No matter what kind of environment you’re working in or what type of job you have, getting your work done is impossible if you’re not organized and focused. You’ll find that certain desk items will help improve your productivity by making it feel like you have your life together, or making you feel a lot more comfortable. Stock up on these to up your work game in 2020.
How To Be More Productive At Work
Being more productive is about more than just buying a few desk accessories and hoping they work on their own. You still have to keep yourself focused and work hard on your own—these things will just help you get there.
- Keep track of and time your tasks. Even if you know what you need to get done, writing it all down still helps keep you focused and organizes your thoughts. A to-do list is the best way to remember everything that needs to get done, and ticking off each task as you complete it is satisfying. Timing your tasks with little deadlines is also helpful.
- Stay comfortable. When you’re uncomfortable, whether you’re too hot, too cold, your back hurts, or your eyes are bothering you, you’re just not going to be as focused on the task at hand. Being as comfortable as possible can help you stay on track.
- Minimize distractions. There are a million things that can distract you while you’re working, from the dinging of your phone when you get a notification to the allure of social media just an internet tab away. Use extensions like StayFocused to block specific sites while you’re working and keep your phone tucked away in a drawer on silent so you can’t see or hear it.
- Take breaks. You might think that powering through seven straight hours of work is the best way to get everything done, but research shows that doing so actually makes you more stressed and burnt out, while breaks help keep you focused and motivated. You can try something like the Pomodoro Method, which involves working for three 15 minute intervals with five-minute breaks in between, then taking one longer 25-minute break.
- Don’t multi-task. Multi-tasking is not always as efficient as it seems. It can keep you from being focused on one task so that you don’t do your best work. You’re better off completely focusing on one task until it’s done, then moving on to something new.
To Keep Track Of Tasks: Julianne & Co. Daily To-Do Planner Notepad
One of the best things you can do to be more productive at work is to sit down and make a to-do list before anything else. You can, of course, use a regular notepad, but this Julianne & Co Daily To-Do Planner Notepad is a little extra help. It allows you to write down all of your tasks, as well as the three that are your top priority for the day—having that in its own area is super helpful.
Each page also allows you to track your water intake and your meals, as well as any deadlines you might need to jot down. There’s space for a few short notes as well. It’s great to keep on your desk in easy reach.
JULIANNE & CO Daily To-Do Undated Planner Notepads - Premium Personal Organizer for Home, Office, Work, School Journal - 50 Pages for Daily Tasks, Notes, Water Intake and Meal Prep (8.5 x 11)
The Julianne & Co Daily To-Do Planner Notepad makes it easy to write out a to-do list every day.
To Keep Everything Organized: DecoBros Desk Supplies Organizer Caddy
Admittedly, some research shows that a messy desk can inspire creativity and help you be more productive. But for some people, a jumbled mess of office supplies makes them feel like they can’t get anything done. It can be super distracting, and if you’re looking for a specific item and can’t find it, that makes everything take longer. Something like a DecoBros Desk Supplies Organizer Caddy helps you keep everything in its place and makes your desk neater.
This one has plenty of room for desk essentials, like pens, markers, paper clips, scissors, and more. There’s a small drawer to keep sticky notes or whatever else you need. The other nice thing about this one is that it’s not so huge that it takes up a tremendous amount of space. And while it may not be as aesthetically pleasing as a wood organizer, the see-through caddy makes it a lot easier to spot what you need.
DecoBros Desk Supplies Organizer Caddy, Black
This DecoBros Desk Supplies Organizer keeps your essentials in their own spots so you can find them easily.
To Help Your Eyes: J&S Vision Blue Light Shield Computer/Gaming Glasses
Blue light glasses aren’t just a gimmick: the best ones really do work to protect your eyes against the harsh light of the computer, preventing eye strain and possible damage. Alleviating the discomfort that you feel from staring at a screen also helps you stay focused and can improve productivity. J&S Vision Blue Light Shield glasses are a favorite because they genuinely work, and they come at a great price point. They also aren’t prescription glasses, so anyone can wear them (if you already wear prescription glasses, talk to your optometrist about getting blue light filters in the lenses).
These glasses filter out 90% of the most harmful High Energy Blue Light rays. Most computer glasses like this are heavily tinted, making everything look a bit discolored, but these lenses have a low color distortion that keeps things a bit clearer. They sit comfortably on your face and fit both men and women.
J+S Vision Blue Light Shield Computer Reading/Gaming Glasses - 0.0 Magnification - Anti Blue Light 100% UV Protection Low Color Distortion, Classic Black Frame - Essential Gaming Gear
J&S Vision Blue Light Shield Computer Glasses protect your eyes against harmful blue light and help keep you focused.
To Stay Focused: Cowin E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
Working in an office or any other crowded environment can create a lot of noise that might leave you feeling distracted—it’s hard to focus when a lot is going on around you. You might not be able to force everyone to be quiet, but you can drown out the noise with these Cowin E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones. These professional headphones keep any noise from sneaking in and also provide you with excellent quality to listen to your own music.
The earcups on these are super comfortable with a lightweight fit that goes all the way around your ears and doesn’t feel too tight. They also have a built-in battery that works for up to 30 hours on Bluetooth before it needs to be charged. This is a budget option, so if you’re looking for something more premium, you can take a look at this more extensive list of the best premium noise-canceling headphones.
COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone Deep Bass Wireless Headphones Over Ear, Comfortable Protein Earpads, 30 Hours Playtime for Travel/Work, Black
Cowin E7 Noise Cancelling Headphones fit comfortably and drown out distracting background noise.
To Reduce Straining: Vivo Black Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter
Sitting at your desk with a low laptop or computer monitor can put extra strain on your neck and shoulders, leading to back pain and longterm damage. On top of that, sitting all day long has been linked to numerous bad health conditions. Get something like the Vivo Black Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter so that you can stand for some of the day, or simply raise your laptop so that you can see better.
The desk riser on this one is easy to use so that you can have it on the desk when sitting, then raise it when you’re ready to stand. It also has a lower keyboard tray that makes everything more comfortable and adjustable. It’s super easy to use with a simple touch height locking mechanism and comes fully assembled out of the box.
VIVO 32 inch Desk Converter, Height Adjustable Riser, Sit to Stand Dual Monitor and Laptop Workstation with Wide Keyboard Tray, Black, DESK-V000K, 32"
Stand more and sit less with this Vivo Standing Desk Converter.
To Improve Your Posture: Upright Go 2
Bad posture isn’t just uncomfortable and damaging to your back and neck; it has also been shown to decrease productivity. It’s super easy to have bad posture when you’re working on a computer all day, so if that’s the case, consider getting the Upright Go 2.
The small device is placed on your upper back between your shoulder blades (it’s very discreet), and then they hook up to an app you download on your phone. It tracks your positioning, and every time you start slouching, it vibrates a bit to remind you to sit up straighter. It helps you be more aware of the way you’re sitting and also gives you feedback and updates on the app. It’s one of the best ways to stop slouching for good.
To Prevent Distraction: Fidgi Pen
Fidgeting may be a nervous habit, but it’s one that can help alleviate anxiety and stress, which allows you to focus better and get more done. The whole idea behind the Fidgi Pen is that it’s something useful that you can also fidget with. There are seven different ways to use your nervous energy: you can click the pen, spin the disk, flip a clip, click a switch, roll a ball, and enjoy the smooth dip or textured grip. And it’s a functional pen as well.
The Fidgi Pen is also really durable so that it won’t break when you’re fidgeting with it, even if you get a little crazy. It also uses universal ink pen refills, so it’s easy to refill, and there are plenty of colors to choose from.
Fidgi Pen - The Original Fidget Pen - Fidget Spinner Toy Disguised as a Pen - Stress Pen - Fidget Spinner Pen - Fidget Spinners for Adults - Widget Pens - Anxiety Pen - Stress Relievers - (Stealth)
The Fidgi Pen helps you fidget with something useful to relieve anxiety and focus better.
To Stay Hydrated: Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle
In case you need another reason to drink water throughout the day, research has shown that staying hydrated can increase productivity and help you focus better throughout the day. Instead of continually getting up to refill a cup of water, keep a large refillable water bottle on your desk so you can grab it and drink through it all day.
If you’re not into gulping or chugging water, the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle also has a straw top so that you can sip your water. It’s also nicely insulated to keep liquids cold for up to 24 hours.
To Organize Your Life: Productivity Planner
For those who are more into a planner they can carry around than a notepad to sit on a desk, the Productivity Planner is a great way to keep track of everything and basically organize your entire life. The team behind it used research to make it increase productivity as best as possible. The Productivity Planner uses a focused Pomodoro style work system that incorporates small breaks and allows you to list tasks in order of importance.
It also allows you to set goals, rate your productivity for each day, and jot down notes as needed. Another nice thing about this one is that the pages aren’t dated, which means you don’t need to skip spots or only use the pages on specific dates. It’s a great planner for managing your time and making it easier to get important things done.
Intelligent Change - 3-Month Productivity Planner, Productivity Tools for Time-Management and Mindfulness, Daily To-Do List, A5 Undated Quarterly Planner, Beige (Black)
The Productivity Planner uses the Pomodoro style of time management to help you efficiently get tasks done.
To Keep Track Of Your Schedule: Phoenix Planner Small Dry Erase White Board Calendar
If you work with a lot of meetings and have a lot of events on your calendar, it’s helpful to have something you can glance at on your desk to keep track of appointments. This Phoenix Planner Small Dry Erase Board sits on your desk and makes it easy to fill out dates, jot down appointments, and look at everything with one simple glance. It makes organizing easier and helps you keep track of everything you have going on—and it’s fun to write on!
Small Double Sided White Board Calendar - Mini Portable Desktop Dry Erase Board with Stand & Small Monthly Calendar Whiteboard Planner with Reversible to Do List - 10" x 10" - Desk, Office, and Home
Use this dry erase calendar to make a note of all of your appointments.
To See Better: Lampat LED Desk Lamp
Most offices don’t have great lighting. You can fix that by having your own desk lamp better lighting can help you focus more and be more productive. This Lampat LED Desk Lamp has four different lighting modes and five brightening options, as well as a built-in USB charging port. It’s sleek and modern looking, and won’t take up a ton of space either.
Lampat Dimmable LED Desk Lamp, 4 Lighting Modes (Reading/Studying/Relaxation/Bedtime), 5-Level Dimmer, Touch-Sensitive Control Panel, 1-Hour Auto Timer, 5V/1A USB Charging Port, Piano Black
This Lampat LED Desk Lamp helps you focus and adjust the lighting to your liking.