Organization at Work – A Great Self-Motivator

This Just In: A Clean Desk is a Happy Desk

Did you just shudder a little reading the title of this post? Did you glance guiltily at your desk, the top of which hasn’t been seen since the Clinton inauguration? If you answered yes to either, let me reassure you all hope is not lost! And neither is the top of your desk.

In fact, organizing your work space can be as simple as setting aside 5 minutes a day. Impossible, you say? Too much clutter? You’d be surprised. To prove it to you, I offer you this challenge: Set a timer. Your watch, a timer on your computer perhaps, whatever you can manage. With a bag or your wastebasket at the ready, for 5 minutes throw away whatever you can see on your desktop that doesn’t belong there. If you need to, set aside any items that should be in drawers and not on the desktop. Don’t worry about putting them away right now; just set them off to one side. Work until the timer beeps. Stop.

Now take a look at your desktop. Seeing a dent in the madness? Chances are, 5 minutes took care of a lot more than you imagined! If you do this once a day, sticking to the 5 minute rule, you’ll find the top of that desk before you know it. When you’ve managed to throw away all that shouldn’t be there, you can start on the desk drawers and files. 5 minutes a day. Eventually, there won’t be any throw-away items left, and you’ll be able to commit those 5 minutes a day to organizing, and eventually even a little decorating with a few well-chosen personal items.

The trick is to never overwhelm yourself with cleaning. Don’t go over the 5 minutes, and you’ll find you won’t feel dread about tackling the disorganization, but instead you’ll actually look forward to it!

Now, depending on the current condition of your desk, this may take you a couple of days only, or it may take weeks. But don’t give up! The end result will be a clean, organized work area that will actually make you feel excited about sitting down and digging into your work for the day – it’s truly surprising! Nothing is a better motivator for working on a project than knowing where everything is, and having the room in which to do it. You’ll find your actions will motivate others around you as well. A new spring in your step? A whistle as you walk into your office first thing in the morning? It’s entirely possible, and with only 5 minutes a day.

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Games & Sports Items as Service Awards

For some people, a game or a sports item makes the perfect service award.  To them, it represents relaxation, fun, and time spent with family.  The possibilities are endless here: equipment for the family game room, camping items, golfing, fishing, fitness.  Overall, this group of awards encapsulates the sorts of things many of your employees may like to own, but might not spring for on their own.  Here are a few of our suggestions.

This Viscount Leather Backgammon Set (pictured left) is great for getting the whole family together, or for an evening of entertainment with friends.  It’s a luxurious set with a genuine leather carrying case and a suede playing field. Not your average electronic game that will be outdated by next year, the quality of this set will be around for a very long time.

Here’s a fun item for the family.  Metal detectors have come a long way over the years, and this Delta is a state-of-the-art unit with an LCD target readout. Of course the great excitement with a metal detector is the thought of what might be found!  Treasure hunters and explorers will enjoy having this as part of their service awards selection.

Chances are you have a few golf lovers on your staff.  While some service awards programs like to offer golf clubs, that can be a bit tricky for the recipient to choose.  Will they work for him or her?  Are they the right size? Instead of going with the clubs themselves, how about all the extras that make the game more enjoyable and exciting for the enthusiast?  There are a number of kits available here at General Motivation.  One of our favorites is this Golfer’s Perfect Accessory Set. The included Swiss Army Golf Tool is a must-have on the course.  It’s paired with a set of Callaway golf balls and presented in a collector’s tin. A practical shoe bag designed just for golfers; tees and a divot tool are included. Fob watch and fine leather scorecard holder complete the set.

Whether your employee is looking for something to enhance family time or tee time, there is a wide array of items you can add to your incentive awards to make games and sports lovers excited to hit that special years-of-service level. (For more information on these and other ideas, feel free to give us a call at 1-888/664-6449. Perhaps we can set up a friendly game of backgammon.  We’ll provide the snacks.)

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Cooking Up Practical Service Awards Ideas

You may have discovered a growing trend towards the practical.  This often extends to your employees’ service awards choices.  Perhaps your employees are leaning more towards something they need around the house, instead of something they’ve just plain always wanted.  But we feel these two things can merge quite nicely.  Yes, many of the more useful service awards may stray from becoming any sort of a keepsake, but there are some items that can be of great use – and value – to your employees long after the awards presentation is over.  Take, for instance, kitchen items.

We’re not talking cheap electric blenders and quickly-forgotten avocado colored fondue pots, either.  We’re talking practical, quality, enjoyable items to make that very necessary event – dinner – more fun.  And thanks to the great popularity of television’s cooking shows these days, more and more people are excited about adding something new and useful in the kitchen.  We’ve selected a few of the items we carry to share with you here.

Take, for instance, this Top Chef 9-piece knife set (pictured above left), officially licensed by Bravo TV and inspired by the popular cooking show.  Knife sets have always been a sought-after item in service awards, and it’s no wonder.  They make cooking preparation easy – even a pleasure – yet most people don’t invest in a good set, no matter how much they may want one.  A good set like this one will easily last a lifetime.

