We spend a lot of our lives at work.
In fact, the average American will spend about 90,000 hours at work over the course of their lifetime.
Given that staggering number, it’s important that your workspace is a place you feel energized, inspired, and comfortable. After all, not only are you spending a significant portion of your day there, but you’re also doing important work that’s getting you closer to your personal and professional goals! (More on setting those here.)
Productivity and happiness increase when we’re surrounded by items that spark joy.
Here at Ink+Volt, we *love* good desk accessories. While the essentials are the most important, it’s also good to have fun with your space and make it a place you actually want to spend time — whether that’s by decking it out with inspirational quotes, photos of loved ones, or just really pretty notepads.
Here are four easy ways you can bring some personality to your desk or workspace, and in turn, get a boost of creativity and happiness every time you sit down to work.
Surround yourself with inspiration
We all need a little inspiration now and then. Whether you’ve hit a creative block, you’ve had a tough day, or you just want to start your day off on a positive note, keeping motivational accessories and reminders on your desk can be a great way to make sure your workspace is one that keeps you feeling energized and inspired! Here are some of our recommendations:
- Notepads with motivational text: These sparkly notepads come with dice, stars, clovers, or horseshoes, and each of them has a different inspirational message, so you can pick the one that speaks to you the most! Will it be “Shoot for the stars,” “Make it count,” “Play to win,” or “Hard to find, lucky to have”? The choice is yours!
- Affirmators Cards: These inspirational-but-not-cheesy cards are the perfect pick-me-up to keep on your desk for whenever professional inspiration is needed. The deck includes 50 unique cards filled with fun illustrations, positive thoughts, and inspiring messages geared toward your work life that are sure to give you — or a co-worker in need — an extra dose of “you can do this!”
- Inspirational Coasters: Inspire. Sparkle. Brilliant. Radiate. These inspirational words are screen-printed on gorgeous wool-felt coasters — the perfect way to inject a little motivation into your day each time you pick up your coffee cup.
- Inspirational quotes: If you’re decorating on a budget, or are feeling crafty, consider researching some inspirational quotes that speak to you and writing them down on a Post-It or another piece of paper you can tack to your wall in a place you’ll see it. You can even make your own beautiful quote by coloring in a page from this inspirational coloring book. Try using washi tape or brush pens to give those inspiring words an even more beautiful look and feel!
Add some color
There’s a lot of research out there around the psychological effects of color.
A University of Texas study, for example, found that gray, white, and beige offices heightened feelings of sadness, while introducing color helped increase happiness. Many psychologists say that red, for example, promotes feelings of warmth and intensity — it can signify love or aggression — while blues tend to evoke feelings of serenity and calm. Yellows are warm, bright, and energetic, and greens are restful for the eye so can act as stress relievers.
It’s easy to add a pop of color to your workspace! Here are some of our suggestions for colorful desk accessories:
- Ink+Volt Brilliant Series Planner: If you haven’t already snagged your Ink+Volt planner for the year, may we suggest one of our brightest and boldest colors in our Brilliant Series! The jewel-toned planners in this collection are total eye-catchers that are as brilliant as you are. Use this planner to set your intentions and goals for the year, then use the monthly challenges and calendars to propel yourself forward.
- Colorful pens: Raise your hand if you color-code your planner and notebooks! I love using Gelly Roll gel pens to bring some colorful sparkle to my daily notes. (See more of our favorite gel pens here!) If you’re more of a ballpoint pen person, you can’t miss the stunners on this list. If you prefer black or blue ink but still want that splash of color on your desk, I’d recommend the Lamy Safari fountain pen in yellow, pink, or red! (Read more about our favorite fountain pens here.)
- Washi tape: Washi tape is one of the trendiest crafting tools out there, and for good reason! Use the colorful, patterned tape to decorate your workspace, calendar, planner, or notebook; apply labels for extra organization; or craft!
- Colorful calendar: I look at my desk pad calendar probably five times a day. I love this beautiful pink floral weekly desk pad — it has space to jot down your focus and goals for the week as well as events, daily tasks, and plans. And the colorful florals are just the right touch to keep you smiling and motivated all day long.
Keep your loved ones close
Some of my personal favorite desk accessories are the photos I have of my friends and family. Having reminders of my life outside of work is important to help keep me grounded, centered, and reminded of *why* I’m working so hard in the first place!
If you feel like your workspace could use some touchstones to your personal life, here are some accessories that will do the trick:
- Gratitude journal: Maintaining a gratitude practice is a proven way to increase overall happiness. You can find some great tips on how to start your own gratitude practice here, but one thing that I’m always sure to include in my journal is notes about special or memorable moments with my loved ones. By keeping your gratitude journal close at hand, you’ll be able to easily reach over and flip through those beautiful memories, which can be the perfect antidote to a stressful workday.
- Framed photos: I love surrounding myself with photos of my friends and family, so picture frames are an absolute must for my desk! If you’re looking for the perfect frame for your favorite photos, I love simple, wood frames like this one.
- Cards and notes: Keeping notes and cards from loved ones nearby can also help you take a step back and reflect on the beautiful and happy things in your life. If you’d like to start a correspondence practice, we recommend any of these gorgeous stationery sets!
Bring in nature
Whether you have a green thumb or not, there are a surprising number of benefits to being around plants and nature. A University of Exeter study found that having plants in an office can actually increase productivity (up to 15%!) and improve employee morale and satisfaction.
Here are a few ideas to help you green-ify your desk:
- Real plants: If you’re bringing plants inside, you’ll need one that can thrive in artificial light and room temperatures. Some beloved, hard-to-kill indoor plants that could make great office mates are snake plants, succulents, cacti, and ZZ plants. If regular watering isn’t your thing, you could always try fresh flowers! Bouqs is a flower-delivery company that has a subscription option, so you could refresh your desk with blooms on a weekly or monthly basis!
- Fake plants: If your thumb is less-than-green, or if plants just aren’t allowed in your workspace, you could try faux foliage. I love these mini succulents that are less than $5 from Ikea and these from Target, but you can always check your local craft or furniture stores for more options.
- Plant-themed accessories: If room for plants — real or fake — is minimal, you can always turn to plant or floral-themed accessories to bring the great outdoors to your workspace. We love this four-leaf clover notepad, these floral notebooks, and this garden-esque weekly desk pad!