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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 August 16, 2018

              16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

              16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

              The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

              How about a unique spin on things?

              These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

              1. Empty your mind.

              It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

              Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

              Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

              Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

              How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

              2. Keep certain days clear.

              Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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              This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

              3. Prioritize your work.

              Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

              Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

              Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

              How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

              4. Chop up your time.

              Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

              5. Have a thinking position.

              Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

              What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

              6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

              To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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              Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

              7. Don’t try to do too much.

              OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

              8. Have a daily action plan.

              Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

              Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

              9. Do your most dreaded project first.

              Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

              10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

              The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

              11. Have a place devoted to work.

              If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

              But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

              Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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              Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

              12. Find your golden hour.

              You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

              Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

              Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

              Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

              13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

              It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

              By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

              Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

              14. Never stop.

              Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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              Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

              There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

              15. Be in tune with your body.

              Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

              16. Try different methods.

              Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

              It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

              Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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