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10 Motivational Workplace Items to Brighten Your Day at the Office

10 Motivational Workplace Items to Brighten Your Day at the Office

It’s nearly impossible to feel motivated at work all the time. Sitting down at your desk after lunch can seem like one of the most challenging parts of the day. You’ve worked hard all morning, your belly is full, and now you’re tired. Maybe you feel the pressure of a deadline looming over you, and instead of knocking out the work, you can’t bring yourself to start it.

Motivational challenges become even greater when you don’t particularly enjoy your job, or when you’re tasked to do something you dislike. You can be the most energetic person in the world, but when faced with work that makes you unhappy, your energy level will plummet.

Changing your environment can increase your energy

If you’re the person dragging yourself from project to project without any enthusiasm, it may be worthwhile to look at your environment. Is your work-space dirty or disorganized? An office space that looks bad, smells bad, or makes you feel uncomfortable and unwelcome could be contributing to your lack of energy.

Our environment can serve as a reflection on us, but it can also influence our mindset. Research has shown that creating a positive and motivating work station can contribute to our success, while working in cluttered and unwelcoming environments can keep us down. UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families did a study that proved that clutter affected stress levels, mood, and self esteem. [1]

Artwork can also impact your effectiveness. Surrounding yourself with creative works inspires more creativity. Warm scenes can be comforting to you. A survey suggested that 83% of employees found that artwork was an important part of the work environment.[2]

Keeping objects that inspire comfort and happiness improve your motivation and productivity.[3] The average workday takes up at least 1/3 of your time. It makes sense that making your workstation inviting and filling it with messages of encouragement will improve your mood and your work.

10 Items to bolster your motivation at work

Here at Lifehack, we’ve tracked down ten items that would make great additions to your office. These practical goodies harness the power of language to brighten your environment, inspire you, or make you laugh. Happy, motivated, and passionate workers are more productive, and they have more fun too.

1. Inspirational Pen Set

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    You can never have too many pens, but these inspirational pens by Sweet Water Decor add a splash of color and positivity to your day. You won’t have to look far to get motivated.

    Inspirational pens by Sweet Water Decor $18.00

    2. Ban.do design Compliment Postcard Book

      Frame these compliment postcards to display around your work space, or use them to send positive vibes to your coworkers.

      Compliment Postcard book by Ban.do Design $10.00

      3. 30 Day Challenge Notepad

        Sometimes we just need a little reminder to savor the good things and live life to the fullest. Remind yourself by taking the 30-day challenge. Each sheet contains a simple phrase that you can use to set the right tone for your day.

        30-Day Challenge Notepad by Urban Outfitters $12.00

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        4. New Look Dream Big Pin Board with Cloud Pegs

          This pin board is fun and functional. Use it as a vision board, or tack up photos and quotes that make you happy.

          New Look Dream Big Pin Board with Cloud Pegs by ASOS $21.00

          5. The Monster Mug of Motivation

            Add some quirky and cute monsters to your coffee break. With monsters encouraging you with sayings like, “Keep doing the thing,” it’ll be hard not to smile and keep moving forward.

            The Monster Mug of Motivation by Katie Abey Design $13.85

            6. You Got This Motivation Book

              Take a look at this book when you need a confidence boost, or select a favorite quote to motivate you throughout your day.

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              You Got This Motivation Book by ASOS $11.50

              7. Knock Knock Today’s Plan of Attack Great Big Stickies

                Add a little humor to the task of prioritizing your work. These giant sticky notes can help you stay focused during those busy times.

                Today’s Plan of Attack Big Stickies by Knock Knock $5.92

                8. Conquer Your Year: The Ultimate Planner

                  Break down your big goals into actionable steps and keep track of everything you need to do with this planner. There’s plenty of room to think and reflect in these pages.

                  Conquer your year: The Ultimate Planner by Natalie MacNeil $8.98

                  9. Paper Lovers Book: Inspiration

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                    Make office art from your favorite quotes and patterns, create greeting cards, and make fun paper gifts to brighten your coworker’s day. Easily switch out your crafts so that you always have something fresh and new to decorate your office.

                    Paper Lover’s Book: Inspiration by Kikki.K $29.95

                    10. Andaz Press Motivational Framed Desk Art, Do Epic Shit

                      For a quick pick-me-up, this framed desk art bears a simple reminder about the type of work you should be doing. Next time you hit that 2:00 PM slump, look at your desk art, and make epic things happen.

