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6 Personal Must-Haves Items That You Need At Work

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6 Personal Must-Haves Items That You Need At Work

We spend many of our waking hours at the office. Given that reality, it makes sense to have a few items at work that help you to stay productive and happy.

The following items will greatly improve your quality of (work) life. Do you have them?

1. An Office Sweater

Sweater

    Have you ever worked in an office with powerful AC? When you first walk into the building, it is refreshing and puts a smile on your face. But you can have too much of a good thing. For those days when your office AC hits you like a January day, an office sweater will come in handy. Instead of complaining about the cold, simply put on your sweater and immediately become more comfortable.

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    Tip: Bring a sweater that is simple and professional. Avoid slogans or anything else that you may need to explain to your boss or customers.

    2. A Small Personal Grooming Kit

    Hair Brush

      Whether you’re facing wind, rain or shine, it is important to look your best at the office. That’s why many professionals have a small grooming kit at the office. For men, you may be able to manage with little more than a comb and a small shoe cleaning brush. For women, you may need more items.

      As you prepare a grooming kit, keep in mind the limited storage space you have at your workstation.

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      3. A Few Snacks

      Almonds

        Bringing your own snacks to the office is a smart move for a few reasons. First, you will be less likely to indulge in expensive, high sugar candy. Second, you will be able to eat immediately – no waiting in lines!

        There are many different options to consider in the area of office snacks. You could buy a package of protein bars and put it in your drawer. Or you could you pack almonds, a durable super food that provides protein. As a general rule of thumb, high protein snacks are best to give you significant energy.

        Tip: Read this list of super foods for more ideas for snacks to bring to the office.

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        4. A Dress Up Item!

        Bow Tie

          Yikes! The CEO suddenly decided to visit your office on casual Friday. Your chances to make a good first impression are at risk.

          If you plan ahead, you can address this problem. You may want to bring a tie and sports jacket to the office and keep them there for surprises. A neck tie is a great personal item to sharpen your image because they are small, easy to store and signal a higher dress code.

          5. A Good Book

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          Business Book

            From time to time, there are slow periods at the office. For times like those, I suggest keeping a good professional book at the office. To get started, try 15 Inspiring Books Every Leader Should Not Miss or 10 Books To Become A Better Project Manager. For those stressful days at the office, having a good book to read for a few minutes is a great way to take your mind away from the stress of the daily grind.

            Tip: Is there a classic book about your company (or a biography of your founder or CEO)? If so, consider adding that back to your cubicle desk. It is a great way to signal your commitment to your company.

            6. A Phone Charger

            Phone Charger White

              A dead cell phone is deeply frustrating! All of your contacts, emails, games and other useful materials are locked into a useless device. Spending $25 or $50 on a spare cell phone charger is a great way to avoid this problem. With an office charger in place, you will be able to leave the office each day with a full charge.

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              Tip: Some phones will let you charge by connecting to your office PC, but that may not always be an option. Make sure that your “office phone charger” will work with an AC outlet.

              Featured photo credit: Office/tpsdave via pixabay.com

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              Bruce Harpham

              Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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              Last Updated on October 21, 2021

              How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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              How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

              Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

              Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

              The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

              Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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              Program Your Own Algorithms

              Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

              Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

              By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

              How to Form a Ritual

              I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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              Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

              1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
              2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
              3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
              4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

              Ways to Use a Ritual

              Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

              1. Waking Up

              Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

              2. Web Usage

              How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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              3. Reading

              How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

              4. Friendliness

              Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

              5. Working

              One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

              6. Going to the gym

              If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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              7. Exercise

              Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

              8. Sleeping

              Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

              8. Weekly Reviews

              The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

              Final Thoughts

              We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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              More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

               

              Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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