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The 50 Most Productive Christmas Gift Ideas For Your Friends

The 50 Most Productive Christmas Gift Ideas For Your Friends

Some friends are just impossible to buy for, but if you want to give the gift of productivity this year, here are 50 killer productive Christmas gift ideas for your friends!

Gifts to get more done

‘Getting Things Done’ book $10

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    In my opinion, if there’s one book that will make your friend more productive, it’s Getting Things Done by David Allen. If you want to give the gift of productivity this year, I can’t imagine a better book or gift.

    Aeropress coffee maker $26

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      You haven’t tasted coffee until you’ve tasted coffee from an Aeropress. This extraordinary simple coffee maker forces hot water through a filter to produce an espresso-style shot that you can combine with milk to make into a latte, or combine with water to make an American coffee. Great for traveling.

      Variable temperature tea kettle $56

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        Did you know that different tea needs to be brewed at different temperatures? For example, green tea needs to be brewed at a lower temperature so it doesn’t taste bitter. This fancy kettle heats water to different temperatures depending on what tea your brewing!

        Tonx coffee subscription $24+

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          If you have a friend that loves coffee, Tonx might just be the perfect gift for them. This subscription coffee service will deliver a fresh bag of beans to their door every other week (you can pick what size of bag they’d like).

          Blue Apron Subscription $60

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            For your friend who has very little time, Blue Apron is the perfect gift. The service will deliver fresh ingredients to your friend’s home, along with an easy-to-follow recipe and pre-portioned ingredients.

            2014 dry erase calendar $24

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              This massive, 2014 wall calendar is the perfect gift for anyone who wants to become more productive and organized. The calendar has a vertical or horizontal orientation, is beautifully designed, and starts on Monday.

              Evernote moleskine notebook $30

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                If you have a productivity-loving friend, chances are they’ll love the Evernote classic notebook by Moleskine. The notebook was designed by both Moleskine and Evernote to work with the app, and features “Evernote ruled” and “Evernote squared” page styles with dotted lines designed to ensure a clean image when you digitally capture your notebook.

                Chalkboard paint $10

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                  If your friend is a visual thinker, they’ll  love this gift. Rust-Oleum chalk paint converts any surface–metal, wood, drywall, plaster, and concrete included–into a usable chalkboard surface.

                  Ghost whiteboard $10-105

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                    Much like the aforementioned chalkboard paint, Ghost Whiteyboard converts pretty much any flat surface into a dry erase board, but without altering its appearance!

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                    Field Notes Expedition 3-Pack $10

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                      This might just be the most rugged notebook out there. The Field Notes Expedition 3-pack are waterproof, tear proof, and even resistant to fire and acid. You know, for all those times you dump acid on your notebooks.

                      Waterproof notepad $8

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                        This awesome waterproof notepad will help your friend capture all of their awesome ideas that they come up with in the shower.

                        Simple Hacks

                        CableDrop cordlets $10

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                          These things are genius, and I love them. After you mount a CableDrop to your desk, wall, or other flat surface, you can store your cables without having to worry about them falling to the floor every time you untether.

                          Lace anchors $10

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                            Lace anchors eliminate bows and knots from the inside and outside of your shoes allowing you to simply slip your shoes on on every time. An ingenious buy for $10.

                            The Wally Bottle Opener $10

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                              This simple yet elegant stainless steel bottle opener fits perfectly in a wallet or purse, until it’s go-time. At $10 it’s an awesome gift idea for any beer lover in your life.

                              Hide-a-Spare-Key Fake Rock $6

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                                Instead of keeping a spare key under your doormat like a chump, stash your key inside this authentic looking rock!

                                Obol $15

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                                  Who doesn’t hate soggy cereal? The “Obol” keeps your milk and cereal separate so your friends can focus and be productive without worrying about soggy breakfast cereal.

                                  Pocket Cutlery Set $12

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                                    Great for picnics, road trips, and hiking, this swiss army knife-like apparatus features a fork, knife, spoon, and bottle opener all in one compact device.

                                    Flask tie $27

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                                      This stealthy tie holds up to 8oz of your favourite beverage to keep your favourite drink close whenever you need it.

