Life At The Office

Let’s face it – a lot of our life is spent at work.  The average full-time salaried job is 40 hours a week but it seems that, for many of us, the work week is closer to 60 hours or so.  While I wish that there would be a culture shift to a compressed work week (say 30 hours??) and more time outside of the good ole time clock, a majority of our life is spent working.

With so much time spent in the office, it’s important to have a job you love.  I know many young professionals would settle for a job they can at least tolerate or somewhat like.  At one point, I had a job that drove me to heavily consider driving to Mexico rather than driving to work each morning.  We’ve all been in jobs that are just awful.  Even with the jobs you love, the time spent at your desk or in your office is substantial.  So, how do you get through?

Well, it’s important to have a little life in your office!  What can you do to spice up the square of space you spend a great deal of your life?  Perhaps you can’t change the paint color or you don’t have an office with a view.  There are other little ways to make your office your own.  Making your office a place you actually don’t mind physically being at is really important.

This is my office (please excuse the piles…).  I have a rather large office and a great, calming color scheme which I very much appreciate.  But, the decorations were really up to me.

Let’s start with the door.  Once it got cold, I decided I needed a wreath.  Now, every morning I’m met with a sparkling wreath that brings a bit of the outside world, in.

Once I’m inside my office I have all sorts of fun trinkets, pictures and do-dads that intertwine  my life outside the office to the place I spend a majority of my time.  First, I have my shelf of photos and quotes.  Whenever I’m having a bad day, need a little inspiration or just need a break from the grind, I glance up and am met with the smiling faces of some of my best girl friends, my adorable dog, a paperweight given to me by a friend when I changed jobs and a few great quotes.  Even just glancing at the shelf makes my office feel more like a part of my actual life rather than a place I just spend a LOT of time.

Below the shelf also sits pictures of Leadership Rockford (an awesome class I’m currently enrolled in), more pictures of some of my great girlfriends and a picture of my awesome family!  These wouldn’t fit on the shelf but I still found them important so I found a place for them on the desk.  I really do need an actual frame for the family pic… Oops…

To my right is another great collection of my life.  My dodgeball desk set makes me laugh and gives me a little something to take frustration out on or play around with to get creativity going.  Behind these hilarious wooden kids is my Scentsy warmer.  My office currently smells like black raspberry vanilla which is really calming and helps to make me feel more at home. 

Behind that, my beloved Illinois Wesleyan University mug and pom-pom.  I’ve had these two items ever since my early days at IWU and have always held important gadgets like keys, phone and sunglasses.  My college days helped to shape who I am today and, while difficult at times, helped me to prove to myself I can do anything I put my mind to… and maybe even enjoy it.

A few other trinkets in my office include a black high heel tape dispenser (for those of you who don’t know, I have a bit of a shoe thing… i think they call it obsession…) and desk blocks that have no purpose other than to make you laugh.

So that’s my office in a nutshell!  These are little ways I’ve helped my office become a place that I really like coming to.  The little trinkets around help to remind me why I’m here, what my passions are and that life goes on after 5p.m.  Some how, all of these help keep me grounded and dreaming at the same time.  Throw in a little bit of laughter, and I’m pretty much a happy camper!

So tell me… better yet, SHOW ME… how do you make your office more like you and less like a boring place to hang your hat for 8 hours (or more…) a day?  Post your office pictures to the IGNITE Facebook page or here on WordPress!!

-Caitlin

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~ by caitlinludwig on January 4, 2011.

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