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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

                      More by this author

                      Brian Lee

                      Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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                      Last Updated on August 19, 2019

                      20 Critical Skills to Include on Your Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

                      20 Critical Skills to Include on Your Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

                      A resume describes your critical skills in a way that compels a hiring manager to want to meet you. That is a resume’s sole purpose.

                      And make no mistake: Writing a resume is an art.

                      Today each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes on average, and somehow yours will need to rise above the competition. It’s actually harder to snag an interview from an online posting than to get into Harvard. But don’t let that intimidate you. Instead, open your laptop, roll up your proverbial sleeves, and let’s get to work!


                      Employers generally prefer candidates with skills that show leadership ability, problem-solving ability, and perseverance through challenges. So in the resume, you should demonstrate that you’re a dynamic candidate.

                      Refine the skills on your resume so that you incorporate these resume “musts:”

                      1. Leadership Ability

                      Even an entry-level employee can show leadership. Point out how your skills helped your department ascend to a new level. Capture leadership attributes with compelling statements.

                      Example:

                      “Led change that drove efficiency and an ability to cut 800 error-free payroll checks.”

                      2. Problem-Solving Ability

                      Most employees are hired to solve problems. Showcase that ability on your resume.

                      Example:

                      “Led staff in campaign to outrival top competitor’s market share during a down cycle.”

                      3. Perseverance

                      Have you been promoted several times? Or have you maintained margins in a down cycle? Both achievements demonstrate persistence. You look like someone who can navigate roadblocks.

                      4. Technical Skills

                      Consider including a Key Skills or Technology Skills section in which you list computer and software skills.

                      Example:

                      “Expert-level knowledge in Java.”

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                      5. Quantified Results

                      Nothing is quite as attractive as objective results. Did you increase sales by 25 percent? Win three new clients? Surpass the internal goal by 15 percent?

                      Use hard-hitting numbers to express your point. State the result first, and then provide a sentence or phrase describing the critical skills you applied to achieve the milestone.

                      Example:

                      “Boosted sales by 200 percent by developing new online platform that made it easier for customers to compare and contrast sizes, textures, and fit.”

                      6. People Skills

                      Employers prefer congenial staff members to prima donnas or mavericks. Relate your strongest soft skills.

                      Example:

                      “Organized, hard-working staffer who listens well and communicates effectively.”

                      7. Passion in the Field

                      Recruiters and hiring managers can intuit whether candidates care about their career performance by the dynamism behind the descriptions of their skills on their resumes. Are your efforts “transformational” or merely “useful?” Were your results “game-changing” or boringly “appropriate?”

                      The tenor of your words reveals whether you’re passionate or passive. (But don’t overdo it. See the “Hyperbole” section below.)

                      8. Being the Entrepreneur within the Corporation

                      Whether you took the initiative to create a new synergy or worked independently to land an opportunity, share how you furthered organizational goals through your self-directed efforts.

                      9. Your Adaptability

                      Have you switched career paths? Weathered a corporate takeover?

                      Make it clear that your resilience helped get you and your organization through the turbulence.

                      10. Confirming Your Expertise

                      Every job posting states experience requirements. Ideally, you want to meet these requirements or best them. But don’t exaggerate.


                      While proving that you possess the credentials described in the job posting, you can still stand out if you are able to offer additional special skills to showcase your personality.

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                      Consider adding any of these special accomplishments, if true:

                      11. Referencing Award-Winning Talents

                      If you played center on your college basketball team that made it into the Top 10 finals, then working collaboratively and cooperatively are among your natural callings. Be sure to say so.

                      12. Unveiling Your Work Persona

                      If you were repeatedly singled out for your stellar performance in work settings, becoming employee-of-the-month, top revenue generator, and so on — it’s worth mentioning.

                      13. Capitalizing on Commonalities

                      From Googling the hiring manager, you discover that she was formerly a Peace Corps volunteer in Belize. Listing your Spanish immersion course in Central America may draw her attention to the other outstanding skills on your resume.

                      14. Highlighting Creative Tactics

                      If, for example, in your HR role, you piloted an employee incentive program that became an industry model, include it. Such innovative thinking will command an employer’s attention.

                      15. Specifying All Accolades

                      Listing any honors received instills confidence that you will bring that level of perfectionism forward in a corporate environment.

                      16. Transferable Skills

                      You spend your spare time conducting your community orchestra. Highlight this after-hours pursuit to show that you have the critical skills needed to keep a team on task.


