By Afiq Jauhari
No, we’re not talking Angry Birds.
For most of you, your working space is your second home unless you’re an auditor, bank officer, or lawyer, in which case the long hours you’ve clocked in pretty much classifies it as your first home. Just like every home, your working environment deserves a touch of yourself in it to keep you driven, remind you of your goals, and motivate you as the hours go by.

If you work in a cubicle, here are some tips for keeping your working space alive. If you happen to have your own office, well done! These tips would still liven up your working space anyway, so read on.

Photo-up Your Space
Don’t just hoard all those digital photos; print them out and paste them on your cubicle. We’re not saying to make a wallpaper out of your photos. Pasting up 1 – 2 photos of family, friends and enjoyable moments help cheer you up when you are feeling down. Only put up photos that trigger positive feelings in you – avoid pictures of ex-partners or passed-on pets that leave you feeling dreadful.
De-cluttering Your Mind
Ask any home designer and they’ll tell you that a clutter-free mind comes from a clutter-free environment. Make a point to keep your desk as neat as possible. Just spend 15 minutes a day (most of the time you’ll need less than that) before leaving your office to sort out the mess you created while looking for that darn agreement. That 15 minutes will be worth it when you step into work the next day to a clean, clutter-free desk!
Plant Your Future
Just because it is your workplace, doesn’t mean you can’t take care of your young ones. Plant a seed of your favorite plant, and watch it progress day-by-day with your love, care, and constant watering. It can be soothing to see some things are already in your control while waiting for that perfect promotion.
A Touch of Yourself
Each person has some element that makes them tick whether it be music, dance, poetry or a favorite TV show. Whatever it is, this element defines you, and makes you, you. Bring a token of this element to your desk as a personalized reminder of your identity, and who you are as a person. Do make sure your token is tactful though – remember, the way you organize and decorate your cubicle is a reflection of yourself to your colleagues and superiors.
Inspiration is Might
Read any inspiring or thought-provoking quotes recently? Print it out and pin it up on your compartment wall. Part of your daily motivation comes from the energy of being inspired. Now that you know that, why not use it to your advantage? Pin up a different quote or role-model every 2 weeks or so – leaving the same material pinned up on your cubicle for too long will go unnoticed after some time.
Keep Organized
While we all wished that keeping things in order came as naturally to us as it did to Mary Poppins, some of us have to make an effort to at least initiate things. Having a system at your desk saves a lot of time and stress thinking of what you need to do. Keep your pending work that is due soon in one pile, other tasks that are not as important in another pile, and work that has already been completed filed neatly away. Constant discipline will help you start off your routine, and a simple to-do list updated every morning can help you maintain it.
Squeeze Me!
That’s right, we are talking about stress balls. Not necessarily an item that could brighten up your working space, a stress ball is almost an essential item to be on your desk. It is very effective in releasing pent up stress and energy, especially if you are prone to fly off the hook once in a way. Opt for a colorful stress-ball or even one with some quick-witted line written on it.
Find Your Inner Color
Are you a person who likes to see a splash of color instead of your boring and monotonous office walls? It is common knowledge that colors play an important role in influencing one’s mood. You may not be able to change the color of the wall paint, but you can bring color with you wherever you go. Get yourself a striking coffee mug or a multi-colored document holder. These are simple everyday items that you may need that can, indeed, make a difference. Beware or what you pick out, however. A teddy-bear patterned organizer can come of as childish and immature especially to your bosses. Choose something that is office-appropriate and not over-the-top.
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