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15 Items You Need to Have in Your Office Pantry

15 Items You Need to Have in Your Office Pantry

Sometimes it’s a good idea to bring food from home to the office to spice up your daily lunch routine. To make eating at work more home-like, I have compiled a list of fifteen pantry items that you should stock in your work kitchen. They compliment many foods well and never go bad.

1. Honey

Honey is one of those items that has magical properties. Synthesized by bees, honey lasts forever. This delicious sweetener has been found in ancient tombs and has a shelf life of several hundred years. Put some honey in your office pantry to go with fruit, yogurt, or tea.

2. Salt

Salt is one of those items that is used in a million different ways. It can, of course, season your food, but it is also used as a preservative in curing meats and other items. Grab a container of salt to add some flavor to every meal.

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3. Sugar

Every office needs sugar for coffee. Sugar is a delicious natural sweetener that goes well with everything. Put this on your shelf and try to resist the urge to eat spoonfuls on your own.

4. Peanut butter

Peanut butter is often included in aid packages delivered to impoverished countries. Filling and delicious, a jar of peanut butter can solve many breakfast and lunch crises. This is an essential office pantry item.

5. Canned tuna

Canned tuna has a shelf life of forever, and can be very filling. Put this on a sandwich with some mayonnaise, or over a salad, and it can really spice up a meal.

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6. Olive oil

Olive oil is great in a lot of ways. It can be used in cooking and baking, but its main purpose in an office setting is to be mixed into salad dressings. Keep some olive oil around the office pantry and you’ll thank me eventually.

7. Rice

Brown rice has a shelf life of about twelve months and can be boiled into a meal quickly. Put some brown rice on your shelf in case of emergencies.

8. Canned beans

A can of baked beans can be the perfect meal in a pinch. Grab a few cans and keep them in the office pantry in case. And when you finally eat them, you’ll thank me. They’re delicious.

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9. Almonds and other nuts

Cans of nuts are great for snacking and can last forever. Grab a few cans of assorted nuts but store them nearby to keep them safe—others will try to snack on these if you leave them in a common area.

10. Canned and bottled juice

Apple, cranberry, orange, even tomato—all these juices will last forever when canned, and can be a perfect accompaniment to both breakfast and dinner on the run. My favorite is spicy tomato juice, so I don’t have to worry much about others drinking mine. But you might have to mark your juice if you put it in the office pantry fridge.

11. Vinegar

Both red and white vinegar are very versatile items. At times used as cleaning products, vinegar can be mixed with the aforementioned olive oil to produce a delicious salad dressing. Also, if you have a stove top and a lot of time at work, slicing up some white onions and caramelizing them in vinegar will lead to a delicious addition to any sandwich.

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12. Applesauce

This childhood staple has a shelf life of about a year and a half. It can be good for breakfast in a pinch or a supplement to a balanced lunch. Bring a jar. It is an essential office pantry item.

13. Broth

The shelf life of broth is between two to five years. Grab some and put it in the office pantry fridge. Broth is great on a cold winter’s day.

14. Maple syrup

The Canadians really know what they are doing with this one. A bottle of maple syrup will last forever, and having this on hand will come in handy on the days your office caters breakfast. Yum!

15. Alcohol

We all like to have a little fun, right? Spirits such as gin, rum, and whiskey have a tremendous shelf life, so keep some around the office pantry. Just make sure that it is okay with your office policies first.

Featured photo credit: Food aisle / lyzadanger via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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