I've been doing office work for my family's businesses since I was about thirteen years old. That's 18 years of paperwork! Plus all the homework from school and college. In an effort to make the drudgery more fun, I have become totally addicted to fun and cute office supplies. I've used affiliate links where applicable to help fund this blog, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
- Get Organized. This includes tidying up the space around you. If your mind is bombarded with a stack of work AND a mess all around, it's overwhelming and overstimulating. Not what I call fun. I have found that setting a timer for 15 minutes and decluttering before I start the office work helps clear my mind and my space. I love these cube timers. They're so simple to use–just flip to the side with the minutes you want and it's set. The kids even use these to time their showers and their daily reading.
- Prioritize. Make sure you know what has to get done and when. Whether you use an online calendar or planner on your smartphone, or the big clunky desktop version; just use it. Personally, I'm partial to the big clunky variety. I'm the type of person that needs to SEE what needs to get done. I know this isn't as green, and I make up for that in other ways by recycling, composting, and breathing less. (Just kidding.) But, really, this is what keeps me productive.
- Drink plenty of water. This may sound completely ridiculous since you're not likely breaking a sweat while sealing envelopes. But when you're in the zone and all focused it's easy to forget to drink your daily amount of water. I have almost no natural thirst so if I don't keep a water bottle in front of me I'm not going to drink anything. The next thing I know, I'm getting a headache, craving unhealthy snacks, and cultivating kidney stones.
I don't know what it is about a straw, but if my water bottle has one, I'm much more likely to drink more. Perhaps I'm just too lazy to tilt my head. That's probably it.
- Take breaks. Coffee anyone? How about tea? I've totally fallen in love with loose leaf tea. With endless variety for every mood or taste, it's the perfect pick-me-up or bring-me-down. Taking regular breaks can help clear your mind and release the flow of ideas. My breaks usually consist of sipping on herbal tea, and staring into… nothing. You can call it weird or meditation but it seriously helps my concentration. Plus I freaking love mugs, so any reason to have more is totally legit.
- Walk around. I know we're all sick of hearing about how pedometers helps us take more steps. But, they really do. They help you realize just how behind or on track you are with your daily goals. It's so easy to let an entire day slip by when you're bogged down with office work. But getting up and moving helps circulate your blood and your thoughts. I love this one because it's thin and tracks your steps whether it's horizontal or vertical.
- Music. The right kind of music can sky rocket my productivity and boost my mood. And after paying all the bills is exactly what I need!
- Use pretty stamps. Once you've gone through the tedium of writing, typing, stuffing, and sealing, it's fun to use stamps that keep it interesting. The pretty ones cost the same as the boring ones so why not?!
- Fun paperclips. Are you even aware of how many paperclip designs are out there?! There are so many I can't even stand how fun it is! I've got swirls, elephants, lightbulbs, peace signs, flowers, hand prints, and so many more. It's becoming quite a collection. It's the little things after all and these silly clips make me happy.
- Colored pens. This totally goes for homework too. One of the biggest things I did to help study for tests was to write my notes in different colors. It helps so much when you're trying to recall information if you remember it was written in aquamarine ink under the purple stuff on biochemistry. I'm super picky about my pens too. They have to be really thin and NEVER bleed. These Stabilo pens are my all time favorite!
- Healthy treats. A little snacking throughout the day is good as long as you're picking something nutrient dense–meaning a lot of nutrients for the calories. A snack can keep you from over eating later on and keep your metabolism moving while regulating your blood sugar so you don't get groggy. I love this variety pack for a month's worth!
Whether you run a business from home, work in a cubicle, or simply have bills to pay, everyone has some sort of office work to do. How do you keep it interesting?