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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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                                                                                                Trending in Productivity

                                                                                                1 8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More 2 How Exercising Makes You More Productive 3 10 Practical Ways to Drastically Improve Your Time Management Skills 4 15 Highly Successful People Who Failed On Their Way To Success 5 How to Memorize More and Faster Than Other People

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                                                                                                Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                                                                                                8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

                                                                                                8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

                                                                                                You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

                                                                                                Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

                                                                                                When you train your brain, you will:

                                                                                                • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
                                                                                                • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
                                                                                                • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

                                                                                                So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

                                                                                                1. Work your memory

                                                                                                Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

                                                                                                When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

                                                                                                If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

                                                                                                The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

                                                                                                Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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                                                                                                Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

                                                                                                What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

                                                                                                For example, say you just met someone new:

                                                                                                “Hi, my name is George”

                                                                                                Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

                                                                                                Got it? Good.

                                                                                                2. Do something different repeatedly

                                                                                                By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

                                                                                                Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

                                                                                                It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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                                                                                                And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

                                                                                                But how does this apply to your life right now?

                                                                                                Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

                                                                                                Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

                                                                                                Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

                                                                                                So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

                                                                                                You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

                                                                                                That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

                                                                                                3. Learn something new

                                                                                                It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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                                                                                                For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

                                                                                                Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

                                                                                                You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

                                                                                                4. Follow a brain training program

                                                                                                The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

                                                                                                5. Work your body

                                                                                                You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

                                                                                                Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

                                                                                                Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

                                                                                                Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

                                                                                                6. Spend time with your loved ones

                                                                                                If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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                                                                                                If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

                                                                                                I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

                                                                                                7. Avoid crossword puzzles

                                                                                                Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

                                                                                                Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

                                                                                                Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

                                                                                                8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

                                                                                                Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

                                                                                                When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

                                                                                                So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

                                                                                                The bottom line

                                                                                                Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

                                                                                                Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

                                                                                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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