                                      USB drink cooler/warmer $19

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                                        This USB-powered, one-can/cup holder keeps a drink cool or warm for you. Everyone in your friend’s office will be jealous.

                                        Freehands gloves $20

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                                          If your friend lives someplace cold, these clever gloves will let them use their smartphone in the winter. Each pair of gloves features a forefinger and thumb that folds back, allowing you quick access to your pointing devices.

                                          Tech gifts

                                          Photojojo iPhone and Android Lens Series from $20

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                                            These camera lenses attach directly onto your iPhone or Android device and will allow your friend to take way better pictures. Photojojo offers individual lenses (fisheye, super fisheye, telephoto, wide angle, macro, and polarizing), as well as lens kits which contain several lenses.

                                            White noise generator $55

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                                              White noise has been proven to help you focus better. The long-named, Marpac Dohm-DS Dual Speed Sound Conditioner, produces a comfortable background sound that helps anyone be much more productive.

                                              iTunes Gift Card / Google Play Card

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                                                As much as some friends love and use their phones, they often really hate buying apps. But your phone can make you way more productive–the Apple App store features tens of thousands of apps in the Productivity category alone! Gift cards are often a bit of a cop-out when it comes to buying a gift, but for some friends an app gift card is perfect.

                                                Jawbone Mini Jambox $150

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                                                  At $150 the The Jawbone Mini Jambox isn’t cheap, but for a music loving friend, it can’t be beat. In my opinion, this is the best sounding portable speaker that fits in your pocket.

                                                  Jawbone Up $129

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                                                    The Jawbone Up, like the Nike Fuelband ($150) and the Fitbit Flex ($99), will track your friend’s sleeping routines, workout activity, and even eating habits with its build-in accelerometer, and will provide your friend with powerful data so they can improve their habits and become more productive.

                                                    Evernote pro subscription ($45)

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                                                      If you have a friend that relies on Evernote to be productive, gifting them Evernote Premium will give them the tools they need to become way more productive. Evernote Premium features offline notebooks, much smarter searching (including inside of PDFs), enables collaboration, and will up the monthly upload capacity on your friend’s account.

                                                      Scansnap scanner $160

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                                                        This portable scanner is the most expensive item on the list, but if you want to drop $160 bucks on a friend who deals with a lot of documents, I can’t imagine a better gift. This scanner automatically converts all scans to a PDF, includes auto-image correcting, is great for traveling, extracts the most important information from business cards, and a whole lot more.

                                                        Pivot power genius $30

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                                                          Power strips can be annoying, but this is definitely not one of them. It pivots, zig-zags, and bends to fit around furniture and tight spaces and make make more room for your friend’s larger power adapters.

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                                                          USB rechargable batteries $19

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                                                            These AA-sized batteries will recharge from a USB port, and are perfect for traveling. They can be recharged hundreds of times, saving your friends time and money.

                                                            WeMo Insight power switch $60

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                                                              It doesn’t look like much, but this item is my personal favorite out of all of the ones on the list. This wifi-enabled power switch connects to a Wifi network, allowing you to remotely turn devices on and off, and read how much energy a device is using in real time. You can even set up notifications, like for when your laundry is finished.

                                                              WeMo light switch $50

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                                                                This wifi-enabled light switch will allow you to turn your lights on and off from across the room, across the city, or half-way around the world.

                                                                WeMo baby monitor $70

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                                                                  Made by the same company as the WeMo Insight and the WeMo Light Switch, this baby monitor connects to wifi and turns your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch into a portable baby monitor. The device can even send push notifications based on certain triggers.

                                                                  Simple Braun alarm clock $50

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                                                                    Technology can be needlessly complicated, but this alarm clock isn’t. It tells the time, has a nice back light and works as an alarm. It’s also won numerous design awards and, in my opinion, looks simply stunning.

                                                                    8000 mAh Dual Port Battery Pack and Charger $36

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                                                                      For your friend who is always on their phone or tablet. This relatively inexpensive USB charger is the perfect gift for your friend who is always on the go, and always in need of more juice.

