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10 Workplace Gadgets That Will Make You Work Happily and Productively

10 Workplace Gadgets That Will Make You Work Happily and Productively

A good portion of your life is spent at work, it’s between 50-60% of your waking time. Shouldn’t the goal be both comfort and productivity, then? Much of the discussion around employee engagement, morale, and productivity tend to be about office perks (free food, ping pong, etc.) or managerial improvements in terms of communication. A workplace survey conducted by a design company Gensler showed a great correlation between the interaction of physical space and employee productivity.[1]

This is valuable for companies and individual employees to listen to. You may never get free tacos, ping pong tables, or an amazingly empathetic boss, but this list of workplace gadgets handpicked by the Lifehack team can make you love work more and boost your productivity.

1. Sitts Posture Back Support Wedge Cushion

    This back support cushion helps reduce tailbone pressure, which makes your head and shoulders feel lighter and favors healthy weight distribution and posture. This is great for people developing lower back issues because of their posture throughout a work day. You’ll also gradually build balance and core strength.

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    Sitts Posture Back Support Wedge Cushion, $50.98

    2. Pleson Wireless Charger

      No more cords! This is extremely thin (0.25 inches), generates 50% less heat, and the LED indicator will turn off when you’re charging successfully (no added distraction). It has universal compatibility with iPhone and Android. It’s also the most human-designed of the wireless chargers because it takes into account how you like to sleep.

      Check the Pleson Wireless Charger at Amazon

      3. NanoPad Nano Suction Smartphone Pad

        With this, you can attach your phone to any smooth surface without a problem. The NanoPad itself is a thin pad that sticks to smartphones or their covers. Physical and chemical reactions make it possible to attach your phone to a white board as a meeting is being run. You could also attach it to a conference room wall, leave a food app open, and have everyone put in their order before it’s placed.

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        Back the NanoPad on Kickstarter

        4. Sony Digital Paper e-Ink Tablet

          Say goodbye to scroll and zoom. Documents can be in full-letter size and you can use the stylus to write fluidly and directly on the panel, quickly highlight text, and erase notes. Because the surface actually rejects your palm, functionality is never disrupted — which is a problem on some regular tablets.

          e-Ink tablet, starting from $799

          5. Homesky Inflatable Pillow

            Yes, sleeping at work is encouraged. A 20-minute work nap can super boost your productivity, read more about this in our other article here. The homesky Inflatable Pillow is a head travel pillow that provides great neck support and allows people to sleep facing forward for greater comfort.

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            homesky Inflatable Pillow, $11.99

            6. Stood Laptop Stand (made of wood)

              A great travel companion (and easy to move around), it works with all laptops under two centimeters thick. It’s also eco-friendly.

              Stood Laptop Stand, $29

              7. Artifox Magnetic Organizing PEGS

                Rare-earth magnets that still are strong enough whereby you could bookend/bracket an entire encyclopedia set. There are almost a myriad potential of combinations, so you can organize a good chunk of your office. They also come packaged in a solid wood container that can be turned into a pen/pencil cup.

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                Artifox Magnetic Organizing PEGS, $40

                8. Patu Aluminum Alloy Rotating Desk Extension Pad Armrest

                  The main goal here is to reduce stress on eyes, shoulders, wrists, and neck areas. This product was especially designed for computer-heavy professions such as IT, designers, cubicle-based employees, and more. You can extend the range of motion and comfort level at every sitting position through using this, which comes off as a bit of a precursor to the robot arms increasingly soon to be normative.

                  Patu Aluminum Alloy Rotating Desk Extension Pad Armrest, $29.99

                  9. JmGO P2 Portable 3D Projector

                    It’s actually shaped like a water bottle (very cool), meaning you can hold it in one hand. It can provide five hours of continuous video play in energy saving mode (also 10 hours Bluetooth music). It’s suitable for work presentations, with a 1280 x 720 resolution and projection best up to 100 inches. It’s a fully rechargeable cinema for that next work pitch.

                    JmGO P2 Portable 3D Projector, $769.99

                    10. Magnetdabbles Dual-Tip Magnetic Gel Pens

                    Magnetdabbles have some of the same appeal as fidget spinners. They’re fun, well-designed, and consistently easy to find. You can pin them right to the refrigerator. Magnetdabbles are the only pens where you can have one image/logo/phrase across more than one pen for a full image which will be the talking point for many conversations and bring your event, business or organization great publicity.

                    Magnetdabbles Dual-Tip Magnetic Gel Pen on Kickstarter

                    Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

                    Reference

                    [1] Gensler: 2013 US Workplace Survey

                    More by this author

                    Brian Lee

                    Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

                    100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier 10 Best New Products That People Don’t Know About Book Summary: The Power of Habit in 2 Minutes 1 Minute Book Summary: How To Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less 2 Minutes Book Summary: Thinking Fast and Slow

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                    1 The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career 2 How to Be a Successful Businessman (The Complete Guide) 3 Should You Quit Your Job Without Another Job? 4 12 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities 5 How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

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                    Published on January 16, 2019

                    How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                    How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                    We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

                    You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

                    You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

                    That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

                    Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

                    1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

                    Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

                    We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

                    To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

                    At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

                    The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

                    2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

                    Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

                    The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

                    In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

                    It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

                    It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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                    So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

                    • Are you a great strategist?
                    • Are you an effective planner?
                    • Is Project Management your strength?
                    • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
                    • Are you the ideas person?
                    • Is Implementation your strength?

                    Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

                    3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

                    One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

                    Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

                    Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

                    Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

                    4. Take Time for Planning

                    “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

                    One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

                    You can take the time to think about:

                    • What’s the purpose of the project?
                    • How Important is it?
                    • When does it need to be delivered by?
                    • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
                    • What are the KPIs?
                    • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
                    • Who is working on this project?
                    • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
                    • What tolerances can I add in?
                    • What are the review stages?
                    • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

                    Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

                    5. Focus on Priorities

                    Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

                    Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

                    One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

                    1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
                    2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
                    3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
                    4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

                    James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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                      The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

                      If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

                      If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

                      6. Take Time Out

                      To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

                      If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

                      Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

                      In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

                      Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                      7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

                      Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

                      I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

                      Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

                      If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

                      8. Stop Multitasking

                      Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

                      So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

                      When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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                      If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

                      9. Work in Blocks of Time

                      To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

                      I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

                      Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

                      Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

                      Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

                      Then take another 10-minute break.

                      Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

                      By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

                      10. Get Rid of Distractions

                      Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

                      “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

                      Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

                      If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

                      11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

                      You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

                      Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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                      Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

                      12. Take a Time Audit

                      Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

                      Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

                      You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

                      Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

                      Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

                      At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

                      If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

                      13. Protect Your Confidence

                      It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

                      When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

                      Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

                      When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

                      Final Words

                      A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

                      The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

                      If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

                      Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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