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9 Ways to Get Inspired from Your Desk

Photo taken by Stephanie Wesolowski

Staying constantly motivated at work can be tough when you’re sitting in your office for eight (plus) hours a day. With all that intense and stationary work, it’s no wonder most of us leave the office feeling exhausted and depleted.

But it turns out that a few small actions and habits can make all the difference in keeping your energy, creativity, and enthusiasm up. Here are nine ways to get inspired without even getting up from your desk (although, that helps a lot too!).

1. Tidy Up, Tool Up

Inspired work simply can’t be done in the midst of a mess, so give yourself the clean slate you need (and deserve!) by making sure that your workspace stays organized and uncluttered. Also make sure to invest in the tools you need—those favorite pens, that great planner. Give yourself permission to get anything that helps keep you excited and motivated to work.

2. Enhance the View

Surround your immediate workspace with simple, visual pleasures, like a small print or beautiful calendar. And skip the family vacation photos—instead display a picture or item that reminds you of ordinary, everyday happiness. This will help inspire you to make today a great day, rather than leaving you wistful for Spring Break.

3. Start with Something Beautiful

Before you open your email, kick-start your creativity by visiting a favorite website, blog, or Pinterest board (the more visual the better) that makes you feel happy and good. Of course, this is an easy way to get sucked in to the Internet rabbit hole—so limit yourself to no more than five minutes.

4. Stretch Your Brain

It’s important to engage with resources, news outlets, and people that challenge you to think differently. You don’t always need to agree with them—if fact, sometimes it’s more helpful if you don’t. Find a blog or website that lets your brain be a tourist in someone else’s point of view, and see if it shifts your thinking.

5. Connect with Your Stars

Pick a few role models that you’d like learn from. Each day, commit to connecting with them by reading a little from their book, listening to them being interviewed, or checking in with their Twitter feed.

6. Make Time for Humor Therapy

When you work for or by yourself, you can often go throughout an entire day without laughing. But this is a hazard to your creativity (not to mention your health)! Take a 10-minute humor break during the day by catching up on the latest clip of The Daily Show or reading something from The New Yorker Humor Archives.

7. Pick a Theme Song

Music is a powerful influencer of your mood. Find a song that captures your current intentions or aspirations, and crank it up when you feel a motivation slump coming on.

8. Keep Your Goals Visible

Many of us invest time to set goals for ourselves—only to leave them buried in our desk drawers or hard drives. Give your goals a fighting chance by posting them somewhere in your office where you can easily see them.

9. Keep Your Best Feedback on Hand

There’s nothing like great, unprompted feedback to really make your day. The trouble is, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it when you really feel like you need it! So, make your own day by recording the great feedback you receive in an easily accessible place (like a word doc or small journal), and reviewing it whenever you need a boost.

This article was written by Adelaide Lancaster and published in Forbes Magazine.

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