If you’re reading this at work right now or sitting in your home office, look around and take a quick inventory of what you see. Perhaps a pad of sticky notes, a water bottle or a family photo in a frame?
What you keep on your desk and in its drawers is a very personal choice, but a choice that should be made with mindful intentions and healthy goals. This is because the small things you keep around you can have a big impact on how productive, motivated and satisfied you are during the workday. And while there's no shortage of positive things to choose from, here are three things to keep at your desk that can both help get you into the zone and keep you there:
1. A Live Plant
Unless you have a flexible work schedule or work remotely, you probably can’t spend your days working outside under a shady tree. However, studies show that even getting brief glimpses of nature can work wonders for helping you concentrate on your tasks. In fact, workers surrounded by plants tend to be 15 percent more productive than their peers who can’t see any green. Plants also help clean the indoor air, which helps your brain function better, too. Fortunately, you can bring the outdoors inside by picking up a desk-sized plant at your local garden store. Good desk plant options that thrive indoors and don’t need a lot of maintenance include cacti, succulents, aloe vera and bamboo.
2. Noise-Canceling Headphones
The modern office can be noisy and distracting, especially if your company has adopted the open office floor plan concept that favors collaboration over privacy. One study found that 53 percent of workers surveyed felt disturbed by other people while trying to focus and 69 percent of them were unhappy with workplace noise levels. One of the easiest solutions to this productivity issue is wearing noise-canceling headphones to drown out the sounds that surround you. Keep a pair of headphones in your desk drawer for when office conditions get a bit noisy and you need to hunker down to get a few more things done. If noise-canceling headphones aren't in your budget, using regular headphones while listening to some classical music can be of great help.
3. Superfood Snacks
It’s hard to be productive at work when your stomach is grumbling or if you’re filling your body with nutrient-void snacks throughout the workday. Doughnuts, candy and other sugary foods left out in the employee breakroom might look tempting, but they can make your blood sugar skyrocket and then crash a few hours later, thereby killing your productivity. That’s why energy bites are essential in every desk drawer for when pangs of hunger strike and your brain starts feeling cloudy or overwhelmed. Navitas Organics Power Snacks, Latte Mixes, and Dried Fruit are all great choices for grab-and-go nutrition that will nourish your brain when you need a mental boost!