk? Ever spilled a cup of coffee on your keyboard? Yeah, me neither.
Because we spend so much time there, it’s nice to have a few items in our work spaces that inspire us, help us be productive, bring us some comfort, and motivate us. There are times when we need those items, right? Sometimes just a small memento can remind us of how far we’ve come, challenge us to push through some tough times, and bring some relief in the times when we think we just can’t keep going.
I keep a few things in my office that help me in those areas.
1. Focus Keeper app – I’m a little competitive. Not with other people; just with myself. This time keeping tool helps me compete with myself in a way that increases my productivity … win-win! The app includes a timer for productivity, and a shorter timer for a break. The goal is to see how many “rounds” of these timers you can complete in a work day. It’s helpful to have small, manageable time goals throughout the day to stay on track.
2. Gym bag and shoes – I try to go to the gym every day over my lunch hour. Keeping a gym bag packed with workout clothes and running shoes in my office certainly helps me stick to that plan. I find that having that time outside the office to sweat helps me come back to the afternoon refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day. Even if I don’t have time to get to the gym during the day, I will sometimes put those shoes on a take a short walk to clear my head.
3. Pictures of my nephews – My nephews are super important to me. They are a huge part of why I’m grateful for the work we are doing at LeaderShape. I want the world to be much more just, caring, and thriving by the time they’re old enough to attend the Institute. Seeing their pictures throughout the day certainly reminds me of that. They are such kind, funny, smart, and creative boys! Just seeing their smiles can make me smile and refocus my mind onto what’s truly important.
4. Music – This is high on the list of things I value. I often listen to the Productive Morning and Instrumental Study playlists on Spotify. It’s nice to have some quiet background noise that is unfamiliar so I don’t start whistling along On days when I have lots of conference calls and tasks to manage, I start the day with “Eye of the Tiger” … obviously. I think music is so critical in creating a tone, in pumping us up and creating a sense of calm.
5. Inspiring quote – I have some lyrics from a Dave Matthews song framed on my desk which reads, “Take what you can from your dreams, make them as real as anything.” My mother gave this to me a few years ago. Those lyrics are so inspiring to me because sometimes I need reminding to keep pressing on.
What do you keep in your office to help with productivity?
What do you keep in that space that inspires you?
Abby Prince is the Director of Program Quality and Management at LeaderShape. She spent 13+ years in the corporate world as a communicator and analyst before taking the leap into the world of not-for-profit. She hasn’t wanted or needed to look back. Outside of her career, she enjoys creating memories with her nephews, reading big books, rescuing dogs, and spending time in the kitchen.