                                                                      Wake up light $90

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                                                                        Alarm clocks are jarring, but this wake up light will wake your friend’s body up naturally and slowly. It’s been scientifically shown to make waking up more pleasant, and includes two natural wake-up sounds.

                                                                        Bluetooth handset gloves $60

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                                                                          These gloves might look a bit dorky when in use, but they have a freaking bluetooth headset built in! They connect wirelessly to your phone, and let you talk on the phone when you expand your forefinger and pinky.

                                                                          Coin $100

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                                                                            Coin allows you (or your friend) to combine all of your cards into one easy-to-use, convenient card. It’s secure, and even locks when your phone is out of range.

                                                                            Powerpod $89

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                                                                              The PowerPod not only converts one outlet into six, but also doubles as a stylish storage tray for pencils and other small desk items.

                                                                              Self-improvement

                                                                              Meditation cushion $45

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                                                                                It might sound strange that sitting on a cushion and doing absolutely nothing will make you or your friend more productive, but trust me, it will.

                                                                                Lynda gift subscription ($25-375)

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                                                                                  Lynda is a subscription website that will give your friend access to over 2,000 high-quality online video courses. Why not give the gift of learning this year?

                                                                                  Audible.com gift membership ($45-150)

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                                                                                    If you have a friend that loves books, they’re bound to love audiobooks as well. Audible is my favorite audiobook website. You can gift memberships that range from $45 for three months ($15/month), to $150 for 12 months ($12.50/month).

                                                                                    Fun stuff

                                                                                    Paper notifications $10

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                                                                                      These are so fun. All day you receive notifications on your phone, but now you can put them on anything! The perfect way to leave a note for someone.

                                                                                      A Tenota Tea Note $5

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                                                                                        For $5, the Tenota tea service will send a bag of tea to your friend along with a customized note!

                                                                                        Netflix gift subscription $8-96

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                                                                                          After your friend is done being productive for the day, how about a nice Netflix subscription for them to kick back and recharge their batteries to be productive the next day? Netflix subscriptions can be purchased for 1, 2, 3, 6, or 12 months.

                                                                                          Hometown Aerial Map Jigsaw Puzzle $45

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                                                                                            Let your friend explore whatever area you pick with this puzzle. Just type in a ZIP code and choose a puzzle size, and The New York Times Store will print off a customized puzzle with a satellite view of that location! Pretty cool stuff.

                                                                                            USB powered lightbulb $12

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                                                                                              This simple USB-powered lightbulb will provide your friend with a nice dose of extra light wherever they travel! The light is an LED so it will illuminate for a long time, and the light even glows in the dark when you’re not using it.

                                                                                              Radioactive elements coaster set $20

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                                                                                                Why not learn a few elements while having a drink or two? These cool coasters even light up when you put a drink on them.

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                                                                                                1 How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life 2 Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That) 3 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast 4 10 Practical Ways to Improve Your Time Management Skills 5 4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain

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                                                                                                Last Updated on September 11, 2019

                                                                                                Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

                                                                                                Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

                                                                                                How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

                                                                                                Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

                                                                                                To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

                                                                                                Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

                                                                                                Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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                                                                                                • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
                                                                                                • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
                                                                                                • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
                                                                                                • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

                                                                                                Benefits of Using a To-Do List

                                                                                                However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

                                                                                                • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
                                                                                                • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
                                                                                                • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
                                                                                                • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
                                                                                                • You feel more organized.
                                                                                                • It helps you with planning.

                                                                                                4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

                                                                                                Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

                                                                                                1. Categorize

                                                                                                Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

                                                                                                It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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                                                                                                2. Add Estimations

                                                                                                You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

                                                                                                Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

                                                                                                Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

                                                                                                3. Prioritize

                                                                                                To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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                                                                                                • Important and urgent
                                                                                                • Not urgent but important
                                                                                                • Not important but urgent
                                                                                                • Not important or urgent

                                                                                                You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

                                                                                                Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

                                                                                                4.  Review

                                                                                                To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

                                                                                                For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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                                                                                                Bottom Line

                                                                                                So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

                                                                                                To your success!

                                                                                                More to Help You Achieve More in Less Time

                                                                                                Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

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