                      “Do Epic Shit.” Motivational Desk Art by Andaz Press $12.99

                      Featured photo credit: Kaboompics via kaboompics.com

                      Reference

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                      Brian Lee

                      Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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                      1 Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead 2 How to Change Careers When It Seems Too Late 3 7 Steps to Achieve Career Success on Your Own Terms 4 The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever) 5 How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

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                      Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                      Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

                      Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

                      Have you ever caught yourself in a daydream where you’ve gone for that upcoming promotion, and you’re now the boss at work? Or how about the one where you’ve summoned up all your courage to quit a job where you’re feeling stuck in your career and live your dream instead? Or when you’ve changed career paths to do what really makes you happy?

                      Then, you snapped back to reality and realized that you’re not the boss, not living your dream, and not even happy in the career path that you’re on.

                      Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals who’ve told me they feel stuck in their careers, that something had to change for them to break free and be happy, but they lacked the confidence to take that step. My mission is to make sure that nobody feels stuck in their career because of a momentary lapse in bravery that’s dragged on for too long.

                      Read on to find out how you can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work. .

                      Here are my top ten tips for becoming unstuck in your career.

                      1. Make Time for You

                      If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, or unhappy with how your career is panning out, the first step is to work out why.

                      Maybe you’ve arrived in your current career by accident and haven’t ever made time to deliberately think or plan what you’d love to do and how you’d get there.

                      Prioritizing time to think is the first step you need to take to stop feeling stuck and start getting ahead. Book some time into your day where you can have an uninterrupted meeting with yourself. This is your thinking time.

                      Work out what makes you happy at work, what doesn’t, and where you might want to go. Decide on the steps you want to take to progress your career in the direction that you want it to take.

                      For example, are there training days, evening courses, or online learning that you can do? Have you considered getting a mentor to help you get ahead?

                      By booking in a meeting with yourself, it signals it’s important (to you and your colleagues) and also stops others spotting a gap in your day and filling it with a meeting.

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                      2. Grow Your Network Before You Need It

                      Who you know is more important than what you know for career progression. Don’t wait until you’re feeling stuck in your career to start expanding your networks. Do it now.

                      Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, says you’re 58% more likely to get a new job through your weak ties than through your strong ones. Your strong ties are those in your immediate circle whom you interact with often. Your weak ties are your friends of friends. They move in different circles to you, they know different people, make different connections, and are more likely to introduce you to new and different opportunities[1].

                      When I was thinking about setting up my current company, Lucidity, I turned up to every networking event. I drank a lot of coffees with a lot of different people to understand what they did, to ask for advice, to unpick what their problems were, and to look for opportunities for collaboration and connections.

                      It paid off because, when I launched my business, I let my network know how I could help them, and soon I had my first clients.

                      Pay attention to building and nurturing your networks and focus on how you can add value to other. That’s where your next career opportunity is most likely to come from.

                      3. Surround Yourself With People Who Inspire You

                      According to Tim Ferriss, “You are the average of the five people you most associate with,” and his associations with different people ebbs and flows depending on what he’s working on and trying to achieve[2].

                      For example, if you are trying to be fitter, it’s easier if you hang around with people who love doing exercise–they help you to up your game.

                      If you want that promotion, a career change, or to set up your own business, seek out people who are excelling at it already. They’ll have valuable things to teach you about breaking free and getting ahead.

                      4. Work on Your Personal Brand

                      Jeff Bezos defines a personal brand as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” People will talk about you when you are not in the room anyway, so you might as well be deliberate about what you’d like people to say!

                      Your personal brand isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. That can actually keep you feeling stuck in your career. It’s really about being your best “real you.” It’s about owning your strengths and being purposeful about how you want to be perceived by others.

                      What do you want to be known for? By being more deliberate about how you want to come across and what you’re looking for in your career, you’ll increase your chance of attracting the right opportunities.

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                      Once you’ve given your personal brand some thought, make sure that you show up online. Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? And if you don’t have one, get one. Make sure it communicates what you want to be known for and that it’s consistent with your other social media profiles.

                      Try these 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding.

                      5. Be Accountable

                      Achieve your career goals faster, and grow and learn by making yourself accountable. Tell other people your goals and a timeline. and have them to hold you accountable.

                      For example, you might want to get a promotion by the end of the year, have decided the sector you want to move to by the end of the month, or have got your new business idea before the next pay day. Whatever your ambitions are, you can tell a friend or a colleague, or share this with a mentor or a mastermind group.

                      When we tell other people our goals and intentions, they hold us accountable, and we are more likely to make progress faster.

