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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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