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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

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                    Last Updated on July 17, 2019

                    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                    What happens in our heads when we set goals?

                    Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

                    Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

                    According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

                    Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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                    Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

                    Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

                    The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

                    Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

                    So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

                    Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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                    One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

                    Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

                    Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

                    The Neurology of Ownership

                    Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

                    In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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                    But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

                    This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

                    Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

                    The Upshot for Goal-Setters

                    So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

                    On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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                    It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

                    On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

                    But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

                    More About Goals Setting

                    Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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