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Personalise your Desk

By: Paul MacKenzie-Cummings - Updated: 6 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Personalise Your Desk

On average, we spend more than a third of our waking hours at work and as many as 25 per cent of us put in up to sixty hours a week, making the British the hardest workers in Europe. Our desks become more than just a place to do work; they are used for eating, drinking and even sleeping. So it makes sense to make the most of your desk and add your own personality to your workspace.

Here are seven tips to add some ‘life’ back into your working day.

Get Personal

According to the ancient Chinese science of feng shui it is good to have something on your desk that reminds you of a non-work related part of your life such as a favourite picture of your children on holiday or Fido running after next door’s cat – anything that makes you smile and offers some light relief during stressful times at work.

Feng shui suggests that family pictures should be placed in the middle and top-right hand corners of your desk and other images, such as holiday’s snaps, need to be positioned on the left.

Get Moving

The British Chiropractic Association recommends getting up form your desk every forty minutes to prevent joint pain, muscular tension and eye strain. Exercise in the middle of the day enables you to focus on something other than work and can leave you feeling re-energised and more productive for the rest of the day.

Allow time to get out of the office and go out for lunch or coffee instead of sitting at the desk where you spend so much of your day. Turn off your phone, Blackberry and laptop and take some ‘me-time’ away form work. These may seem like frivolous acts but you will return to work feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Chill Out

Take time out for yourself. If you are staying at your desk turn on the iPod to drown out the background noise of the office with sounds you enjoy listening to. Better still, find a quiet part of the office, put your feet up, read a book or magazine, call a friend or take a different route to work.

Getting lost in an activity completely removed from your day to day duties is a great de-stressor and when you return to work you will be refreshed enough to take on the rest of the day.

Go Green

…and give life to your desk by buying a plant. Research by the University of Surrey revealed that plants can decrease stress on the one hand while enhancing productivity by 12% on the other.

Another study by Oxford Brookes University showed that indoor plants offer a guarantee of positively enhancing perception and contributing to the well being of office workers. Plants have even been proven to reduce the effects of office noise, too.

De-clutter Your Desk

A recent survey revealed that workers are falling victim to ‘Irritable Desk Syndrome’, with 40 per cent of office staff admitting that their desks were normally piled high with files, dirty mugs and scraps of paper, but most couldn’t be bothered to do anything about it.

Put aside some time in the morning to clear up your desk, organise your files and papers and give your computer screen and keyboard a wipe.

Be honest and ruthless with your re-organisation. As you pick up each item consider whether it really is useful to you. If not, then bin it. You will feel much more clearheaded and less distracted. Remember, everything has its place.

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