                      Take note: Hyperbole can hurt you. So, show your credibility.

                      Although it may be tempting to use embellishments to boost your experience, improve your job title, or enhance your education, resist. These days, a five-minute search will reveal the truth. And taking self-inflation too far could easily come back to destroy your career.

                      Hiring managers have their antenna up for resume hyperbole. A survey shows that 53 percent are suspicious that candidates are often dishonest.

                      Follow these guiding principles when writing your own resume:

                      17. Accurately Describing Your Degree

                      Make sure to differentiate between certificates attained and degrees earned, along with the name of the institution awarding them.

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                      18. Stating Job Duration with Honest Dates

                      Honesty is the only policy when reporting the length of a particular job. If you’ve been out of work for an extended period of time, state the reason you have gaps.

                      Whether you traveled, had to cope with a family emergency, or went back to school to change your professional track, communicate the positive outcome that came from the hiatus.

                      19. Claiming Only the Skills You Truly Possess

                      Unless you’re proficient in a software program or are fluent in a second language, leave any mention of them off.

                      Conversely, if you feel like you must include them, then accurately qualify your level of competence.

                      20. Being Honest About Your Role in a Project

                      You may think you were the lead person because you did most of the work, but chances are your supervisor thinks otherwise.

                      Besides the 20 critical skills to include on your resume, here’re some important notes for you.

                      Bonus Tips for Writing a Resume

                      You Only Have 6 to 7 Seconds to Impress the Employer

                      Hiring managers and artificial intelligence “bots” may spend only 6 to 7 seconds perusing your resume, which means you need it to teem with essential skills, quantifiable achievements, and action words.

                      If, in fact, you believe that a “bot” will be analyzing your resume before it even lands on a hiring manager’s desk, be sure to include some of the actual key words from the posting in your document. There’s no reason why you can’t customize your resume to each job posting.

                      Another tip: Be sure to show your resume to a few individuals who work in your field, so that you can fine-tune the information as needed.

                      Starting at the Top

                      The Objective at the top of your resume is optional if you’re seeking the same job you already have, just at different company. However, if you’re switching fields, it’s critical to include an Objective, which is a one-sentence summary of the job you want.

                      For example:

                      Objective: To become web editor at a thriving news website.

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                      If you’ve been in your field for ten years or more, you will probably want to include an Executive Summary. This is a one-sentence takeaway about who you are, including the critical skills you amassed throughout your career.

                      For example:

                      Executive Summary: Award-winning creative director with over ten years experience managing teams on three continents.

                      Depending on your field, you may also want to add some skills as bullet points in the Executive Summary section.

                      And what about your Education? If you graduated from college within the past ten years, include your Education just below the Objective section (and forgo the Executive Summary). If it’s been over ten years since you graduated, then include your Education at the very end of your resume. Only cite your grade point average (G.P.A.) if it was exceptional—3.7 G.P.A. or higher, or if you won scholastic awards.

                      Ideally, the critical skills you amassed during college, at your previous job, and throughout your career will add up to a riveting portrait of a professional who’s ideally suited for your dream position: You.

                      Tailor, Tweak, and Fine-Tune

                      If you’re targeting different kinds of organizations, you’ll need customized resumes for each outreach.

                      Don’t be afraid to parrot some of the words on the list of requirements back to the company. Many times, organizations will actually use the key words mentioned in the job posting when screening resumes.

                      Approach Your Resume as a Skills-Based Story

                      Like any good storyteller, lay out the framework at the beginning. Include the skills you’ve mastered and state how you can add value—wording your sentences in a way that reflects the specific job you’re seeking.

                      Are you vying for a sales position? Quantify your results: “Responsible for 50 percent of all sales that resulted in $750,000 in annual revenue.” Use your critical skills, peppered throughout your resume, to tell the exciting story of your distinguished professional career!

                      Researching the organization that you’re targeting will help you make your examples specific. Does the company cater to a particular audience or clientele? Be sure to note any experiences you’ve had with similar audiences.

                      Putting It All Together

                      A resume is not a laundry list. It tells a cohesive story. Your story should highlight your qualifications and critical skills in a way that makes a logical, well-constructed case for your compatibility with the organization and its advertised position.

                      Packaging your story into the concisely prescribed format of a resume means that it will read as a synopsis — one that will hopefully land you the job.

                      More About Work Skills

                      Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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