How about a solid set of cookware?  When times are tight, this is another item your employees will appreciate not having to purchase for themselves; and when a great set is part of your awards program, they may just be giving themselves a welcome upgrade from their current set.  Cuisinart has made a name for itself, and this 10-piece nonstick cookware set will definitely hold its own in the kitchen.  A good quality cookware set is another great practical item that will last years longer than the average lifestyle item.

Most families enjoy pulling together great feasts for the holidays, and with the feasts come great preparation.  Having something around like this Waring Roaster Oven will make life much easier.  Capable of roasting an 18-pound turkey, chefs will have their entire oven free for the rest of the dinner.  And next time you have an office potluck, you may even be able to convince them to prepare their famous baked beans for the whole crew!  Now, that’s incentive for everyone!

Adding practical service awards to your incentive program can be a welcome addition – just be sure to choose quality items that will give your valued employees years of daily home use.  Family life tends to revolve around the kitchen, so there’s no doubt adding some cooking items as recognition awards will give you one hot program!

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Never Give Up

If you could do anything with your life, without worry of financial constraints or fear, what would you do?

This is one of my favorite questions.  Ask it of yourself or someone you think you know, and either way you may be surprised at the answer.  So what is your dream?  Are you doing it now?  Whether your ultimate dream is to become head of your HR department, start your very own company, or buy that sheep farm you pass on your way to work each day, one thing is vital: Never Give Up!

Take, for instance, Nola Ochs of Kansas.  A 97-year-old grandmother, Nola is a college graduate.  She graduated two years ago, earning not only a degree but a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records for being the oldest person to graduate from college.  Her ultimate dream?  To get a job on a cruise ship as a story teller.  And guess what?  She got the job, took the cruise, told the stories… then decided to go back to college to pursue her Master’s.  A perfect example that even achieving your dreams isn’t the end of the ride.

Feel a thousand miles away from your ultimate dream?  Well, we all know it starts with the first step.  Steve Carrell of “The Office” once held a 3rd shift job as a cashier in a 24-hour convenience store.  Johnny Depp?  Sold pens over the phone.  Ozzy Ozbourne worked in a slaughterhouse. (I can’t help the irony here – I’m just reporting.)  Howard Stern drove an ice cream truck, Carrie Underwood worked in a gas station, Albert Einstein was a simple patent clerk, George Washington was a land surveyor, and he never even went to college!  You get the point – achieving your dreams doesn’t have anything to do with where you are now.  But it has everything to do with the direction you’re facing.

Taking one small step every day is important.  If you want to buy that sheep farm, read books on sheep.  Visit sheep farms on the weekend.  Wear wool on every opportunity.  If you’re hoping to write the Great American Novel, write at least one page a day, and allow yourself to write absolute crap.  If you have to rewrite the whole page the next day, you’re still closer to your dream than if you never started at all.

Obstacles?  Yes, there are always those.  Sometimes we can walk over them and sometimes we have to learn to fly first; sometimes they take a day to overcome and sometimes we have to wait a long time, like Nola Ochs, to see our dreams come to fruition.  As difficult as achieving our dreams can be, as frustrating and heartbreaking and seemingly unobtainable at times, it’s a far, far better thing to strive to reach them than to live without them.

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Finding the Right Company Award

Finding the right company award shouldn’t be so complicated, but with all the choices it often gets overwhelming.  Whether you need to order 100 for the big awards ceremony at corporate, or you only need one because Bob in sales finally won that trip to Hawaii and he needs a proper sendoff, there’s lots to consider.

Price is always a factor these days.  And of course you don’t want to skimp on quality.  Since most awards get displayed in people’s offices or workspace, you’ll want something nice for all to see, especially when it comes to visiting potential clients who will certainly be impressed with your successful staff.  (“Wow, that Bob of yours must be quite an asset!”etc.)  One suggestion we like to make that fits the bill on both price and quality is the acrylic award.

Acrylic awards have the look of crystal, while offering a great backdrop to your message.  The quality is excellent and durable, won’t break like crystal would when Bob accidentally bumps his Hawaii recognition award off the desk with his elbow (he’s a great salesman but a bit clumsy on occasion), and there are countless affordable choices whether you need one or one hundred.

Still seems overwhelming?  Yes, there is every possible variation, including color, shape, size, price, even theme.  So if you’re not the catalog browsing type and if you aren’t too hip on spending the bulk of your afternoon surfing the net hoping to stumble across a discount site that, by the way, may or may not be very trustworthy, we’d be happy to help you out.  Because as it turns out, we’ve been known to come up with some pretty good ideas if I do say so myself.  And we can meet your budget.  And make Bob happy with that shining award on his desk, long after the trip to Hawaii is nothing but a distant memory of luaus and sunburn.

So feel free to contact us with an “I need exactly this” or an “I have no idea what to get, but it has to have a polar bear theme.”  We can handle it.  In the meantime, you can check out a few award possibilities below. (And don’t miss the photo of Bob on his Hawaiian vacation!)

Here digital entrapment is used for a more customized look.

The Marquis Award

Star Column Award

Bob’s Favorite Vacation Photo

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