                      6. Make Sure Your Values Are Aligned With Your Company’s

                      All the professional development, goal setting, and networks in the world won’t make you happy if you’re working for a company that ultimately has opposing values to yours.

                      Figure out what’s important to you in a job. For example, does your company’s product help people live a better life? Do you feel strongly about your company’s ethics and social responsibility? Does the company culture allows employees to be themselves and shine? Or maybe flexible working and more holidays for employees with families is where your heart is?

                      Some companies put their employees well-being at the core of their business; others put profits first. If you feel that your values don’t match the core values of your employer, it could be a reason why you’re feeling stuck in your career and unhappy.

                      It’s important to work through this and identify whether it’s the job that is not right for you, or if it’s a great job but the organization or sector is wrong for you.

                      7. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

                      Your comfort zone is your safe place. For any change to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone.

                      It’s actually much easier not to change anything and to keep grumbling on about how you’re stuck and unhappy in your career than to step outside of your comfort zone to address the fearful unknowns associated with change. It’s part of human nature that we’d put up with the devil we know rather than risk the devil we don’t.

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                      This is true even if the devil we know is a boring, unfulfilling job because we’re wired to think that making a change to find a better option might actually leave us worse off.

                      If you feel stuck, it might be that your confidence has got the better of you.

                      To get ahead at work, start taking small steps outside of your comfort zone. Consider what you’re scared of that is stopping you from making a change. Then, tackle that in small steps.

                      For example, if you know that to move into the job you want, you’ll have to do more public speaking, but public speaking terrifies you so much it’s stopping you from going for the job, then start small to build your confidence. You can speak up more in team meetings, then slowly build from there.

                      You might also choose to set up or be part of a specific group. One of my clients, who found that confidence was holding her team back in achieving work goals, set up a “get out of your comfort zone club,” where they challenge and support each other to build their confidence by regularly leaving their comfort zones.

                      8. Learn to Embrace Failure

                      Failure is part of life. A New York University study found that children learning to walk averaged 2,368 steps and fell 17 times an hour[3]. Failure is simply the natural path to success.

                      The truth is that we don’t get everything right the first time. We fail, we learn, we pick ourselves up, and we try again.

                      In my experience, it’s common that whilst the theory of learning from failure is supported, the reality of being open about failures to enable personal learning is much harder to achieve.

                      We don’t like to admit that we’ve failed. We have a fight or flight response to failure. It’s a normal gut reaction to ask ourselves: “Will I get away with it if I don’t tell anyone?” We are fearful of criticism, of losing face in front of others, or even being fired for failure.

                      However, if you’re going to stop feeling stuck in your career, you must be open to learning from failure.

                      Reframe failure by viewing everything as an experiment because you can’t have a failed experiment—you just learn whether something works or not. Think of Edison inventing the lightbulb, when he said:

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                      “I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

                      9. Build Your Resilience

                      Resilience is the ability to tackle difficulties and setbacks, to bounce back, regroup, and to keep going.

                      Getting unstuck in your career, taking a different path, and achieving the results you want will take resilience. Having resilience is also the capacity to choose how you respond to the unexpected things that life throws your way and adapt and thrive in times of complex change.

                      Given that the world we live in is in constant flux, and the only thing that is certain is uncertainty, the ability to adapt and bounce back is an important life skill, as well as a career skill.

                      In her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth’s research shows that when measuring success, the ability to persevere beats talent every time.

                      Learn more about how to build resilience in this guide: What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

                      10. Ask for Help

                      It can be hard to ask for help, as it can make us feel vulnerable.

                      No one person can be expected to have all the answers. That’s why we need a group of people that we can go to for help, people who can pick us up when we have setbacks and also help us to celebrate success.

                      My advice is to be deliberate about creating your group. You can do that with a tool called a “Me Map”:

                      1. Write down all the things that you might need support with, like help with career progression, interview practice, making new connections, talking through business plans, learning from failure, etc.
                      2. Next to each thing, write the names of the people you go to when you need that particular thing.
                      3. Make sure you get in touch and regularly connect with them.

                      Final Thoughts

                      You can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work by applying the tips in this article. Start small by incorporating three new things in your first week, and then adding more as your comfort zone and capacity expands.

                      Remember, no matter how stuck you feel, it’s never too late to make a change and land the career that you truly want.

                      More Tips to Stop Feeling Stuck in Your Career

                      Featured photo credit: NEW DATA SERVICES via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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