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6 Personal Must-Haves Items That You Need At Work

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.

              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 May 22, 2020

              10 Practical Ways to Improve Time Management Skills

              10 Practical Ways to Improve Time Management Skills

              Do you often feel stressed out with too much work or too many responsibilities? As time passes, do you feel like you have more tasks on hand than you have time to do them?

              The trick is to organize your tasks and use your time effectively to get more things done each day. This can help you to lower stress levels and improve your productivity both at work and at home.

              Time management skills take time to develop and will look different for each person. Finding what works best for you and your busy schedule is key here.

              To get you started, here are 10 ways to improve your time management skills and increase productivity.

              1. Delegate Tasks

              It is common for all of us to take on more tasks than we are capable of completing. This can often result in stress and burnout.

              Delegation does not mean you are running away from your responsibilities but are instead learning proper management of your tasks. Learn the art of delegating work to your subordinates as per their skills and abilities and get more done. This will not only free up time for you but will help your team members feel like an integral piece of the work puzzle.

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              2. Prioritize Work

              Before the start of the day, make a list of tasks that need your immediate attention. Unimportant tasks can consume much of your precious time, and we tend to offer these too much of our energy because they are easier or less stressful.

              However, identifying urgent tasks that need to be completed on that day is critical to your productivity. Once you know where to put your energy, you will start to get things done in an order that works for you and your schedule.

              In short, prioritize your important tasks to keep yourself focused.

              3. Create a Schedule

              Carry a planner or notebook with you and list all the tasks that come to your mind. Being able to check off items as you complete them will give you a sense of accomplishment and keep you motivated.

              Make a simple ‘To Do’ list before the start of the day, prioritize the tasks, and focus on the essentials. Make sure that these tasks are attainable, too. If there is a big task you need to complete, make that the only thing on your list. You can push the others to the next day. 

              To better manage your time management skills, you may think of making 3 lists: work, home and personal.

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              4. Set up Deadlines

              When you have a task at hand, set a realistic deadline and stick to it. Once you set a deadline, it may be helpful to write it on a sticky note and put it near your workspace. This will give you a visual cue to keep you on task.

              Try to set a deadline a few days before the task is due so that you can complete all those tasks that may get in the way. Challenge yourself and meet the deadline; reward yourself for meeting a difficult challenge.

              5. Overcome Procrastination

              Procrastination is one of the things that has a negative effect on productivity. It can result in wasting essential time and energy. It could be a major problem in both your career and your personal life[1].

              Avoiding procrastination can be difficult for many. We tend to procrastinate when we feel bored or overwhelmed. Try to schedule in smaller, fun activities throughout the day to break up the more difficult tasks. This may help you stay on track.

              6. Deal With Stress Wisely

              Stress often occurs when we accept more work than we are capable of accomplishing. The result is that our body starts feeling tired, which can affect our productivity.

              Stress comes in various forms for different people, but some productive ways to deal with stress can include:

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              1. Getting outside
              2. Exercising
              3. Practicing meditation
              4. Calling up a friend
              5. Participating in your favorite hobby
              6. Listening to music or a podcast

              The key is to find what works for you when it comes to lowering your stress response. If you don’t have time for anything else, try a couple of breathing techniques. These can be done in minutes and have been proven to lower stress-inducing hormones.

              7. Avoid Multitasking

              Most of us feel that multitasking is an efficient way of getting things done, but the truth is that we do better when we focus and concentrate on one thing. Multitasking hampers productivity and should be avoided to improve time management skills.

              Make use of to-do lists and deadlines to help you stay focused! This way you can do better at what you’re doing. Wait until you finish one before starting another. You’ll be surprised by how much more you’re able to get done.

              8. Start Early

              Most successful people have one thing in common — they start their day early as it gives them time to sit, think, and plan their day.

              When you get up early, you are more calm, creative, and clear-headed. As the day progresses, your energy levels start going down, which affects your productivity, motivation, and focus[2].

              If you’re not a morning person, you can just try waking up thirty minutes earlier than your normal time. You’ll be amazed by how much you can get done in that bit of time. If you don’t want to use it to work, use it to do a bit of exercise or eat a healthy breakfast. This kind of routine will also contribute to your productivity during the day.

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              9. Take Regular Breaks

              Whenever you find yourself feeling tired and stressed, take a break for 10 to 15 minutes. Too much stress can take a toll on your body and affect your productivity.

              And even better, schedule your break times. It helps you to relax and gets back to work with energy again later. If you know a break is coming, you’ll likely be able to overcome boredom or a lack of motivation to push through the task at hand.

              Take a walk, listen to some music, or do some quick stretches. The best idea is to take a break from work completely and spend time with your friends and family.

              10. Learn to Say No

              Politely refuse to accept additional tasks if you think that you’re already overloaded with work. Take a look at your to do list before agreeing to take on extra work.

              Many people worry that saying no will make them look selfish, but the truth is that saying no is one of the best ways to take care of yourself and your time. When you take care of this, you’ll find you have more energy to devote to the important things, which the people around you will ultimately appreciate.

              Final Thoughts

              When you get clear about what’s on your plate, you’ll be more focused and get more done in less time.

              Good time management requires a daily practice of prioritizing tasks and organizing them in a way that can save time while achieving more. Use the above strategies for few weeks and see if they help you. You may be surprised just how much more time you seem to have.

              More Tips on Time Management Skills

              Featured photo credit: Brad Neathery via unsplash.com

              Reference

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