Be Happier at Work: Try This Simple Desk Update Today

published Mar 17, 2016
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(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

I believe that small details can have a big impact on your life. Example: I recently stepped up my desk game—and it’s made me more productive, potentially healthier and definitely happier. It’s something that pretty much anyone who works at a desk can do.

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(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

I do work from home, so I already have the advantage of liking where I work. My commute may be short, but my desk organization still tends to derail mid-week. Paperwork piles, clutter and unusual odds and ends…by the time Friday rolls around I usually can’t remember what my desk’s surface looks like. But, I can tell you that some recent changes I’ve made to one corner of my desk have made a big difference in not just what my desk looks like, but how my work day feels:

→ Treat a corner of your desk like a small snack spread you lay out for guests when you entertain at home.

If you enjoy putting out something special for your friends when they visit your home, it’s because you like treating them well and I bet they appreciate that you spend time and attention on them. Why not spend a little bit of that energy on yourself on a daily basis?

In my new daily desk design, I’ve made room for a spread that includes a big tea pot (I don’t have to refill as often), a “nice” tea cup (it makes me smile!), healthy snacks in “cute” dishes, a nice water carafe (not pictured) and a small bouquet of flowers).

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

In a practical way, this snack set-up helps me stay focused—I don’t constantly get up and walk to the kitchen for more tea or water—and having healthy snacks means I don’t forget to eat all day and binge on something unhealthy after work (and it also helps me stick to my goal of eating small amounts of food more often versus one or two big meals).

In a more intangible way, seeing this snack spread in my peripheral vision while I type (and having it in easy reach) is a very visual way of showing myself that I value me. That I deserve to be treated as nicely as a guest with cute plates and fresh flowers. It has had a surprisingly big impact on my daily demeanor. It doesn’t make the work less stressful or my schedule less busy, but it does make doing it all a little more more enjoyable (and my desk a lot better looking).