How will you know you’ve reached your destination if you don’t have a map? Don’t write down everything you have to do: limit yourself to a short list of actionable items that will move you forward in some way. They could help you with health, fitness, your relationship, work, or whatever you want to do. The point is to focus on key tasks that are relevant. If you’ve ever complained about teachers who gave you “busy work” that did nothing to mold you as a person, you know it’s easy to get caught up in stuff that really doesn’t matter. Be minimal to avoid getting distracted.
2. Spare phone charger
I never remember to take my phone to work, so it’s always on the brink of death by the end of the work day. Really, I could stand to spend a bit less time looking at my phone—just like everybody else—but nonetheless, a phone drained of battery life wouldn’t be able to make a call if you ever needed it to. Keep a spare charger at work to save yourself potential inconvenience.
3. Water bottle
Everybody knows that they’re supposed to drink more water, but nobody actually does it. Be one of the proud members of Club Hydrated by keeping a water bottle at your desk. A dehydrated brain is an unhappy brain that struggles to think clearly, so drinking more water will help you be more focused and productive at work. Cheers to that!
4. Light snacks
If you are an office worker, I bet you’re surrounded by sweet and sugary temptation on a near-daily basis. While the occasional doughnut won’t kill you, eating one daily will wreck your weight-loss plan in a hurry. Keep some light snacks at your desk so you can make a positive decision if your stomach grumbles. You could keep a few bananas and apples or a bag of nuts like almonds or walnuts for some healthy fats and vitamins that will provide your body with sustainable energy.
5. Box of tissues
Have you ever had a sneeze come on when there were no tissues in site, and then found yourself with a handful of icky snot? This is an embarrassing public moment that makes even the best of us want to disappear. Spare yourself the awkwardness this fall and winter by stowing a box of tissues under your desk. Trust me—you’ll be glad you did!
6. Framed photos
Just because your loved ones aren’t with you doesn’t mean you can’t think about them. Remembering that there is a spouse/children/dog/cat/fish/snake at home that loves us makes work days more bearable. If you’re feeling stressed out, all you have to do is look at a photo of a loved one and be happy you get to see them soon. Also, an undecorated desk is a boring desk (and who wants to be boring?).
7. Gum or breath mint
Your tuna sandwich tastes a lot better than it smells. If you work in an office where you’re chatting with people in close proximity on a regular basis, you’d be well-advised to keep some minty gum or breath mints on hand.
8. Personal hygiene/body care products
You might want to consider keeping some deodorant, mouthwash, and other personal care products around in case you find yourself running straight to a date after work so you can touch up if necessary. Ladies: I’m not going to discuss feminine products in detail because you know what I’m talking about, so let’s just say that keeping them on hand might be a good idea for obvious reasons as well.
What do you see as office desk essentials that you couldn’t do without? Tell us in the comments!